House Passes Hurricane Sandy Relief Package
Posted by Christina Roof on January 16
The House passed H.R. 152, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013, yesterday evening. The bill provides over $200 million in funding to make all of the necessary repairs to the Manhattan VA, which was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.
The Manhattan VA sustained significant damage. Entire floors were flooded and critical medical equipment, like MRI machines, was destroyed. This damage forced the VA to shut down the hospital, leaving many New York veterans and their families without access to critical health care services and other resources provided by the Manhattan VA.
The VA estimates that it needs more than $200 million to repair and reopen its Manhattan Medical Center Campus. This includes funding for construction and equipment damaged in the storm. In the meantime, New York’s veterans now have to travel to other VA medical centers. This has been particularly hard on local disabled veterans, who must now find ways to get to VA medical centers farther away.
Before the last Congress ended, the Senate passed its version of the Hurricane Sandy Relief Act. Unfortunately, the bill failed to come to a vote in the House. So with the new Congress in session, the process had to start over, leaving veterans and their families waiting for funding to restore these critical services. IAVA applauds the members of the House for passing the bill yesterday. The bill now goes to the Senate and we call on the Senate to pass the bill quickly.
Our NYC veterans and families have already waited 10 weeks for this funding. IAVA looks forward to seeing this bill finally passed so New York veterans can get the care and services they need.
Christina Roof is a legislative associate at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Follow her on Twitter at @Christina_Roof.
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