One Year Later And Most Of The Money For Sandy Victims Still Not Spent

It’s been one year since Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of New York and New Jersey, yet most of the money still hasn’t reached those who need it. Congress quickly passed two bills appropriating tens of billions of dollars for Sandy victims, yet as of August 31, only about 11% of that money had been paid out. They’ve paid a little more since then, but it will take years before all of the money is accounted for.

“It has been nearly 10 months since disaster aid was appropriated and I am troubled by the fact that so little money has reached the people who need it,” Mr. Coburn wrote in a letter Friday to Shaun L.S. Donovan, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development who is overseeing the federal Sandy task force. “Concerns over the pace of the recovery continued to grow and one year later many residents of states affected by Hurricane Sandy continue to wait for help.”

Mr. Coburn, the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent staffers to the storm-damaged region and said local officials reported that it was hard to get straight answers from the government.

HUD is responsible for a huge portion of the Sandy money. Some $15.2 billion was designated for the department’s Community Development Block Grant program. But as of Aug. 31, just $2.1 billion had been obligated and just $135 million had been spent — less than 1 percent of the designated funds. (Read More)

This is so typical of our big, bloated government. The politicians went out and made headlines demanding money. Those who urged restraint and tried to keep unnecessary spending out of the bills were vilified. But then once the money was appropriated they all just moved along, failing to hold the administration accountable. Oh, but if a Republican was leading the administration have no doubt that we would be hearing about its failures endlessly.