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.