Congressman Sires joined his colleagues in passing H.R. 152, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, to provide $50.4 billion in disaster relief funding to states hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. The final bill, combined with the $9.7 billion in funding for the National Flood Insurance Program that was passed by the House last week, would equate to $60.1 billion in disaster relief funding for the New York and New Jersey region impacted by Sandy.
"While I am disappointed by the drawn-out process surrounding the passage of this legislation, I am pleased that local municipalities and victims of Sandy will finally be assured of the relief they need and know that help is on its way," expressed Congressman Sires.
Specifically, H.R. 152 is comprised of two separate components- an amendment offered by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) to provide $17 billion in Sandy relief funds, and an amendment offered by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) to provide an additional $33.4 billion in Sandy relief funds. As amended, H.R. 152 would provide $50.4 billion in Sandy relief funding, including $11.5 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund and $16 billion for Community Development Block Grants to help municipalities rebuild property damaged by the storm. The bill also provides $5.4 billion for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and an additional $5.5 billion for the FTA mitigation funds to repair our transportation infrastructure in a manner that prevents similar destruction from a natural disaster like Sandy in the future. $118 million would also be provided to Amtrak, whose service was knocked out for several days as a result of Sandy.
"The damage done by Sandy is far beyond the resources and capacity that any single state possesses to recover on its own. Tens of thousands of New Jerseyans impacted by Sandy are still without permanent housing, and hundreds of municipalities are looking to rebuild- this funding will help our communities prosper once again," stated Congressman Sires.
H.R. 152 is now under review in the Senate.