Continuing his efforts on behalf of northern New Jersey's residents who have endured repeated losses due to severe weather and flooding, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) called on Congress to act quickly to ensure that the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Flood Insurance Program does not lapse at the end of the month.
"I have fought for years for a long term reauthorization of FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program so the people of Northern New Jersey can recover from recent flood damage and we can move forward to rebuild our housing market," said Pascrell, a co-chair of the Congressional Hurricane Irene Coaltition. "I recently met with a delegation of New Jersey's Relators to discuss their priorities, and I couldn't agree more that this reauthorization is top of the list. As we work to a final conclusion on a long term plan, we cannot wait and must act immediately to ensure that the current program does not lapse at the end of the month."
The National Flood Insurance Program is run by FEMA and is almost the exclusive provider of flood insurance. The program is set to expire on May 31st. The program covers tens of thousands of active policies in New Jersey and has helped pay out over $600,000 in recent flood losses. If it lapses, new construction would stall throughout the state.
"As a state legislator, a Mayor and as a Congressman, I have worked with towns, residents and businesses on flood mitigation plans that include housing buyouts and elevations because the people of northern New Jersey know the pain of flooding all too well. The most concrete step we can take to assist the residents of northern New Jersey is to come to a final resolution on a long term reauthorization. I will continue to fight for this goal and work with the local communities to ensure that they are protected. But we cannot let this program lapse, we must act now."