Washington, D.C. – Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) cast an important vote in support of a measure that passed the House 354-67 on January 3, 2013 authorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to raise the borrowing authority by $9.7 billion in order to cover claims by Superstorm Sandy victims.
“Last week the House passed a critical piece of legislation that will bring relief to many of my constituents that are still recovering from Sandy over two months after the storm hit,” said Jeffries. “This essential bill will expedite much-needed flood insurance payments to many families and business owners that have been suffering.”
The House bill is the first of two legislative measures designed to bring relief to Sandy victims in New York, New Jersey, and other states crippled by the devastating storm. The second step is passage of an additional $51 billion in aid that the House is scheduled to consider on January 15.
New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were the hardest hit by the storm. In New York, over 300,000 housing units were damaged and more than 260,000 businesses were affected. Sandy was the most costly natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Many neighborhoods in New York’s 8th Congressional District such as Sea Gate, Coney Island, Carnarsie, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach and Howard Beach experienced significant damage and disruption.
“This is the first piece of legislation I have co-sponsored as a Member of Congress and I am pleased that it has passed the House,” said Jeffries. “Help is on the way for residents with outstanding flood insurance claims. While this is an important first step, it is only a small down payment on the resources necessary to restore communities ruined by the storm. Our government must finish the job so that the people impacted by the storm can get their lives back on track.”
The Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent and it was signed by President Obama on Sunday, January 6, 2013.