The first order of business as U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) returned to Capitol Hill was to meet with Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Craig Fugate, representatives from the Obama administration, and seven other Members of the House of Representatives whose districts were affected by Hurricane Irene to discuss the ongoing recovery efforts and long-term outlook.
"We cannot allow partisan brinksmanship cripple the federal government's work in helping people recover from disaster. That is precisely why all of us in this group of eight -- Democrats and Republicans -- made it our top priority today to come together and pledge our unfailing support for FEMA as the agency works to help people in our districts," said Pascrell, an original member of the House Homeland Security Committee, who welcomed President Obama and FEMA Director Fugate to New Jersey's 8th District on Sunday. .
"We all recognize that that nation needs to get its fiscal house in order. But that won't be accomplished by forcing the federal government to turn its back on entire cities that have been flooded because Congress didn't provide the funding. Families throughout New Jersey were struggling before Hurricane Irene, and they are confronted with more torrential rains more than a week after Irene. The last thing they need is a storm of red tape from their federal government denying them the help they need."
The other Coalition Co-chairs are Reps. Welch (D-Vt.), Gibson (R-N.Y) DeLauro (D-Conn.), Hayworth (R-N.Y.), Butterfield (D-N.C.), Marino (R-Penn.), and Jones (R-N.C.).
More than 30 offices were represented at today's meeting, including Reps. Welch (D-Vt.), Pelosi (D-Calif.), Hoyer (D-Md.), Larson (D-Conn.), Cantor (R-Va.), Tonko (D-N.Y.), Butterfield (D-N.C.), Pascrell (D-N.J.) Lance (R-N.J.), LoBiando (R-N.J.), McCarthy (D-N.Y.), Runyan (R-N.J.), Jones (R-N.C.), Ackerman (D-N.Y.), DeLauro (D-Conn.), McIntyre (D-N.C.), Olver (D-Mass.), Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.), Smith (R-N.J.), Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Scott (D-Va.), Hayworth (R-N.Y.), Sarbanes (D-Md.), Nadler (D-N.Y.), Langevin (D-R.I.), Marino (R-Penn.), Hanna (R-N.Y.), Grimm (R-N.Y.), Holt (D-N.J.), Meeks (D-N.Y.), Fattah (D-Penn.) and Sens. Brown (D-Mass.) and Warner (D-Va.).
An outreach effort is underway on Capitol Hill to all Congress members representing areas of the nation affected by Hurricane Irene.
Also, Rep. Pascrell was among the Congress members notified today by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA that the incident period for New Jersey's disaster declaration for New Jersey is now August 26 to September 5.