Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged Congress on Tuesday to pass the second relief bill for East Coast states affected by Superstorm Sandy.
Congress passed a bill Jan. 4 providing $9.7 billion to cover insurance claims for homes destroyed by the natural disaster, but the bulk of the emergency aid — $51 billion — has not yet been approved.
“It has been 78 days since New York state suffered the worst natural disaster in its history,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Sandy destroyed or severely damaged almost 19,000 homes and apartments. Over 42,000 impacted businesses are still waiting for financial assistance.
“And nearly three months later, over 15,000 New Yorkers still cannot return to the places they call home; every day of delay makes it harder for them to believe they ever will.
“Our residents have been trying to rebuild their lives and they have been waiting for Washington D.C. to act.
“New Yorkers have suffered through a disaster unlike any our nation has ever seen, and it has been regrettably matched by the most disappointing response by Congress that any state has ever seen. This has now been taken to a new level of dysfunction.
“In ten short days, victims of Hurricane Katrina received nearly $52 billion of much-needed aid. After Hurricane Gustav, it took 17 days for residents in the impacted region to get $20 billion of relief.
“These states and their residents didn’t have to wait nearly this long for the help they deserved, and neither should New Yorkers.
“If Congress wants to show us that they will live up to the commitments they made when they saw how we were suffering, they need to pass this bill today,” he finished.