Nadler: End The Madness & Approve Funding For Hurricane Sandy Relief

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Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), representative of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan communities hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, spoke in strong support of H.R. 152, the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Appropriations bill ($17 billion), and the Frelinghuysen Amendment ($33.4 billion) to provide funding for the Northeast to rebuild and recover from the storm. Nadler again lambasted the Republican Leadership for needlessly delaying the votes to provide funding for Sandy victims in immediate need.

“On the surface, New York City appears to be back up and running, and other issues are dominating the news,” said Nadler. “Maybe some of my colleagues are not aware of just how many people are still suffering, of how many unmet needs there are in storm ravaged communities, and of how much work is still to be done to rebuild and recover. Many people are still homeless, and the lack of long-term housing is a problem for which we do not have an adequate answer. The restoration of heat and power remains a challenge. There are increasing reports of people, including small children, getting sick from exposure to toxic mold, sewage or other hazardous substances. Entire neighborhoods are still dark and largely abandoned.”

Below is the full text of Nadler’s statement on the House floor, as prepared:

“Mr. Speaker, this bill is long overdue. Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast almost three months ago. Never before has the House of Representatives taken so long to meet its obligation following a major disaster. I am relieved that we are finally considering this bill today, but I am once again disappointed that some on the other side are playing politics by trying to add poison pills and offsets that jeopardize this aid package. As the current debate over the pending sequestration shows, finding offsets is no easy task, and it makes no sense. It defies the very nature of emergency aid, and it impedes the federal government from doing its most important job – protecting its citizens when calamity strikes. It is truly outrageous.

“On the surface, New York City appears to be back up and running, and other issues are dominating the news. Maybe some of my colleagues are not aware of just how many people are still suffering, of how many unmet needs there are in storm ravaged communities, and of how much work is still to be done to rebuild and recover. Many people are still homeless, and the lack of long-term housing is a problem for which we do not have an adequate answer. The restoration of heat and power remains a challenge. There are increasing reports of people, including small children, getting sick from exposure to toxic mold, sewage or other hazardous substances. Entire neighborhoods are still dark and largely abandoned.

“Many small businesses in Lower Manhattan still have, or are just now paying off, disaster assistance loans secured after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack. Many of these businesses were already operating on a thin profit margin. Without additional resources, and a faster rebuilding process, many of these small businesses may close for good.

“The needs are great, and yet the House has failed to act. Back in December, the Senate passed a $60.4 billion disaster aid package that tracked very closely to the Administration’s request, and which was based on conservative assessments of the needs across the region. The House should have taken a similar initiative and passed a recovery package weeks ago. There is simply no justifiable reason for the delay unless you believe that when disaster strikes, you’re on your own. Let us once and for all reject that notion, and meet our obligation to get emergency aid in the hands of those who need it most. I urge my colleagues to end this madness and vote for the underlying bill, for the Frelinghuysen Amendment, and against all poison-pill amendments.”

(YWN Desk – NYC)



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