This bipartisan Long Island Congressional Delegation sent a letter today to the Republican and Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives urging that a supplemental hurricane relief funding package be "the first order of business once Congress reconvenes" on November 13. The letter was signed by Reps. Tim Bishop, Carolyn McCarthy, Peter King, Steve Israel, and Gary Ackerman.
"As the winter months approach, Congress must act expeditiously to advance emergency disaster assistance to states and municipalities affected by Hurricane Sandy to ensure adequate resources are available to rebuild and repair our communities following the storm. This will undoubtedly be a tremendous undertaking given the hurricane's expansive imprint along the eastern seaboard," the delegation wrote.
The full text of the letter is included below and a PDF copy of the letter with signatures is available at: http://timbishop.house.gov/uploads/LI_Del_Let.pdf
October 30, 2012
Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi:
In the wake of one of the most severe storms to hit the Northeast region in decades, communities throughout several states are beginning to assess the damages caused the by high winds, heavy rain and flooding of Hurricane Sandy. Thanks to an intense public awareness campaign, and the efforts of our emergency management agencies, the loss of life due to the storm was minimized.
While many communities continue to feel the effects of the storm, it is clear that damages to private property and public infrastructure across the region far exceed local governments' ability to meet the needs of those affected. In my Long Island congressional district, entire neighborhoods are flooded, the coastline is severely eroded, many roadways and bridges are in peril, and hundreds of my constituents cannot return to their homes.
As the winter months approach, Congress must act expeditiously to advance emergency disaster assistance to states and municipalities affected by Hurricane Sandy to ensure adequate resources are available to rebuild and repair our communities following the storm. This will undoubtedly be a tremendous undertaking given the hurricane's expansive imprint along the eastern seaboard.
In fact, the overwhelming need to act quickly to prevent further human suffering, to restore my district and so many affected communities and families along the East Coast makes it imperative that hurricane relief and recovery should be the first order of business once Congress reconvenes.
Indeed, it is the responsibility of Congress to ensure that federal agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), have adequate resources to assist states and local governments rebuild their infrastructure and property. Following a storm of this magnitude, it is also vital that small businesses are able to rebuild and restock quickly to ensure their doors remain open and protect the many jobs they sustain. Therefore, it is vital that the Small Business Administration and the Department of Agriculture are properly equipped to assist individuals, businesses, farmers and fishermen hardest hit by the storm.
It is critical that Congress act immediately to ensure our neighbors across the Northeast have access to the resources they need to rebuild homes, businesses and communities. I stand ready to work with you, and our colleagues in Congress, towards this aim.
Tim Bishop, Carolyn McCarthy, Peter King, Steve Israel, Gary Ackerman
Members of Congress