Today, Congressman Sires sent a letter to President Obama requesting additional funding for federal disaster assistance programs, as well as an extension of the 100 percent cost share of disaster assistance to states and local governments by the federal government. The letter was sent as a result of diminishing funds available in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s Disaster Relief Fund.
"Tropical Storm Sandy took the lives of more than 100 Americans, destroyed homes and businesses, crippled infrastructure and devastated a large portion of the East Coast," expressed Congressman Sires. "We must rebuild our communities in the most efficient manner possible- we cannot wait years for the restoration to begin. It is imperative that more funding is readily available to local and state governments to cover the necessary costs for complete recovery."
Specifically, Congressman Sires urged the Office of Management and Budget to submit an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2013 budget request, pursuant to the Budget Control Act, to provide emergency aid for federal disaster assistant programs. Additionally, it was requested that the Administration extend current provisions for 100 percent reimbursement for a full 30 days after the disaster and expand these provisions to cover all direct federal assistance. The letter also advocated for the President to take into consideration the full scope of recovery assistance when preparing the Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal.
"A full recovery will require disaster assistance programs through a number of agencies and departments across the entire federal government- not just FEMA," stated Congressman Sires. "In addition to providing increased and immediate monetary assistance now, it is critical that in preparation for the Fiscal Year 2014 budget, the President and Congress must factor in the financial resources that will be necessary to meet ongoing recovery needs."