Stephen Reader covers politics for It's a Free Country, WNYC's interactive politics site. He joined the station in 2010 and has also worked for Studio 360, WNYC's Peabody Award-winning show about art, culture, and creativity.
Citing massive economic losses to the state of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is asking Congress for $30 billion in additional funding for Sandy recovery.
The governor has already asked FEMA for 100 percent reimbursement of all Sandy-related emergency expenditures. Usually, FEMA only offers 75 percent reimbursement, with the affected state picking up the remainder of the bill.
But Cuomo says emergency expenditures on police and shelter after the storm are just a sliver of the cost of long-term recovery.
"This was cataclysmic for New York, and I think it's a wise investment for the federal government to help us build this economy back," Cuomo said at a press conference Monday afternoon, where he called for a $30 billion injection from the federal government to offset an estimated $30 billion in economic losses. "The sooner we get the New York economy running, the better for this state and this nation."
Most notably, Congress approved supplemental assistance for southern states in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Cuomo said that given the circumstances in a number of other cases where the federal government intervened, this should be a matter of routine.
"I think the equity and fairness is inarguable in this case," Cuomo said. "This is quite common, and it's been done in areas that were not nearly as affected as New York."
Cuomo didn't give specifics Monday afternoon on how the money would be spent, but said it would likely go toward infrastructure, housing, and helping small businesses.
The governor is not planning a trip to Washington in order to make his case. At a press conference in New Jersey immediately after the storm, President Obama promised the region federal support. The president returns to the region for a visit on Thursday.