Updated 12/07/2012 10:25 PM
Obama Administration Requests $60.4 Billion In Federal Sandy Relief Aid
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The Obama administration Friday asked Congress to approve $60.4 billion in federal Sandy aid that will cover costs to rebuild affected areas and mitigate damage from future storms.
The money will be doled out to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut proportionally, according to need.
Included within the $60.4 billion is a grant for $17 billion for housing and urban development and $11.5 billion for rebuilding transportation systems and preventing future damages.
Yesterday, Metropolitan Transportation Chairman Joe Lhota asked Washington for $5 billion just to get the MTA systems back to pre-Sandy levels, but also noted billions more would be necessary to protect the system from future storms.
There will also be $1 billion for small business loans.
Cuomo said the package was flexible and provided states with funds they could actually use.
“This is the first good news New York has had in a while," Cuomo said. "We certainly need it.”
President Barack Obama has also signed an Executive Order Friday establishing a Hurricane Sandy rebuilding task force, which will provide coordination for the rebuilding efforts.
Sen. Charles Schumer said the money, while it doesn't cover everything they asked for, is a good start.
"We’re very happy with the number although," Schumer said. "Obviously, we're going to keep fighting for more."
Cuomo said the White House would be understanding if the states approached them for further funding.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he'll keep working with Cuomo to ensure New York gets as much aid as possible.
But with the impending fiscal cliff, it could be difficult to convince Congress to pass a bill, especially when other states and regions are waiting to receive federal aid as well.
The request does not guarantee that the region will receive the full $60 billion.
Schumer said they hope to be able to get the funding approved before the end of the year.