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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 152, Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I want to respond to my Republican colleague who just spoke. I respect him tremendously, but I want him and everyone to understand that this really is emergency relief that we're talking about, and I want to give you some examples from my district.

For example, he talked about the Community Development Block Grant. I have a town like Sea Bright, New Jersey, where only two businesses in the business district right now are operating. The problem is that, oftentimes, their flood insurance doesn't cover the damage, and even the money coming from FEMA, which is probably only for some type of loan fund, doesn't cover it. So the Community Development Block Grant in Sea Bright will be used to help those businesses come back. It will be grants to the businesses and grants to the homeowners so that they can rebuild.

The same is true of the Army Corps of Engineers projects. We need the Rogers amendment. We also need the Frelinghuysen amendment because the Frelinghuysen amendment has all of the Army Corps projects as well as those of the Community Development Block Grant. Those Army Corps projects basically let us put back the beaches, put back the dunes, put back the flood control devices so that we don't have another storm in the future, which could happen at any moment, that would destroy the towns again and wreck even more of our businesses or our homes.

Also, the money that's in the $17 million initially is the public assistance money that allows us to rebuild our boardwalks, bring back our tourism. We can't delay any longer because, if we don't get our tourism industry back in place--our businesses, our homes, our boardwalks, our infrastructure back in place--by Memorial Day, then the jobs and the economy that are linked to tourism will be gone. We need this entire package.

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