Congress approves some Sandy storm relief amid anger over delay

Comments (46)
bobber1956 wrote:

NO MORE BORROWING! You just got tax hikes use that or do without.

Jan 03, 2013 9:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Jameson4Lunch wrote:

70 billion dollars of free money for those building in coastal areas which will always be prone to disaster… If private insurance companies don’t think it’s worth the risk to insure, I’m not sure why the rest of the country should have to foot the bill.

Jan 04, 2013 11:48am EST  --  Report as abuse

The previous comments are spot on. Why is it that the taxpayers who have to foot the bill for FEMA and all other government disaster relief are expected to continue to pay for coastal damage done time and time again? If homeowners were held personally accountable for repairing the damage to their homes and businesses without taxpayer assistance, would they continue to build homes and businesses in areas they know will eventually flood? While these homes and businesses may bring a certain amount of revenue to state and local governments, it is apparent that the cost of repairing the damage far outweighs the revenue acquired. Common sense is not so common.

Jan 04, 2013 12:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
yurakm wrote:

ye, right. Nobody would rebuild homes and businesses in areas that will eventually flood. Cost of repairing damages far outweighs the revenue acquired. Particularly on Manhattan and nearby area affected by Sandy.

Jan 04, 2013 12:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
auger wrote:

This is not “insurance” – whatever it is. My deceased Father would call it by the name of what comes from the rear end of a horse. Funding disasters after they occur with borrowed money replacing the premiums that were already (mis)spent is not insurance by anyone’s standards

Jan 04, 2013 12:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
anarcurt wrote:

First, this is not free money. All these people had flood insurance and the money is to make sure there is enough money to pay their claims.

Second, most of the damage was done in places that have previously gotten through hundreds of tropical and winter storms. This was a once in a century kind of storm.

Third, NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut pay much more money to the Federal Government then they get back. If they can not help out in times of emergency then what good is the union to us at all?

Forth, Most of these homes were built before the seas started rising and the storms grew more intense from global warming. It’s not like these communities have been rebuilt time and again. As mentioned prior, many of these areas have been around for 50 to 100 years plus without this kind of major flood damage.

If the government is too hard up for cash to help it’s citizens in time of crisis then maybe it can take the money from other areas like the tens of billions sent to Israel each year or the tens of billions spent on farm subsidies in red states.

Jan 04, 2013 12:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mixup wrote:

After years spent deriding ObamaCare the GOP now has to defend their response to SandyCare. They painted themselves into this corner. Can we now expect the GOP to use the same logic by funding healthcare through taxation?

Jan 04, 2013 12:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RSaltyDog wrote:

No doubt there was pork in this bill but every bill that goes up has pork. The House passed to bail out TARP and part of the pork was for bows and arrows. Agreed we need reform on pork but not at this on this bill. What this shows is that if any disaster hits your state The House of Reps will not be there for you. Republicans generally support small business but not this time. Yep there was Rum as pork in this bill but there will be no aid coming for small business in NY/NJ. I have been a conservative all my life but what has become of the GOP makes me ill. In the end the GOP/House stood with Big Business and did nothing for the American people. My GOP House Rep of 15 years has finally proven to me that he would not fight or represent my state in a time of crisis. No time to waste of the civil war of GOP or TEA. Just become an Independent.

Jan 04, 2013 12:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sjfella wrote:

Wow, it’s easy to see the joyful Christmas season is over.

Jan 04, 2013 12:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
PKFA wrote:

So again the taxpayer gets the shaft.

Jan 04, 2013 12:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Jameson4Lunch wrote:

anarcurt – It is free money. The premiums were obviously too low to actually cover the costs. It’s government subsidized risk taking at every Americans expense. I agree, stop giving money to Israel, it’s almost like a direct payment to US defense contractors. Stop giving money to farmers, it distorts actual market values of food, and causes corn to be grown in regions that can only support it by draining their watersheds. And stop subsidizing bad behavior. If the market can’t offer affordable flood insurance due to the risk, that should tell you something.

Jan 04, 2013 1:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

The US taxpayers have given Israel almost 100 billion in the past 50 years, and give Israel billions every year. I don’t think the people of New York and the other areas are asking too much when they ask for help.
90% of all Americans live on the coast, the more important and largest cities are on the East and West coast. That is for shipping, etc.
For anyone to think the 200 million people living in coastal areas should not be helped is total insanity. That means not helping our members of the military, especially the members of the Navy who own homes near their bases on the coast, while they serve to protect us.
By the way, over 90% of those on the coast ARE insured by private companies.

Jan 04, 2013 1:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Rich_F wrote:

take out the pork and only leave it stuff specifically for sandy aid and the house will have no problems passing it. instead they’ll continue doing “the usual” in washington and stuff pork into every single appropriations bill they review. the more things change the more they stay the same.

Jan 04, 2013 1:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
auger wrote:

I’ve no objection to the residents receiving protection they purchased, but calling it insurance is indefensible. It’s closer to a slush fund

Jan 04, 2013 1:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RIPatriot wrote:

Some insurance policy, in case of claim, we borrow money from your kids to pay it, how does that make any sense? I guess flood insurance rates need to be a hell of lot higher?

For fun go look up how much money the FDIC – another “insurance” company – has. They have jack squat. If a bank fails they have to borrow money to pay its depositors.

Everything the government done is backed by nothing and is nothing but a lie.

Jan 04, 2013 1:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Loothor wrote:

Always delightful to see how many idiots start railing about how taxpayers are getting the shaft any time a government agency has to pay for anything. Let’s take a look at some of the stupider comments so far:

“NO MORE BORROWING! You just got tax hikes use that or do without.”

Hey, idiot: THIS IS AN INSURANCE PROGRAM BORROWING MONEY AGAINST FUTURE PREMIUMS THAT WILL BE PAID BY THE INSURED. Would you RATHER the Government used TAX money paid by people who don’t need this insurance to pay for the damage? I hope not, because that’s STUPID.

“70 billion dollars of free money for those building in coastal areas which will always be prone to disaster… If private insurance companies don’t think it’s worth the risk to insure, I’m not sure why the rest of the country should have to foot the bill.”

WRONG: It’s not “free money”, it’s a LOAN that will have to be paid by the premiums paid for by the people who use this insurance.
MORE WRONG: Plenty of private insurance companies are willing to provide this insurance, the Government decided to create the NFIP in order to use the insurance as leverage to encourage flood-prone areas to fund the building of flood channels, levees, dams, etc. in order to minimize future damage.
EVEN MORE WRONG: The “rest of the country” will not be “footing the bill” for this. Again, it’s a LOAN against FUTURE PREMIUMS paid by ONLY THE PEOPLE THAT USE THIS INSURANCE.

“The previous comments are spot on.”

Dear Ignoramus: No, clearly they are not. You, like the posters you so readily agree with without any actual comprehension of the facts, have failed to understand that this is not a big pile of taxpayer money handed over to flood victims. Again, IT IS A LOAN to an INSURANCE PROGRAM that will be paid back ONLY BY THE PEOPLE WHO USE THIS INSURANCE. This is what insurance companies, both public and private, do when faced with a large number of simultaneous claims.

“Common sense is not so common.”

That is the only smart thing any of you ignorant fools said, although you said it for all the wrong reasons.

Jan 04, 2013 1:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:

So while I agree the Federal Flood Insurance Program needs serious reform, as in not subsidizing development in areas that should not be developed. But not paying out what was promised to be paid out is just plain wrong. Reform the system, but that does not mean do not pay current claims. It is much like the debt ceiling this is not new spending, this is simply paying the bills Congress has promised to pay in the past.

On another note I find it funny that the GOP balks at paying out for events like this, but will do nothing about one of the drivers of the increased frequency of extreme weather events, Climate Change.

Jan 04, 2013 2:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SonnyHi wrote:

These comments below that complain about disaster relief for those that live on the coasts are so narrow minded and selfish. Gheez.. should we not grant relief to those that suffer yearly flooding from the Mississippi and elsewhere? Tornadoes.. Why do people have to live where there are constant tornadoes? Those freakin’ Hawaiians that live near that volcano… Not to mention all those goofballs near the fault zones..
That’ll get FEMA down to size..
The gummint wants to take away our gums…

Jan 04, 2013 3:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mike439 wrote:

The trouble is all the pork, and also that the people that didn’t pay into the flood fund want it too! Cities want to rebuild all their damaged systems and they didn’t have enough insurance to cover it all either. Believe me if a flood happened in my area and you didn’t have insurance you would be SOL.
The fact is like all of the new generation, they want something for nothing!

Jan 04, 2013 3:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Pilat wrote:

What in the world has taken the house so long to help these people out? Over two months have passed, and unlike hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, folks in NY and NJ are in the middle of winter. This only compounds their misery. It’s not like the temperatures are at bearable levels to live without heat or power. Can it be that NY and NJ vote Democratic whereas the Southern states are solidly Republican? I agree with Gov. Christie–storm relief never used to be a political issue. If catastrophes can’t bring this country together, what can?

Jan 04, 2013 3:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
user4301 wrote:

Are we to gather that One hundred million Californians will get the same “charity” from the Republican party in the case of an earthquake?
What about Texas, Oklahoma etc etc from tornadoes? How comforting for you all.

Jan 04, 2013 3:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but, we have this National Flood Insurance Program because private flood insurance companies have opted out insuring property on the coasts due to evident increased risk, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to divide us, and I think we should all help each other out when disaster strikes, all the people and all the sister states. But, do people who live on the coasts or the Mississippi pay proportionately more into the Nat’l Flood Insurance pot? Or is it pretty much the same for everybody?

How is it really all that different from nationalized, “socialistic” health insurance for all? Why is it the Senate struck down a bill to help our veterans returning from two wars because the gov would have had to borrow One Billion dollars to make it happen? Are not our fighting men and women as important as our communities?

Jan 04, 2013 3:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MeJustMe wrote:

The house passed exactly what was needed when it was needed. I suppose when the bill came from the senate, all of the house members should not have read the bill and signed onto it? They did exactly what they should have done, analyzed the need, pass a measure to keep FEMA solvent, and then look at the rest and pass that which is needed – not what is necessarily wanted. C’mon Alaska, 10x more for Amtrak than what was lost? I say nice job house.

Jan 04, 2013 3:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
truedat1 wrote:

Republican Congressman Peter King spoke the truth the other day when he said “If you’re from NY or NJ and you give one dime to the Republicans, you’ve got to be out of your mind”! I’m a Sandy victim who DID HAVE gov’t mandated NFIP flood insurance and yet I’m still waiting over 2 months to have these incompetents do the right thing so that I can put my life back together.. I’d love to know how all these Republicans who voted “No” can justify it . If they say “pork” I’ll have to laugh because I’m pretty sure this is not the first time in history that unrelated things were ever attached to a bill. Seems like Republicans don’t like the northeast. OK, the feeling is now mutual. I will never vote R again other than maybe local races.

Jan 04, 2013 3:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Adevarul wrote:

Stop all the blue state red state bulll s hi te! There are a lot of people in the heartland who left their homes and provided disaster relief and opened their wallets for victims of Katrina. They did the same for Sandy. Everything from utility crews to groups that came to give food, medical supplies and lots of labor. And I don’t suppose anyone in NY or NJ is eating any of the food grown in the red states of the Midwest..oh, they are. And finally, the insurers and the govt will absolutely see that people in the red states pay for the stupidity of cleaning up and rebuilding AGAIN right on the beach…so those on the coast can be near the water.

Jan 04, 2013 3:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MeJustMe wrote:

@Zen … there are rates for flood prone areas that are dramatically more expensive than those areas where flooding is less prevalent – they are rated according to flood zones published by the Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance is insurance and occasionally it does get raked over the coals like insurance companies that take property risks due to windstorm. The problem is that rates may not reflect the true risk and if a property owner had to pay the true cost of such insurance, the cost prohibitive nature may actually go a long way to limit the risk that the flood insurance program would undergo – if you can’t afford the insurance then you don’t build on the property.

Jan 04, 2013 3:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse

@AmericanGuy- I’m not necessarily disagreeing with your overall post above, but I’m not sure about your 90% figure of Americans who live on the coast.

IIRC, I read an article in Nat’l Geographic that said, as of 2010, around 50% of Americans lived 20 miles or less from the coasts.

Jan 04, 2013 4:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Loothor wrote:

“Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but, we have this National Flood Insurance Program because private flood insurance companies have opted out insuring property on the coasts due to evident increased risk, right?”

Mostly wrong, but at least you are one of the few people here that sort of understands that this is not a taxpayer bail out. There’s almost no such thing as “private flood insurance companies” and never has been, probably because flood damage is too much of a massive single-hit liability (insurers don’t like having to pay out a huge amount of claims all at the same time and when floods happen they wipe out a huge area all at once).

We have the NFIP because the Government wanted to use offering non-profit flood insurance as a way to encourage flood-prone communities to invest in flood prevention/reduction measures to lessen the cost of future flooding, and to prevent massive taxpayer-funded aid costs when floods happen (theoretically less people would need emergency aid because more people would be able to rebuild/repair quickly due to insurance funds, which are paid for by the insured instead of the taxpayers at large).

The NFIP is funded exclusively by premiums from people that own property in flood-insured areas. It is not a tax, it is property insurance bought by the people who own the properties.

In practice, it’s not so clear if this works well because it tends to create properties occupied by renters rather than owners for several reasons (caps on claims combined with claims being limited to the owners and not occupants of a property, for example), and then the lower-income, lower-asset renters are more likely to need emergency aid.

There’s a LOT of ignorance in these comments about what this money is for and where it comes from. A loan to pay an extraordinary amount of flood insurance claims that will be repaid with interest by the premiums of the insured is not at all the same as a giant taxpayer-funded bail-out of all of these property owners.

Jan 04, 2013 4:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RR1966 wrote:

Let’s set aside emotion and look at the facts: we’ve become used to overspending. Who will pay?

The sooner we face up to our chronic overspending, the better. If we keep prolonging the party and living beyond our means, when the inevitable crack comes, it’s going to be a terribly rude awakening.

Those who live in false optimism, becuase they live outside of reality, turn to terrible despair when their bubble is popped. They just change one extreme of irreality for another.

Our economic crisis has a deeper moral root to it. We overspend because we lack temperance. Let’s address the root cause of our troubles: intemperance. Then, our economy and society will return to order.

Russell Kirk said: “Order is the first need of the soul.” I wish more people would think this way today. Some are.

I wish them success.

Jan 04, 2013 4:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AZWarrior wrote:

Don’t mind helping out a bit, but come on. Pork, subsidized risk, and just plain old greed is beyond my responsibility to pay for.

Jan 04, 2013 4:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
julri wrote:

For some of you commenting on here. you don’t change the rules in the middle of the game! I guarantee if it was you needing said funds you’d harp a different tune. If the rules need fixing, fix them by all means necessary, afterwards! But this constant bellyaching about the paying for the fact of the rules set and money spent is getting rather old.
We should NOT have allowed building in some areas period. Thats A big Shoulda,Coulda, Woulda. It be cheaper to buy out some of the owners in these areas than to keep throwing good money after bad. Unfortunately most of the vast population centers in our country are in vulnerable areas. To cry out now that its a subsidy and should be discontinued is a farce. It is expensive to run a modern country with a huge infrastructure, that needs vast sums of money to continue. its a fact of life and yes we have to pay for it.
Just cause you don’t live there is no excuse. Everybody subsidizes everyone else whether its roads,airports, ports, etc etc. so just stop the bellyaching already.

Jan 04, 2013 4:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Jameson4Lunch wrote:

@ZenGalacticore – The figure I’ve read is a little over 50% within 50 miles of the coast.

Jan 04, 2013 4:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mechanoid1 wrote:

Flood Insurance is just Like Social Security. People pay into it. government uses/steals the money on other expenses (wars/military, stc…) Then when the money is needed people say why should the taxpayer pay for others? Guess what you arent. If the monies collected for Social Security and Flood insurance where not raided. there would be enough for when its needed.
Income Taxes alone isnt enough for wars/military/government employees/etc.. thats the issue.
Thats the problem.

Jan 04, 2013 4:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
slimy wrote:

Congress has greatly expanded FEMA’s powers to enlarge it’s own. To legitimize FEMA, it was put under Homeland Security.

Fed’s should not have a role in disaster recovery. It’s state and local government turf. FEMA and similar agencies should be terminated.

Jan 04, 2013 4:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
LGSonoita wrote:

I lived in the lower Keys during hurricanes Georges and Wilma. Wilma put two feet of saltwater in my home. Thousands of dollars worth of damage. FEMA refused us. The government barely paid attention to the Keys. We rebuilt out of my pocket and eventually got some help from our insurance. Where were these fictional billions then? We knew the risk of living on the ocean, and hurricane preparation was simply a part of our life. I have no sympathy for those that went through Sandy. If the possibility exists of hurricanes heading your way, you should be ready to deal with it.

Jan 04, 2013 4:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
nixonfan wrote:

I forget. Which article of the Constitution covers weather damage? Is there something about homeowners insurance that Chuck Schumer doesn’t understand?

Jan 04, 2013 4:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
nixonfan wrote:

I forget. Which article of the Constitution covers weather damage? Is there something about homeowners insurance that Chuck Schumer doesn’t understand?

Jan 04, 2013 4:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
seren37 wrote:

I bet if it was aid for Texas Tornadoes, the Teepers would have passed it a day Before the storms hit. They’re mostly unreconstructed rebels who want a do-over of the Civil War by destroying the North and the Federal “gummint,” even though the North gives more in taxes while the South Takes. If they hate the “gummint” so much they should stop TAKING.

Jan 04, 2013 5:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
daylily wrote:

One wouldn’t think that the last 75 years that have went by in the past, with very few storms, that all that insurance govt funded money that homeowners paid every month went into the general fund would you?

Jan 04, 2013 5:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
daylily wrote:

Why not move the coast lines back 20 miles, that are rebuilt over and over again, turn in to huge national parks, make all residents move back to that 20 mile limit

Jan 04, 2013 5:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Handbook wrote:

A very, very large chunk of this money will go to pay overtime for cops and firemen. Hey Maw! More gravy please! It’s gravy train time!

Jan 04, 2013 6:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Telstar wrote:

The negative comments are stupid.

‘Ensure the general welfare’ covers government roles.

What do you think is going to happen with a 9 earthquake is Southern California if the entire might of America is not unleashed? The country will fail!!!!!

Jan 04, 2013 8:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ermie wrote:

Christie potential GOP presidential candidate? Sorry but his fate was sealed when he embraced Obama. We will never again embrace Christie, he is s fool!

Jan 04, 2013 9:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Darr247 wrote:

Not one penny of taxpayer funds for rebuilding stick-frames in a flood plain or on the beach. If you can afford a house on the beach, you can buy insurance and make hurricane-resistant mods on your own dime.

Jan 04, 2013 11:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse

@James and MePlusMe-

Thanks for the info fellows. Silly isn’t it? I could’ve just looked it up on Wiki, but I was typing and functioning spontaneously, then had other things to do today/yesterday.

Hehe! We all know that’s how it is, these days!

Jan 05, 2013 12:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
EdgePrice1978 wrote:

The Senate and President knew the House would not pass a bill that had large amounts of money earmarked for items unrelated to the disaster. The original bill was 60 Billion with about 30% truly pork to get the Senators things for their districts, if they would vote for it!
It is time that all bills have the pork taken out of them, special interests have way to much power. I wonder who actually writes these bills, the lawyers for special interest groups?

Jan 05, 2013 12:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
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