Hurricane Sandy Relief Requests Throws A Wrench In Fiscal Cliff Talks
Hurricane Sandy recovery requests posed to the federal government have reportedly caused more verbal battling on Capitol Hill. A bi-partisan group of governors calling for relief from the monstrous hurricane are making their presence known during the already tense budgetary talks in Washington.
Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that the full cost of Sandy is yet unknown, but he expects the hurricane to be a 40 to 50 billion event while on Capitol Hill Monday. Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to offer a similarly grim fiscal outlook on storm recovery costs later this week, according to Fox News.
The anticipated $80 billion hurricane relief expense is expected to cause stumbling blocks for the Republican budget proposal. House GOP leaders have requested that hurricane recovery expenses be offset by cuts taken elsewhere. Both Democrats and some Republicans in areas devastated by the storm and reportedly not happy with the idea of cuts based upon state aid for Sandy.
Democratic New York Representative Jerrold Nadler had this to say about the fiscal cliff and Hurricane Sandy debate:
“Offsets make no sense. I’ve never seen a delegation as united or focused. If you’ve walked the street you know how desperate the situation is. This is no time for politics. When we work together no one can beat us.”
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate reports that the federal agency does not expect any immediate need for extra funding until early spring, Reuters notes. Fugate also noted that FEMA’s short-term “expertise” will ultimately be replaced by long-term programs for housing run by HUD.