Part One of Hurricane Relief Bill passes - NBC40.net

Part One of Hurricane Relief Bill passes

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NEW JERSEY -

The first part of a two part $60 billion Sandy Relief Bill has finally passed through both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives after voting was postponed earlier this week.

The first battle in securing additional Hurricane Sandy Relief funds is over.

As the first of a two part Sandy Relief Bill passed through both the Senate and the House Friday.

However, the $9 billion for insurance funds is just one of many steps to achieving the overall goal.

"That portion of it was very important but no mistake it was the easy part off this three part section," explained New Jersey Rep. Frank LoBiondo.

The bill, which was unexpectedly pulled from a potential floor vote by the house earlier in the week, finally made it through after representatives from hurricane impacted states fought hard to make sure their constituents received the same support as they given others.

"Our residents don't deserve any less than New Orleans or the people of Florida with a storm or those who have a tornado or an earthquake and we're not going to accept anything less for the people who've been ripped apart by this storm," LoBiondo said.

Now the house and senate will focus on getting the second part of the bill passed; an additional $50 billion, $20 billion that will go to FEMA to help small business, along with another $30 billion that will go to other mitigation agencies that will help states like New Jersey get back on their feet.

"If we don't pass the second and third part; this first part was helpful but this is beyond devastation it's a disaster on a disaster," expressed LoBiondo.

Part two of the bill will go to vote on January 15th and according to officials any more delays could have devastating damage economically on New Jersey's and it's $40 billion tourism industry.

"Timing of getting the money to the agencies like the army corps of engineers and other agencies that will help the state restore are critical and each day we lose now the further pain and suffering we're going to feel down the line," said LoBiondo.

And if for some reason the bill does not passed, officials say they will not give up until aid is received.

"We can't give up the fight, we can't give up the fight first and foremost for the people who were affected who's lives depends on us doing this to get them back on track," LoBiondo expressed.

 

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