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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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Mr. KING of New York. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of this legislation. This legislation is the first necessary step that's needed to provide the assistance and relief and aid that the people of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut require after the most devastating storm in the history of our region, in many ways, one of the top two or three, unfortunately, most severe storms in the history of our Nation.

This legislation is essential because people are suffering, and the suffering increases each day. And as I said, this is the first major step that we're taking. Hopefully, this process will be completed on January 15.

I want to thank the leadership of both parties for coming together on this.

I want to emphasize that this legislation is vital. This is not a handout. This is not something we're looking for as a favor. What we're asking for is to be treated the same as victims in all other storms, all other natural disasters have been treated.

Also, I think it's important to lay out, because this is part of a process, that, in the legislation that was originally going to be introduced in this House, there was never an earmark in the bill; there was never any extraneous spending the bill. I think it's important for the Members in both parties to realize that. The House of Representatives' bill was always targeted toward victims of Hurricane Sandy. It does not go beyond that. It's important to lay that out.

It's also important to realize that, again, as we are talking here today and as the vote goes forward and as we go forward toward January 15, the real suffering is out there. My own neighborhood in Seaford, homes are devastated. There's a woman who lost two sons in 9/11. She lost her home now. This is a crisis of unimaginable proportions unless you're there. The national media is not following it, but if you went to these homes, if you saw the suffering that's going on, if you saw the people who don't have food and shelter, you would realize how horrible this is.

So it's important we act. It's important we put past recriminations behind us. Let's all stand together as one, all as Americans, Democrats and Republicans. I think Governor Christie and Governor Cuomo have set that model and that tone in New York and New Jersey. So let's follow their example here. Let's go forward standing as one.

Again, I urge my colleagues to strongly support this legislation today and also as we go forward on January 15.

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Mr. KING of New York. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I think it's important to point out that the House bill never contained any of those extraneous provisions. When the bill came over here, our leadership agreed that all that was taken out so that there was nothing about any other State other than those directly affected by Sandy.

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