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Temporary Increase in Borrowing Authority for National Flood Insurance Program

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. LOWEY. I thank the distinguished, distinguished ranking member, Mr. Meeks, for your eloquence, as always.

Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of this legislation, and I would like to thank Chairman Garrett for introducing this legislation and for his efforts to bring it to the floor with bipartisan support.

The National Flood Insurance Program has hit its limit. Without an increase in borrowing authority, it will be unable to pay for claims as early as next week. And that means that 120,000 flood insurance claims payments will be delayed, nearly all of which are due to Hurricane Sandy.

However, this bill is just not enough. It's not adequate. In December, the Senate passed an emergency assistance package to aid in the Sandy recovery, which included this legislation. Earlier this week, I expected, as did my colleagues, that the House would vote on a complete emergency assistance package to aid those in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York who have lost homes, businesses, and their livelihoods. Sadly, the 112th Congress ended without action, and now we are starting over on important legislation which is absolutely critical to help storm-affected areas that should have and could have been signed. We know that there's no reason it wasn't signed in 2012.

However, we have now been promised a vote on the Sandy emergency assistance package by January 15, and families in my district and throughout the region are looking to Congress and asking, ``Why are you making it so difficult for us to rebuild? Why are you making us wait to rebuild?''

Today's legislation is a start, but only a first step, toward providing relief for those who suffered as a result of Hurricane Sandy. We don't need a piecemeal approach. That is not the way that Congress acts. We need a comprehensive Sandy recovery bill passed today.

We hold you to your commitment of January 15 and not a day later. We need this complete bill.

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