Temporary Increase in Borrowing Authority for National Flood Insurance Program

Floor Speech

By:  Rush Holt, Jr.
Date: Jan. 4, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HOLT. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 41. I am a cosponsor of this must-pass bill and I urge my colleagues to vote for it.

FEMA announced yesterday that its ability to pay claims under the National Flood Insurance Program would be exhausted by the second week of January. Congress must act now to approve additional borrowing authority and bring much-needed relief to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have suffered in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy flood-related damages to their homes and property.

While I strongly support passage of H.R. 41, I want to reiterate that our fellow citizens affected by Hurricane Sandy have already waited far too long for help from Congress. In other natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, Congress acted swiftly, and aid reached those in need. And yet earlier this week, the 112th Congress adjourned before passing a much-needed disaster relief package. The Senate had already acted to pass a well-constructed aid package bill. The only reason that this bill is not law today is that House leadership refused to act.

This devastating storm has left many people hurting in many different ways--shopkeepers, homeowners, fisherman, hotel and restaurant owners--and has damaged the entire economy. The Senate-passed Sandy relief package responds to this variety of needs and concerns. I urge Speaker Boehner to bring the Senate disaster relief package to the floor without delay.

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