WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the first committee hearing of the back-to-business congressional session, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, (D-NJ), announced the approval of billions in disaster relief.
As vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Lautenberg and the subcommittee gave their approval to a Homeland Security Appropriations bill that includes $6 billion for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief.
“Last week as communities across New Jersey were devastated by flooding from Hurricane Irene, I vowed to secure emergency relief for our state. On the first day back in Washington, we have taken an important step to help New Jersey recover from this disaster,” said Lautenberg.
“This is just the first infusion of funding for FEMA, and I will continue fighting to secure whatever is needed to fully respond to disasters in New Jersey and across our country. This bill firmly rejects the threats of House Tea Party Republicans to hold up emergency relief over ideological demands for spending cuts.
“With such devastation in my state and others, Republicans must put politics aside and make sure the first priority is helping people and businesses that are struggling.”
This emergency funding will be made available for families, homes, and businesses to recover and rebuild after damage and flooding from Hurricane Irene, the senator’s press release said.
The funding was secured without requiring offsets from other important programs, as House Republicans have demanded, according to the release; but the House version of the same bill only contains $3.6 billion for FEMA disaster relief.
The legislation will next be considered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday.