Obama tells storm-hit New Jersey: ‘The whole country is behind you’

September 5, 2011

By Vicki Needham -The Hill

President Obama vowed to get federal money to those hard hit last weekend by Hurricane Irene during a trip to New Jersey to tour storm damage.

The president traveled to Paterson, N.J. on Sunday to view areas affected when the Passaic River crested over its banks forcing hundreds to evacuate the area. Obama spoke with local residents, many still without power.

“You know, it could have been worse,” Obama said. “But we should not underestimate the heartache that’s going through a lot of these communities, affecting a lot of families.”

“The entire country is behind you,” he said. “We are going to make sure that we provide all the resources that are necessary in order to help these communities rebuild.”

Late last week the White House told Congress they need $5 billion more in disaster relief money, outside of what’s needed for Irene.

Under the budget deal crafted in August, there’s $11 billion in aid available that doesn’t need offsets as some Republicans have demanded, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

Right now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has less than $800 million in its disaster relief fund to help out those affected by Irene through September.

As for those who say it may take a while to find funds “we are going to meet our obligations,“ Obama vowed.

To read more, visit: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/179493-obama-to-storm-hit-new-jersey-the-whole-country-is-behind-you



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