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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 152, Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. MENG. Mr. Speaker, I strongly support the H.R. 152, made in order by this rule. But the rule itself is flawed. It allows amendments that would negatively impact the middle class. We should not offset disaster aid by cutting funding for veterans, food safety and education.

I am also disappointed that the Committee did not make in order an amendment I proposed, or a similar amendment offered by my new Colleague Chris Smith, that would help churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship recover from the destruction left by Hurricane Sandy.

These amendments would have given houses of worship the same chance for aid that other private nonprofit facilities receive. Superstorm Sandy was an exceptionally rare event with immense destructive force, and these establishments provided extraordinary service to the community during the hurricane. It would be unfair not to give them FEMA support and an opportunity to rebuild.

Because of the severe crisis experienced by Queens and the rest of New York, houses of worship should be able to receive the same consideration for aid that other private nonprofits do.

I am grateful that the Committee is allowing us to consider the Frelinghuysen amendment, which would provide thirty-three billion dollars in much needed aid to the states devastated by Sandy. I urge the my colleagues to support the Frelinghuysen amendment and to support H.R. 152 on final passage.

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