Blumenthal Calls On President To Amend Budget To Request Disaster Aid For Hurricane Sandy

(Washington, DC) — Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined Senators from states impacted by Hurricane Sandy in calling on President Obama to amend his 2013 budget to request emergency aid for federal disaster assistance programs. The Senators called on the President to take quick action so the necessary funds can be appropriated to help victims of Sandy rebuild and recover. The Senators also requested an increased federal share for recovery costs.

Blumenthal was joined by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

“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 Senators wrote.

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 Senators’ letter can be viewed here, and the full text of the letter follows:

November 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.

Sincerely,

Press Contact

Nu Wexler (202) 224-6452

Nu_Wexler@blumenthal.senate.gov