Himes Helps Pass Bill to Fund Sandy Flood Assistance

Targeted News Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 -- Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn. (4th CD), issued the following news release:

Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) praised passage today of a bill that will enable the National Flood Insurance Program pay claims to Superstorm Sandy victims and called for action on legislation that will provide the balance of funding necessary to support Sandy recovery efforts. At the end of the 112th Congress, the Senate passed a $60.4 billion assistance package, but House Republican Leadership chose to delay consideration of the bill. Responding to outrage from Himes and a bipartisan coalition of representatives, Speaker John Boehner agreed to move forward with recovery funding.

Click here to watch a video of Himes speaking on the House floor urging action on recovery funding for Sandy. (http://www.house.gov/htbin/leave_site?/ln_url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msCQYHSxzwA&feature=share&list=UUCeB6czh6nhCHxOMCk_V4yA)

"My constituents and all the victims of Hurricane Sandy--many of whom are still living in misery--shouldn't have to wait any longer to get the help they need to move forward with their lives. As a nation, we have always provided federal assistance in times of disaster, and help for Sandy victims is long overdue," Himes said. "People died. Homes were floating in the Long Island Sound. Towns and cities face billions in repair costs to roads and buildings. Is there really a question that this help is necessary?"

Himes is a cosponsor of the bill passed today, which provides increased borrowing authority to FEMA for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The program's authority to borrow from the Treasury to pay claims was previously raised in response to several hurricanes in 2005 (including Katrina) and several times since. The NFIP, which provides federal flood insurance to properties located in flood-prone areas where the community has agreed to institute floodplain management and land-use control measures that minimize the risk of flooding, is expected to run out of money to pay claims next week.

The legislation passed by the House today takes the first steps toward providing the recovery assistance residents from Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey desperately need, but the Congress has taken a record amount of time to act on the legislation necessary to fund recovery efforts. In 2005, Congress passed legislation 10 days after Hurricane Katrina. Likewise, after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, it took congress only 17 days to act. Sixty-eight days have passed since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the shores of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, and the House of Representatives has yet to act on a comprehensive aid package.

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