Congressmen John Tierney, Barney Frank and Bill Keating today urged House Appropriators to include assistance for Northeast fisheries in any disaster relief package offered this year. The complete text of the letter follows.
December 3, 2012
Dear Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Dicks:
In September, the Department of Commerce issued a disaster declaration for the groundfish fishery in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and Rhode Island. Last month, another groundfish fishery disaster declaration was granted for New York and New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. With disaster declarations now having been issued in several states, it is imperative for Congress to promptly move forward with appropriating sufficient funding for our fishermen. We write to respectfully request your support for and assistance with appropriating fishery disaster funding as quickly as possible to help the fishermen we represent.
Specifically, should the Appropriations Committee craft and advance supplemental disaster assistance legislation to help affected states recover from Hurricane Sandy as well as this year's record drought, we strongly believe such a bill should also include sufficient funding for our fishermen. If a supplemental disaster assistance bill is not considered, we then ask that sufficient fishery disaster assistance be included as part of any final Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bill that provides funding for the Department of Commerce.
We believe the provision of disaster funding -- along with overhauling the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and ending the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's overzealous regulatory practices -- is critical to supporting our fishermen and helping them get a fair shake. We stand ready to work with you on this important priority to our local communities.
Thank you in advance for your attention and assistance.
John F. Tierney, Member of Congress
Barney Frank. Member of Congress
William R. Keating, Member of Congress