Obama Asks For $60.4 Billion & Establishes Task Force For Hurricane Sandy Rebuild

Last Friday Barack Obama issued an executive order to establish a federal task force that will come alongside the Federal Emergency Management Agency "to provide the coordination that is necessary to support these rebuilding objectives." In addition, the Obama administration also asked Congress for $60.4 billion "for response, recovery and mitigation related to Hurricane Sandy damage in all affected States."

So as we face the fiscal cliff, that everyone has hyped, but doesn't seem to really concern our elected leaders, the Obama administration has requested over $60 billion dollars for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. They also requested that $55 billion of the 60.4 billion be considered "emergency", which would allow for the money to flow without violating the spending limits approved for the current year. So in other words, this would mean another $55 billion in increased deficit spending, which is above the limits that were agreed to in 2011's debt limit deal. See? You just cannot trust Democrats and liberals to keep their word on deals they make.

The National Association of State Budget Officers informs us that, " Of the total amount, $47.4 billion would be for relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts, while the remaining $13 billion is designated for mitigation efforts to prevent destruction from future storms. The request included: $21.8 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); $15 billion in flexible Community Development Block Grant funding; $12 billion for the Department of Transportation (DOT); $5.3 billion for the civil works water program of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and $33.2 million for the Army and Air National Guard, with the remainder going to other agencies. Mitigation projects designed to prevent devastation from natural disasters would be guided by regional response plans created by Federal agencies in partnership with state, local and tribal entities. Overall, approximately $55 billion of the total package would be considered emergency spending, while the remainder would come out of the $11.8 billion in spending already proposed by Congress for fiscal 2013 disaster aid."

The letter to Congress from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jeffrey Zients reads in part:

In total, the Administration requests $60.4 billion in Federal resources for response, recovery and mitigation related to Hurricane Sandy damage in all affected States. This includes efforts to repair damage to homes and public infrastructure and to help affected communities prepare for future storms. Attached is a detailed appendix outlining the specific needs, funding accounts, provisions, and principles that comprise the Administration's request for assistance.

Our Nation has an obligation to assist those who suffered losses and who lack adequate resources to rebuild their lives. At the same time, we are committed to ensuring Federal resources are used responsibly and that the recovery effort is a shared undertaking: private insurers must fulfill their commitment to the region; public assistance must be targeted for public benefit; resources must be directed to those in greatest need; and impacted States and localities must contribute, as appropriate, to the costs of rebuilding, Accordingly, consistent with the increased emphasis it has placed on the integrity of all Federal spending activities, the Administration proposes that controls be put in place to ensure that funds are used appropriately to protect against waste, fraud, and abuse.

Is anyone else buying this? There has been no integrity with Federal spending. There will be no controls in place that actually work to protect against "waste, fraud, and abuse." In addition the Nation (ie. the Federal government) does not bear an obligation to assist those who suffered. While individual citizens, churches, and charity organizations do bear a moral responsibility to their neighbors, they are never forced to contribute. Yet, what happens when they do? They provide a far greater benefit and sense of community than anything the Federal government does.

In addition, Obama signed an executive order on Friday that also established a new task force that will "identify opportunities for achieving rebuilding success, consistent with the NDRF's commitment to support economic vitality, enhance public health and safety, protect and enhance natural and manmade infrastructure, and ensure appropriate accountability. The Task Force will work to ensure that the Federal Government continues to provide appropriate resources to support affected State, local, and tribal communities to improve the region's resilience, health, and prosperity by building for the future."

Interestingly enough, just to demonstrate just how inefficient the Federal government actually is, the executive order gives the task force 180 days to come up with a strategy which includes providing a summary of their activities, a long-term building plan, goals, proposed legislation and regulations that could support the area's rebuilding, and a plan for monitoring progress.

That's six months to come up with this "strategy!" How long do you think the private sector or even the local and state governments would take to do this? New York has already established it's task force, made up of a bi-partisan team of ten State Senators, and is already under efforts for recovery.

For many residents the issue is finding temporary housing till they can rebuild, along with banks being far too slow in releasing advance checks to them and obviously a backlog with insurance companies.

While the Executive Order crams the heads or their designated representatives from at least 23 different agencies together into the Federal task force, one has to wonder when these people are going to have way too much on their plate to function properly. This inevitably will demonstrate the Federal government's inefficiency, including that of it's primary force on the ground, FEMA.

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  • cap

    who will gain from his generosity surly not sandy victims

  • auhunter

    My question is when are you going to start helping those living in tent city rolled up in blankets and plastic garbage bags trying to stay warm. You need to start thinking about the peoples immediate needs and then worry about rebuilding. It doesn't do much good to rebuild a home if the owner is dead from the flu and continuous exposure to cold and wetness. Again as usual you have the cart before the horse.

  • brandycreek


  • Hananova

    $60 billion? If there were 10,000 homes destroyed, that's $6 million per house. OR $1 million per house and $50 Billion for New York to give to their greedy bureaucrats and the millions of greedy welfare queens and bums with their "I'm entitled to it" hands out.

  • Hananova

    Another $60 billion in a new Obama slush fund. Anyone with a wet lawn will get $50,000 "repair" check.

  • Charles_Higley

    If the people of New Jersey were that under-insured, they get what they deserve. They live on low lands near the shore. What do they expect? It is not right to pour funds into a rebuild at taxpayers expense.

    Except, of course, unless you are the Undocumented Worker-in-Chief who will use any excuse to redistribute wealth, which is exactly the only thing he is good at.

  • red rose

    This makes me sick. Faith-based charities and local organizations can do more to help the people effected by Sandy than ANY "help" from the federal government.

  • har82

    Wow, this halfbreed just has no concept of broke .. Does he.

  • chris.

    obama can skip his expensive vacation and donate the money to Sandy. After all that side of the country voted him back in by illegal voting.

  • Ron G

    Mr President. There are no funds available thanks to you, reid, pelosi, dodds, franks and other democrats!.

  • freedomforall

    Congress should send this reply: "Although we appreciate your willingness to assist in the Sandy cleanup, your request and executive order are both ignored because we don't have the money...thanks to you and yours for spending $1.4 billion and counting, plus the 40+ czars and their staff of 465 (and counting); along with millions of additional wasteful spending that you refuse to disclose to the American people. Oh, and if you really want the money, first show us and the rest of the country your proof of eligibility to even sit in the WH. If not? You can wait till hell freezes over.

    • oldcoyote

      The jew money changers will just create that "money" out of thin air and charge us uswury on it.

    • har82

      Man, if only Congress had that kind of balls lol. But there isn't a real man amongst them.

  • rchguns

    If George Bush had waited this long to do something about Katrina you have the entire Black Caucus and two thirds of the population in the stricken area screaming at reporters to crucify him and labeling him a racist. Where is the outrage over the damage done by Sandy? Where is the black caucus screaming that the poor black people are without homes, oh that's right the majority of these people that were put out of their homes are not black! This administration is enough to make somebody nauseated. And the press is not much better when they'll go after one man who did more about Katrina and Obama has even tried to do about Sandy. Come on media what's the deal here why the double standard get out there and do your job.

  • neleh

    Just one more of O's task forces" that don't do anything!!!!!!

  • retiredmillwright

    I am wondering when the Socialist Obama will run out of his
    socialist buddies to create high paying jobs for. It’s got to the point where it takes a committee
    to regulate a committee. I bet the biggest decisions these committees make every
    day is what swanky restaurant to eat lobster and steak in, paid for by the
    taxpayers who are eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich out of a lunch