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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, this amendment, if passed, would not allow the Sandy States or future States to protect themselves against future disasters. Now, my colleague draws a very clear line between present rebuilding and protection for the future. If a dune is wiped out in Long Beach and they think it ought to be rebuilt at 7 feet rather than at 5 feet because 5 feet wouldn't be good enough, we come to the irrational conclusion that we will pay for the 5 feet and not the 7 feet. It makes no sense.

Most of the cost of rebuilding is to restore, but if there is an extra amount needed to prevent damage from a future hurricane and it is the same type of project, fine.

We have a couple of piers that actually protected the houses in the Rockaways, but they didn't build enough of them--not piers, jetties. Now, under my colleague's proposal, we could rebuild those jetties because some of them were destroyed, but we couldn't build new ones to protect the other land there except at this 65-percent level.

I can tell my colleagues that most of New York and New Jersey are dotted with little localities, and the cost of these projects is so expensive, if we say 35 percent, they won't get built, period. We will have no protection, and we will be back here sure enough when another storm occurs.

Furthermore, it is not true--Katrina Army Corps projects were funded at 100 percent. They did not call them. We didn't draw this new line between mitigation or rebuilding to protect and building for the old. They were lumped together. But the overwhelming majority of Army Corps projects for Katrina, as both of my colleagues from Louisiana can tell us, were 100 percent.


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