Reports: Obama to request less than states say is needed in Hurricane Sandy aid


President Obama will ask Congress to chip in $50 billion in emergency aid to help states recover from Hurricane Sandy, The New York Times and others reported Dec. 5. That falls short of what the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut last week said they need in sum.

Andrew Cuomo said New York alone needs $41.9 billion, Chris Christie said New Jersey needs $36.9 billion, and Dan Malloy said Connecticut will seek $3.2 billion in federal aid.

The Obama administration has yet to publicly confirm a figure. "We are still working on what our request will be. We do not have a specific number," Shaun Donovan, the housing and urban development secretary, told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Dec. 5.

He added that the administration expects to submit a request by the end of the week. A spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency did not return a call asking for confirmation of the $50 billion number.

New York and New Jersey's four senators put out a statement that said $50 billion is not enough.

"It unfortunately does not meet all of New York and New Jersey's substantial needs. While we know there will be additional supplementals, the administration needs to come as close as possible to meeting our states' needs in the first request," the senators said.

New York's assessment of $41.9 billion is made up of about $33 billion in repairs and $9 billion to prevent damage from future storms. The prevention money would fund projects such as flood protection for roads, subway tunnels and sewage treatment plants, as well as backup power systems for hospitals.

Of the repair money, about $15 billion would be for New York City. Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk counties would get nearly $7 billion and $2 billion, respectively. The rest would go toward other counties, utilities, state agencies and transit authorities.

New Jersey's assessment divides up into about $29 billion for repairs and $7 billion for prevention. The former includes roughly $8 billion for businesses, $6 billion for parks and the environment, $5 billion for housing and $3 billion for water and sewage systems.

Connecticut's $3.2 billion request is for prevention. The governor's office said it would like to bury power lines, harden infrastructure and establish microgrids in high-density areas.

For more:
- go to the NYT article on Obama's request
- go to the assessments and requests of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

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