As federal disaster relief funding for Hurricane Sandy remains under consideration, Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) visited Misquamicut today for an update of storm recovery efforts with Westerly Town Manager Steve Hartford and Executive Director Lisa Konicki of the Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of Commerce. They traveled down Atlantic Avenue to view the progress along the beaches, stopping outside businesses along the way.
"Tremendous progress has been made and many areas on Atlantic Avenue have been cleared, but we cannot lose sight of the immense challenges still facing our coastal communities" said Langevin. "I commend Steve for his tireless efforts on behalf of those affected by this disaster and the Chamber for all of their work to fund grants for rebuilding businesses."
"Congress must also do its part to help communities rebuild. When we reconvene next week, we cannot allow for any more delay in passing the full $51 billion that was approved by a bipartisan majority in the Senate to address damage done to infrastructure, fisheries and small businesses."
On Friday, Langevin supported passage of an initial disaster relief bill providing $9.7 billion to replenish the National Flood Insurance Fund and ensure qualifying home and business owners affected by Hurricane Sandy receive flood insurance payments.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), funds would have been exhausted by this week without additional borrowing authority, delaying about 120,000 claims payments.
Langevin pressed House Republican leadership for more than a week to allow a vote on a $60 billion package that passed the Senate at the end of December with bipartisan support. It included additional vital assistance for infrastructure repairs, aid to fisheries and support for the Small Business Administration's response efforts. The beginning of a new Congress required the legislative process to restart.