Bloomberg goes to Washington to push Congress to fund Sandy relief efforts
Stressing Gotham's economic importance to the U.S., Mayor Michael Bloomberg went to Washington D.C. Wednesday to make a plea for more money to cover the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in New York City.
The mayor spent most of the day meeting with top members of the House and Senate, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor andHouse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, to see if they can get FEMA to reimburse the city for $9.8 billion in damages. The city took a $19 billion hit, but the rest of it has been covered already by FEMA or private insurance.
The mayor noted the U.S. could not afford to let New York recover solo since it generates 4.3% of the nation's annual gross domestic product.
"These numbers clearly show that New York City's recovery from Sandy is vital to America's continued economic recovery and growth," he said during a news conference at Capitol Hill.
The city already authorized $1.2 billion in emergency money to help the parts of the city that the storm devastated such as the Rockaways and Staten Island. There is still long-term work to repair roads, homes and other pieces of infrastructure.
President Barack Obama pledged to support the Big Apple but Congress has not responded to Bloomberg's request.
Although FEMA paid the city $5.4 billion so far, the mayor said long-term costs will rise and it would be impossible for the city to fit the bill without assistance.
"We are going to get things done," he said. "I couldn't be more confident that they will help us make sure we get everybody back safe and sound in their homes."