The Senate today passed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, one week after the House passed a similar assistance measure, which will keep New Jersey's recovery on track and allow New Jersey and other Superstorm Sandy-impacted states--New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania--to rebuild in the wake of the storm. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), who represents the hard-hit disaster areas of Ocean and Monmouth counties, noted that the federal aid is needed to recover from the worst natural disaster in his state's history.
"It has been almost three months since the most destructive storm ever in our region--and arguably the second or third most costly in America's history--made landfall in New Jersey," Smith said. "Earlier today, the Senate passed the House version of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, sending the bulk of the Sandy recovery package to the President.
"This legislation brings the total federal appropriations to $60.4 billion, offering significant assistance to begin a robust and sustainable recovery," Smith said.
The Senate approved the House bill, H.R. 152, by a vote of 62-36.
"The predictability and certainty that comes with passing this aid ensures that the work proceeds faster, comprehensively, and without interruption," Smith.
"As residents in our state will tell you, or as anyone who visits the pristine Jersey Shore battered by Sandy knows, we need these resources to help ensure we are ready for the summer tourist season. Our economy is heavily dependent on Shore tourism and our coastal communities, fishing industries and small businesses will now have the assistance they need to prepare--both for this summer and for future storms."
On Jan. 15, the House approved over $50 billion to supplement $9.7 billion already provided by both Houses of Congress Jan. 4, for a total of $60.4 billion in emergency aid.