A hoped-for $60 billion federal aid bill that included relief funds for New York and New Jersey residents affected by October’s Superstorm Sandy was left on the floor by U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday.
The House adjourned on Wednesday without voting on the legislation, which is needed to release FEMA disaster money and flood insurance payments. The Senate passed the $60.4 billion bill on Dec 28 by a vote of 62-32.
A number of leaders of New York’s real estate industry had called on congress to pass the bill.
“That Congress has been unwilling or unable to pass the Sandy aid package and provide constituents of the damaged areas with the funds required to rebuild their lives is beyond deplorable” Joe Sitt, CEO of Thor Equities, said in a statement Wednesday.
“Many neighborhoods were literally underwater for days; thousands of people in Lower Manhattan were forced to relocate for weeks and several waterfront communities were completely wiped-out. Congress should immediately provide New Yorkers with the necessary funds to help them renew, rebuild and, more importantly, prevent these situations from reoccurring.”
N.J. Governor Chris Christie said in a press conference Wednesday that he had been notified by House leadership that there would be no vote on the bill before congress ended Wednesday. The newly elected 113th congress begins on Thursday, and will have to draft a new bill.
“Every day that we don’t begin to get this aid is a day that we don’t get people back in their homes,” Christie said.
The governor accused the House leadership of allowing partisan politics to stand in the way of necessary relief, adding that he is confident that if the bill had been brought to a vote it would have passed.
“This used to be something that wasn’t political. Disaster relief was something that you didn’t play games with,” Christie said.