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Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 4899, Disaster Relief And Summer Jobs Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, D.C


Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I rise in strong support of the rule and the underlying legislation, H.R. 4899, the Disaster Relief and Summer Jobs Act of 2010. I want to commend the Rules Committee, Chairman Obey and the rest of the Appropriations Committee for bringing this legislation to the floor. This legislation further shows the Democratic majority's commitment to supporting jobs for the American people. Jobs for over 300,000 young people this summer are supported and fully offset in this legislation.

Last weekend, the 8th Congressional District of New Jersey, along with many other communities throughout the State, were hit with a severe nor'easter that caused near record flooding throughout the Passaic River basin. The rising waters, combined with downed trees and power lines, have led to the closing of many roads and bridges. Over 2,500 residents were forced to evacuate; and State, county and local first responders continued their great work to help safeguard life and property.

The flooding has damaged over 3,000 homes. I went back on Monday to see for myself. I took 3 hours and came right back. Over 400 businesses were devastated. A preliminary damage assessment estimates the loss to the public sector alone to be almost $10 million. That is the public sector.

On Monday when I briefly returned to my district to see for myself, FEMA was there on schedule, and we hope there will be a very short period between the time they present their information to the Governor of the State of New Jersey and then he will make his appeal to the Federal Government. That is how FEMA should work. We just got notice, in fact, yesterday that the snow disaster that occurred in the southern part of the State is just being responded to, so these are bureaucratic nightmares, particularly to those people forced out of their homes.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Mr. PERLMUTTER. I yield the gentleman another 30 seconds.

Mr. PASCRELL. It is critical that we approve the $5.1 billion included in this emergency legislation to allow FEMA to continue its work helping areas of the country like northern New Jersey recover from these natural disasters.

I urge an ``aye'' vote on the rule and the underlying bill.


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