Update (Feb. 13): The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation that will allow churches (and other houses of worship) damaged by Hurricane Sandy to apply for taxpayer-funded relief aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The bill is also expected to pass the Senate, according to Religion News Service.
According to The Hill, the House bill "would amend the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to include houses of worship in the list of non-profit groups that are eligible for federal disaster aid."
FEMA's current policy does not allow churches, synagogues, and mosques to receive federal aid, although religiously affiliated groups may apply.
With the U.S. Senate set tovote today on an additional $50.5 billion in disaster relief funds for victims of Superstorm Sandy, ...1