Today, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-SI/Brooklyn) applauded the U.S. Senate for passing the Superstorm Sandy Supplemental Appropriations Bill (HR 152), which will now be sent to the president's desk to be signed into law. Rep. Grimm led efforts in the House to secure the necessary votes to pass the $50.5 billion emergency aid package on January 15th.
"Tonight the Sandy relief bill has cleared its final hurdle," said Grimm. "Relief is now in sight for so many in Staten Island and Brooklyn who have waited far too long for this assistance. Once this bill becomes law, we will have more funding to continue helping our homeowners and small business owners get back on their feet, begin repairing NYC's devastated infrastructure, and give the Army Corps of Engineers the resources it needs to begin fortifying our shoreline."
"So many of us have fought hard in Washington to move this bill forward, and today I applaud the efforts of Senator Schumer and Gillibrand to push this bill through the Senate and onto the president's desk," said Grimm. "I urge President Obama to sign this bill without delay, so that funds may begin flowing to New York City and into the hands of those who desperately need it to rebuild."
This relief package will help NYC rebuild in a variety of ways. It will help homeowners and business owners fill in gaps left by FEMA and uninsured losses -- giving them funding to help with repairs and mitigation. It will give the Army Corps of Engineers the resources to expedite a delayed feasibility study, so that we can move forward on plans for a seawall to protect Staten Island's coast.
It will allow NYC to begin rebuilding large-scale projects, such as the Whitehall Subway Station that could otherwise remain closed indefinitely without federal aid to cover the $600 million cost of repairs.
This funding will also help rebuild the Manhattan VA Hospital, as well as the Coney Island Hospital, which has over 300,000 outpatient visits per year and has over 2,300 employees. The Coney Island Hospital suffered severe damage to its mechanical systems, and cannot make repairs to critical infrastructure (electric, medical gas systems, etc) or move them to higher ground without federal aid.