Members of the Colorado Congressional delegation in the House of Representatives introduced a bipartisan bill today that would lift the cap on funds appropriated in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. Currently, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) emergency relief funds are capped at $100 million per state and incident. The legislation would lift the cap for the purpose of rebuilding roads and bridges, many of which provide vital access to towns and communities that have since been cut-off due to the unprecedented flooding. Estimates now put the number of bridges that have been damaged or destroyed above 50.
"In recent weeks, Colorado has experienced some of the worst devastation that it has ever seen. The loss of life and property have taken a toll on many, and I strongly urge Congress to act now to help rebuild the many roads and bridges -- some of which were the only way to access communities -- that were destroyed due to this historic flooding. I will continue to fight not only for the cap to be lifted, as has been done in the past, but also to ensure that Colorado rebuilds to be stronger and more resilient than ever. We will get through this, because we are Colorado." - Rep. Cory Gardner (CO-04) said.
"While the rains have stopped and the floodwater is receding, our recovery from this unprecedented flood is just beginning. Thousands of Coloradoans still can't get to their homes until our roads and bridges are repaired. This simple legislation will provide the funding necessary for the Colorado Department of Transportation to rebuild our infrastructure." - Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02)
"As the flood waters recede, communities across Colorado are facing the daunting task of rebuilding not just homes, but the critical roads, bridges and infrastructure that connect us. This legislation provides some certainty to our communities to know our nation is willing to commit resources to help us rebuild in a safe and timely way so people can return to their businesses, homes and families." - Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
"In the past few weeks, Colorado has faced one of the worst floods in our state's history; one which caused massive devastation that will be felt for years to come. This bipartisan bill will help rebuild the washed out roads and bridges that have been lifelines for communities across our state, and will play a key role in ensuring our recovery. I urge all my Congressional colleagues to act, standing with the Colorado delegation, as we work to rebuild our great state." - Rep. DeGette (CO-01)
"I am happy to join with the Colorado House delegation in a united legislative effort to give Colorado the help it needs to recover and rebuild from these devastating floods." -- Rep. Coffman (CO-06)
During Hurricanes Gustav, Ike, Irene, Sandy and the Missouri River basin flooding, the cap was lifted. Due to the fact that this money has already been appropriated, this legislation has a Congressional Budget Office score of $0, meaning it is completely deficit neutral.