Stymied Sandy victim depending on Congress to pass relief bill

(CBS News) STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Domenic Camerada has been working with his sons to rebuild the first floor of his Staten Island, N.Y., home since Sandy wiped it out nine weeks ago. Now he has a new problem.

"I'm out of money," Camerada says. "I'm at a standstill now. I can move forward, I can put sheetrock up, but after the sheetrock, there's no money."

The only financial help he's received is $18,000 from FEMA.

"They're telling me that I can rebuild my house for $18,000. I can't rebuild this house for $18,000," Camerada says.

Camerada is hoping he'll get some of the $32 billion of Sandy aid that's destined for New York if Congress passes the relief bill.

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Asked how he felt when U.S. lawmakers delayed a vote on an aid package for Sandy victims, Camerada says, "It makes you sick."

"It's like a slap in the face, when you think about the way that we're being treated by the government -- that they're withholding, you know, money that should have been given to us, you know, to help us rebuild," he adds.

President Barack Obama, along with New York's senators and governor, visited Camerada's neighborhood and spoke with him in mid-November. Camerada is happy they're pressuring their fellow lawmakers for the relief money.

"They've actually seen the destruction first-hand," he says. "Now let's see if the money is going to get forwarded to the people who really need it."

With no savings left and no more help from Washington, he worries he might lose the home he built 25 years ago.

  • Seth Doane

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