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Senators Ask Obama to Amend Budget to Include Sandy Disaster Aid

Lautenberg, Schumer and 11 other senators call on President Obama to amend budget to request diaster for Superstorm Sandy.

 

Thirteen U.S. Senators - including Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) - on Tuesday called on President Barack Obama to amend his 2013 budget to request emergency aid for federal disaster assistance programs in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.  

The senators want Obama to act quickly so the necessary funds can be used to help victims of Sandy rebuild and recover. The Senators also requested an increased federal share for recovery costs. 

Sens. Lautenberg and Schumer were joined by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tom Carper (D-DE), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). 

“As senators representing states impacted by Superstorm Sandy, we are writing to request that the Administration submit a budget amendment pursuant to the Budget Control Act to provide the necessary funding to robustly support vital federal programs to rebuild our communities and meet the needs of victims of Sandy and other recent disasters.  It is critical that this budget amendment be submitted as soon as possible so critical resources can reach impacted communities by the end of the calendar year,” the letter reads in part. 

The senators continued, “Millions of people along the East Coast were impacted by Superstorm Sandy, which caused extensive damage to public infrastructure, private property and business.  Given the enormity of the storm and the fact that state and local governments are already facing tight budgets, we ask that you consider increasing the federal share for Public Assistance for affected states and calculate such adjustments into your request to ensure that combined federal and non-federal funds are sufficient for a full recovery.”

The full text of the letter is below: 

Nov. 13, 2012 

Dear Mr. President: 

As Senators representing states impacted by Superstorm Sandy, we are writing to request that the Administration submit a budget amendment pursuant to the Budget Control Act to provide the necessary funding to robustly support vital federal programs to rebuild our communities and meet the needs of victims of Sandy and other recent disasters.  It is critical that this budget amendment be submitted as soon as possible so critical resources can reach impacted communities by the end of the calendar year. 

Millions of people along the East Coast were impacted by Superstorm Sandy, which caused extensive damage to public infrastructure, private property and business.  Given the enormity of the storm and the fact that state and local governments are already facing tight budgets, we ask that you consider increasing the federal share for Public Assistance for affected states and calculate such adjustments into your request to ensure that combined federal and non-federal funds are sufficient for a full recovery.

Because the storm caused sweeping damage in a variety of ways, the federal response should be comprehensive and include support from multiple programs at different agencies.  The federal government has a tradition of providing strong support to help states recover from natural disasters.  In addition to FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, we request funding for critical disaster relief programs at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Economic Development Administration, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Small Business Administration.  The amendment should also include funding for damage to federal assets in our states and expenses for federal agencies, where appropriate.

You and your entire Administration have acted decisively and provided tremendous support during this catastrophic storm.  Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to working with you to continue helping our residents, our communities and our states.

Thank you for considering this request.           

 

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