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WASHINGTON, D.C.-- U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) called Congressional passage today of a flood insurance bill a necessary first step and chided House Republican Leadership for denying a vote on a comprehensive Sandy relief bill earlier this week.
"Approval of this funding is a needed step, but the House still needs to approve the comprehensive Sandy relief bill that Speaker Boehner held up earlier this week. We'll continue working to break the political gamesmanship in the House that is denying needed support for suffering Superstorm Sandy victims," said Lautenberg, Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee which funds FEMA. "The flood insurance measure will continue to help New Jersey families and businesses, but the real heavy lifting in the House remains and it's shameful that House Republicans denied a vote on the comprehensive bill while families continue to suffer."
This measure is one piece of a comprehensive Sandy recovery package that Lautenberg helped to author in the Senate as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Last week, the Senate passed the full bipartisan $60.4 billion funding bill, including the flood insurance provision, but House leadership refused to take up the bill before the end of the 112th Congress, leaving the flood insurance program at risk. Instead, House leadership delayed the vote on the full package for two weeks and pulled out the flood insurance piece for a vote today. It has been more than nine weeks since Superstorm Sandy hit.
The provision passed today raises the borrowing authority of the National Flood Insurance Program by $9.7 billion. Because of Superstorm Sandy, the program would have exceeded its borrowing authority as early as this weekend. There were a total of 120,000 flood insurance claims payments nationwide that were at risk of being delayed had Congress not passed the $9.7 billion flood insurance provision. In New Jersey, 63,000 claims were at risk of being delayed.
The National Flood Insurance Program is a FEMA administered program that offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and businesses in flood-prone areas.
Read this original document at: http://www.lautenberg.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=338198