Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 4, 2015

Superstorm Sandy Aid Worrying Senate Democrats

Superstorm Sandy funding has Gillibrand and Schumer worried. They discussed the issue with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Superstorm Sandy funding has Gillibrand and Schumer worried; they discussed the issue with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Four Senate Democrats are worrying about Superstorm Sandy recovery funds and have come out swinging against the Obama administration over the possibility their states could lose aid.

New Jersey Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker have teamed up with New York Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand in sending the letter to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

The senators are expressing concern that roughly $2 billion in Community Development Block Grant funding for disaster relief could be redirected for national use.

“Reports that HUD is considering this diversion of funds come at a time when the recovery efforts in New Jersey and New York are far from complete. According to New Jersey’s recently updated Action Plan, there remains over $1.6 billion in unmet housing needs, over $17 billion in unmet infrastructure needs, and over $241 million in unmet economic development needs,” the senators wrote. “In addition, according to New York State and New York City, tens of billions of dollars in unmet housing and infrastructure need still exist.”

The senators argue that other funding streams should be used for the projects elsewhere.

“While we support further funding for disaster assistance and mitigation projects to build our nation’s resiliency, funding such projects must not come at the expense of Sandy victims for whom this money was primarily intended,” the senators wrote.

The full text of the letter appears below:

Dear Secretary Donovan:

We write to express our strong objections to reports that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is considering reallocation of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) funds appropriated in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 away from victims of Superstorm Sandy to fund a national resiliency competition.  HUD is not statutorily required to take such action and doing so would be an imprudent step that denies vital aid to thousands of Sandy victims for which this recovery assistance was intended.

As you know, the primary purpose of CDBG-DR funds is to satisfy unmet needs that arise during recovery from a natural disaster.  When we joined together to pass the Sandy relief package in Congress, it was both our intention and expectation to see these funds used first and foremost to meet the unmet needs of Sandy victims.  Any action to the contrary is not warranted and would leave aid programs unfunded and our ongoing recovery efforts incomplete.

Reports that HUD is considering this diversion of funds come at a time when the recovery efforts in New Jersey and New York are far from complete.  According to New Jersey’s recently updated Action Plan, there remains over $1.6 billion in unmet housing needs, over $17 billion in unmet infrastructure needs, and over $241 million in unmet economic development needs.  In addition, according to New York State and New York City, tens of billions of dollars in unmet housing and infrastructure need still exist.    As HUD has a finite amount of Community Development funds to satisfy these unmet needs, every dollar is critical for maximizing the effectiveness of our ongoing recovery efforts.

While we support further funding for disaster assistance and mitigation projects to build our nation’s resiliency, funding such projects must not come at the expense of Sandy victims for whom this money was primarily intended. Today, thousands of families remain without homes, and small business owners without work, wondering when help is on the way.  Forcing these families and struggling small business owners into a competition for the disaster assistance they desperately need would further add to their uncertainty and hardship.  We therefore strongly urge you not to redirect CDBG-DR funds away from victims of Superstorm Sandy to other parts of the country.  We look forward to you recognizing the importance of this issue to us and the victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Comments (10)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Michael Nunez - A53

    May 10, 2014
    5:18 p.m.

    Here we find yet another typical example of the types of angry Bolsheviks that make up much of the democrat party: http://youtu.be/Zr3HuRZFbfk?t=1m22s

  2. yesIDeeClaire

    May 13, 2014
    2:02 a.m.

    I think we can all agree that today’s liberalism is a foul and cankerous pox upon mankind.

  3. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    9:14 a.m.

    so much excellent information on here, : D.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  4. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    4:12 a.m.

    Well I really liked reading it. This article procured by you is very helpful for good planning.

    http://despedidasdesolteraz.weebly.com/blog

  5. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    7:45 a.m.

    Just wanna comment on few general things, The website pattern is perfect, the content material is rattling good : D.

    http://www.cocoapedia.org/index.php?title=Low_Income_Auto_Insurance

  6. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    1:38 a.m.

    Hello.This post was really interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this issue last couple of days.

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com

  7. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:28 a.m.

    Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a bad conclusion outstanding post! .

    http://split.us

  8. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    9:40 p.m.

    This website is my inspiration , real wonderful style and perfect subject matter.

    https://bestplumbers.com

  9. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    9:33 p.m.

    Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a high risk determination outstanding post! .

    http://rede.castt.com.br/blog/view/26263/home-payment-calculator-with-taxes-and-insurance

  10. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    9:36 p.m.

    It’s really a great and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    http://brookereviews.com/product/david-andrews-diabetes-destroyer-review-10-features-you-should-know/

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...