Lack of storm aid vote angers homeowners - CBS 5 - KPHO

Lack of storm aid vote angers homeowners

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More than two months after Superstorm Sandy caused billions in damage to Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, storm victims will apparently have to wait for a new Congress to deliver relief aid.

House Republicans decided Wednesday night to delay the vote and that's got victims and Connecticut legislators spitting mad.

With the initial storm cleanup done, municipalities and homeowners are anxiously waiting for Congress to provide the funding that will help to rebuild.

"It's very difficult not knowing where you're going to go, when you're going to go or how you're going to go," said Sallly Howley of Old Lyme. "At least hopefully we will rebuild here."

Sally and George Howley have owned their home for nearly 50 years, however it was wrecked by Sandy. 

While they're waiting for the demolition crew to arrive to finish the job Sandy started, Congress delayed its vote on disaster aid for thousands of victims along the eastern seaboard.

"It's frustrating in the sense we're put on the back burner and Congress didn't want to pass the bill and help all of those affected by Sandy," Sally Howley said.

Speaker of the House John Boehner adjourned the 112th Congress before voting on the bipartisan bill, which is aimed at helping people get back on their feet following Hurricane Sandy. The bill had already been passed by the Senate.

On the floor of the house many Democrats such as U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro blasted Republican leaders for lack of action.

"In a shocking display of neglect this House majority decided not to allow a vote on disaster aid funds," she said.

DeLauro said the government should be helping people "recover and rebuild from major disasters" such as Hurricane Sandy.

"Our people cannot be on their own," she said. "We have a central responsibility to act on behalf of the American people when they are overwhelmed by circumstances that they had no control over. Let us act. Let us act today to restore that faith and confidence in the American government."

However, she was not the only Connecticut legislator upset about the decision.

"To deny this aid really goes against the tradition of this country," said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. "That we come together and we aid victims of natural catastrophe."

The Associated Press is reporting Boehner has assured members of the house that a vote on the Sandy aid bill will occur by Jan. 15.

However, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was so upset about the decision that he wrote a letter to Boehner.

"It sends a terrible message to the citizens of the affected states that the leadership of the House of Representatives feels no sense of urgency, with winter upon us, to aid fellow citizens in their great time of need as the Congress has done time and again when other natural disasters have devastated communities elsewhere in the country," Malloy wrote in the letter.

The town of Clinton is looking for relief aid after having spent about $1 million on Superstorm Sandy repairs.

"It's very disappointing that it's become so political that they don't consider the people, the people and their well-being," said Clinton First Selectman William Fritz Jr.

Besides getting some state and federal aid, many private homeowners are also trying to resolve insurance claims two months after the storm.

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