Congressman Joe Courtney today released the following statement after he and the House voted to pass $9.7 billion of relief for Hurricane Sandy victims. The funding replenishes the National Flood Insurance Program, which is expected to run out of money to pay claims related to the storm next week. A second vote on an additional $51 billion in Sandy relief is currently slated for January 15.
"Today's vote is progress in the right direction. It also illustrates again why the House should have acted before the end of the last Congress to pass a comprehensive Sandy aid package to help families, first responders, towns and municipalities that have already waited too long for help to arrive.
"In this case, persistent, bipartisan, national pressure forced the House Republicans' about-face and today's vote. Until this package is passed in its entirety, that pressure should continue. The Speaker promised to complete work on this relief bill by January 15, and all of us from the northeast--Republicans and Democrats--will hold him to his word."
According to FEMA, nearly 140,000 flood insurance claims have been made to date, resulting in more than $1.7 billion in payments for storm survivors. However, there are a total of 120,000 flood insurance claims payments that may be delayed until Congress increases the borrowing authority for the program.