Updated 12/05/2012 07:25 PM
Cuomo: Reports On Lowered White House Request For Sandy Aid Are "Premature"
Leaders in New York hesitated to weigh in on speculation the state could get far less than expected in aid to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
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After it was reported that the White House would submit a request for hurricane relief far below what New York wants, New York leaders were withholding judgment.
"I believe the White House has said that was premature, so I will wait to find out what they are saying," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
White House officials Wednesday didn’t want to talk about reports that the president is going to ask Congress for far less money for Hurricane Sandy relief than Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked for.
Earlier this week, Cuomo went to Washington to request $42 billion for New York to recover from Hurricane Sandy. About $9 billion of that would go to infrastructure to prevent some of what was seen during Sandy's surge.
"I know that is a lot of money. I understand the fiscal situation. But that is the need and we are looking to meet the need," Cuomo said.
Many in the state's congressional delegation said $50 billion for the region is not enough, but they, too, were taking a 'wait and see' approach.
"His offer is not officially on the table yet," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney. "We have been appealing to him and we hope it will reflect, really, what the needs are that have been expressed by our governors and our delegation."
"They are not based on wishes and wants of things we always wished we had," said Rep. Michael Grimm. "They really are the what I would call bottom line necessities, and I would really urge those in the administration helping the president put this together to really look at these and reconsider all the different factors."
"Some officials would not speculate on how much money the state could get from Washington. The mayor's office said it would withhold comment until a concrete proposal was made.
Experts said the state should not expect to get everything it wants.
"What should we get? I would say focus on the transit, the transportation, getting the hospitals back, getting the emergency repairs for things like roads, bridges, parks, bringing down the trees, things like that," said Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute.