Temporary Increase in Borrowing Authority for National Flood Insurance Programby Representative Sean Patrick Maloney
Posted on 2013-01-04
MALONEY of New York. I thank the gentleman for his
leadership and for yielding.
Madam Speaker, the victims of Superstorm Sandy can wait no longer. It's been 11 weeks. Haven't they suffered and waited long enough? The people whom we represent, who sent us to Washington to serve and who are now not merely crying out for help but screaming for assistance, demand that we act without further delay and pass this bill to immediately increase the borrowing authority of FEMA and carry out the intended purpose of the National Flood Insurance Program. That help is, embarrassingly, overdue. Right now, if we fail to act and do not pass this bill, there's a total of 120,000 flood insurance claim payments that will be delayed and not paid.
This bill before us now will temporarily increase the borrowing authority for the National Flood Insurance Program by $9.7 billion-- much more is needed--and a vote has been promised of $51 billion on January 15. That absolutely needs to happen. Funds for Katrina passed this House in less than 2 weeks. We have been waiting for 11 weeks. Funds for Ike and Gustav passed very quickly. Again, the northeast corridor has been waiting for 11 weeks.
It should not take much imagination to appreciate what it's like at this very moment for those who have been waiting who have been affected by the flooding caused by the superstorm. For 11 weeks, they have been waiting while this body sat on a bill that should have long ago been signed, sealed, and its help delivered to those in desperate need. They wait for the billions that they need to rebuild. They need it for the transportation system. They need it to make sure that this doesn't happen again and to prevent floods in the future. They wait, many shivering tonight in the cold of New York, where temperatures are, again, below freezing. They are in homeless shelters and hotels, staying with friends. They are waiting.
This body needs to act, and needs to act today. It is long overdue.
They wait on us to act, their lives on hold. They dream of re- building their homes, their businesses, their lives. And all the while we sit here comfortably and have failed to act.
They wait for our colleagues across the aisle to at long at last listen hear their cries and to the demands of decency. They wait for us to treat the storm tossed victims of an unprecedented natural disaster at least as well as we have always treated others when tragedy struck. They are becoming the forgotten while we bicker.
They wait for the help only this bill can bring.
How long must those suffering wait for help? I say no longer!! It is with strong conviction and urgent concern that I support the bill currently before us, and urge my colleagues to act NOW and pass this bill.