Congressman Charles B. Rangel issued the following statement in response to the Senate passage (62-36) of H.R. 152, The Sandy Disaster Relief Act, a disaster relief package that includes $50.4 billion in aid to those who were affected by Superstorm Sandy. The House passed the bill a vote of 241-180 on January 15th:
"I thank the Senate for doing the right thing again and passing this bill. The failure of the House to act at the end of last year has resulted in an unnecessary delay. The many families and small businesses in the tri-state area that were affected by Superstorm Sandy have been waiting for four months for us to act. The aid provided in this package will help in rebuilding the lives and businesses that have been devastated by this historic storm and will enable communities to continue their recovery efforts.
The passage of this legislation shows that when enough people speak up, Congress will listen. I urge an expedient passage of the legislation that I have introduced with my Colleagues in the House Ways and Means Committee, Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), John Larson (D-Conn.) and Joe Crowley (D-NY), to provide tax relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy throughout areas designated as Federal Emergencies by the President.
There are still thousands of people who are suffering in our communities as a result of Hurricane Sandy. So many have lost their lives, homes, businesses and jobs. We must act now so that the benefits will be available when the individuals and companies fill their 2012 tax returns. We are working in concert with Governors from New Jersey, New York and Connecticut and hope our Colleagues in Congress would support our efforts. "