On Friday, the House voted on $9.7 billion in additional borrowing authority for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to assist Hurricane Sandy victims. Congresswoman Jenkins released the following statement after the vote:
"The National Flood Insurance Program is in desperate need of reform, as it is already $20 billion in the red and has been on unsound financial footing since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This most recent Hurricane Sandy disaster-relief bill was only a small part of a larger aid package to be considered in upcoming days. I hope Congress will come up with a package that will directly help Sandy victims, and be offset with spending reductions.
"So far, we have seen a $60 billion plan, where less than half of the funding goes directly to Sandy victims, while the rest goes to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments, repair national cemeteries, fix the roofs of the Smithsonian museums in Washington, fund Alaskan fisheries, among other things. Considering our $16 trillion spending problem, the pork in this piece of legislation is senseless and wasteful.
"Congress has a responsibility to help disaster victims, but we also have a responsibility to taxpayers to come up with a cost-effective aid package and not exploit suffering to fund unrelated, long-sought-after measures. Instead of rushing to pass an relief package using a bankrupt program, I urge Congress to devise a reasonable and cost-effective disaster-assistance program."