A continuing federal government shutdown could delay distributing federal aid to Hurricane Sandy victims, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned.
Mayor Bloomberg said during his Oct. 6 radio address that it has become clear, after discussions with federal officials, that the shutdown could cause a meaningful delay in the processing and distribution of federal aid related to Hurricane Sandy.
“Right now, Washington’s gridlock is doing real harm to our nation’s economy. If they don’t get their acts together soon, New York City families, especially those who endured the worst from Hurricane Sandy, will feel real pain,” the mayor said.
And because community development block grants and other types of federal aid require approvals and constant correspondence with federal officials, “we’ve been advised that delays in vital and mandatory tasks are inevitable,” the mayor said.
“For example, if you are a business owner in the Rockaways (in Queens, New York), this could mean a longer wait time for grants and loans, prolonging what has already been a difficult and cumbersome process for so many.”
The mayor also warned that critical infrastructure projects that rely on federal funding — dunes replenishment and coastal protections to help safeguard millions of New Yorkers — may see additional delays.
Moreover, despite all approvals being in place, the federal government has yet to release the second installment of Sandy recovery funds, the mayor said, adding that this shutdown should not be used as an excuse to further delay funds that have already been appropriated.
“But Congress’ failure to act will hurt people and not just the families hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately, unlike mayors, too many representatives in Washington act as if they can just take positions without considering the real world consequences for real people,” the mayor said. “Enough is enough. It’s time for Republicans and Democrats in both the Senate and House of Representatives to come together and reach an immediate resolution.”