House Passes 1st Sandy Bill

Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) took to the floor of the House of Representatives today to call on his colleagues to support legislation funding the National Flood Insurance Program to assist victims of Superstorm Sandy.

“I rise in strong support of H.R. 41 and I want to thank Leadership for posting it today and especially thank Chairman Scott Garrett for authoring this critically important—boosting the NFIP’s borrowing authority by $9.7 billion. And I am very proud to be a cosponsor,” said Smith, who represents the Fourth Congressional District, the hard-hit area of northern Ocean County and southern Monmouth County where Sandy made landfill. “The devastation unleashed by Sandy is without precedent and the impacted communities are in dire need of comprehensive assistance. Nowhere is this more evident than in the sheer magnitude of the housing damage and the subsequent housing need.”

The measure passed, allowing $9.7 billion to fund the National Flood Insurance Program, and is the first of the scheduled bills to assist victims of Sandy. Two votes are slated by House leadership on Jan. 15 to bring the assistance to $60 billion.

“According to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s office, Sandy damaged or destroyed 346,000 housing units—of that number, some 72,397 were covered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIB) whose owners have submitted claims—and are waiting for the insurance payout for comprehensive repairs,” said Smith.

“Thus far, only 18 percent have received funds pursuant to their claims. Over 80 percent of my constituents, who have filed claims, are waiting in limbo and in an intolerable situation that is making a bad situation worse.

“Moreover, Madam Speaker, throughout the region there are a total of 115,000 insurance claims related to Sandy. Many of them are waiting as well. This is must pass legislation. We have an obligation—we have a duty—to meet this compelling need and contractual obligation.

“This legislation takes us in that direction, and again, I would like to thank Chairman Garrett for his leadership.” TLS.

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  1. Chris Smith has disappointed me with his parties abuse of Sandy Victims. He then proceeded to vote for Boehner as Speaker even after the man lied to him. He should abandon the Republican Party and become an independent.

  2. all 67 representatives who voted to reject this bill were republicans, mostly from states that came begging for help they deserved after katrina. those 67 should be ashamed of themselves. there was no pork on this bill, no rider, only approval to pay the claims that are deserved to be paid. this is simply disgraceful, and a great way to set the gop up for more defeats in the coming years.

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