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NEW: Langevin Says More Needs to be Done After Passage of Sandy Relief Bill

Saturday, January 05, 2013


While expressing disappointment with the continued delays in approving necessary disaster relief, Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) on Friday helped the House pass, by a 354-67 margin, legislation to ensure home and business owners flooded out by Hurricane Sandy will soon be able to receive flood insurance payments. The bill, H.R. 41, provides $9.7 billion to replenish the National Flood Insurance Fund, raising its borrowing authority by that amount.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), funds available to pay flood insurance claims will be exhausted by next week without additional borrowing authority. Without this change, about 120,000 flood insurance claims payments would be delayed, including about 115,000 related to Sandy.

Langevin pressed House Republican leadership from the start of this week to allow a vote on a $60 billion package that passed the Senate last Friday 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.

“While I have been mystified by the fact that we cannot more immediately address the massive needs for repairing damage from Hurricane Sandy, today’s vote is at least a welcome move in the right direction,” said Langevin. “Congress has long had a vital role in disaster relief, and I continue to urge passage of the remaining funding from the bipartisan Senate bill as soon as possible. We cannot let politics create more uncertainty for the people most impacted by this devastating storm.”

Langevin will visit Misquamicut on Monday to view the progress made in dealing with the damage from Hurricane Sandy and receive an update on the recovery from Westerly Town Manager Steve Hartford.


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The problem is that the relief bill is loaded with pork spending totally unrelated to helping the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. Some of the ways our politicians are pigging out on our tax dollars:

$13 billion for mitigation projects to prepare for future storms
$17 billion for unrelated Community Development Block Grants
$150 million for fisheries in Alaska
$207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center
$2 million to repair pre-storm roof damage at Smithsonian buildings
$4 million for the Kennedy Space Center in Florida
$41 million for clean-up at military bases -- including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
$4 million for FBI vehicles, equipment and furniture
$2.4 million for Customs and Border Protection vehicles
$58.8 million for forest restoration on private land
$197 million for "protection" of storm-impacted ecosystems and habitat
$10.78 billion for future public transportation
$1.1 million to repair national cemeteries
$5.2 million for the Justice Department
$3.5 million for Homeland Security

The politicians who inserted this pork are exploiting the victims of the storm. If any of these needs are worthy, let them be aired and debated separately.

Jim, I hope you're not one of these disgusting politicians who use a real emergency to steal and direct taxpayer money to your special friends.

Comment #1 by Art West on 2013 01 06

@Art West

There was another article about the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill, "Allison Westhaver" did a great job also, at listing the pork in this bill.

Thank you for doing what our media is supposed to.

Hey media are you listening? This is what that "freedom of the press" part of the First Amendment was about. It is there so you can keep the citizens informed about what the politicians are doing.

Art, Thanks again, great job.

Comment #2 by Wuggly Ump on 2013 01 07

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