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10th District Legislators Call on Congress to Pass Sandy Aid Package

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Call for Swift Passage of $51 Billion Aid Bill for Recovery & Rebuilding Efforts

New Jersey legislators representing a section of the Jersey Shore that was among the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Sandy have called on the leadership of the United States House of Representatives to act swiftly to pass a long-delayed aid package that is necessary for recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman Dave Wolfe and Assemblyman Greg McGuckin of the 10th Legislative District sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor asking them to take immediate action on passing the remainder of the $60 billion aid package that has already been approved by the United States Senate.

“The months-long delay in approving a disaster aid package for victims of Hurricane Sandy is absolutely shameful,” said Holzapfel. “As Governor Christie previously said, disaster funding has never been subject to the kind of petty political squabbling that has denied New Jersey residents the recovery assistance they desperately need. It’s time for Speaker Boehner to do the right thing and work to get the package passed immediately.”

In their letter to the House leadership, the 10th district legislators note that Congress put aside politics and moved much more quickly to approve aid packages for previous disasters.

“Within 10 days of Hurricane Katrina, the federal government approved billions in aid to help victims along the Gulf Coast,” said Wolfe. “Nearly 70 days after Sandy quite literally wiped away entire towns along the Jersey Shore, Congress has done next to nothing. We truly feel like we have been abandoned by our government. Congress needs to step up now.”

McGuckin noted that although the House passed $9 billion for the national flood insurance program last week, which will help pay claims by home and business owners with coverage who suffered flood damage during the storm, the remaining $51 billion in aid still needs to be approved.

“New Jersey has long been one of the biggest donor states to the federal government, with our residents sending much more to Washington in taxes than we get back in return,” said McGuckin. “The federal taxes paid by New Jersey residents have funded disaster relief efforts all over the country, it’s time that some of that money comes home. Our recovery from Hurricane Sandy will be long and difficult, but it can be made a little bit easier if the House of Representatives would pass the $51 billion aid package that our taxpaying residents need and deserve.”

The letter sent by the 10th District legislators to the House leadership follows:

January 3, 2013

Honorable John Boehner
Office of the Speaker
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Honorable Eric Cantor
House Majority Leader
303 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor:

As you are aware, Ocean County, which we represent, sustained unimaginable damage to thousands of homes and businesses from Superstorm Sandy. The destruction wrought by this historic storm has caused unprecedented suffering and hardship for so many who lost so much.

As representatives of the 10th Legislative District, we are writing to express our deep disappointment at the House of Representatives’ failure to take swift action on the $60.4 billion Sandy Aid package.

When natural disasters have struck in the past, the U.S. government has always responded quickly. Within 10 days of landfall, the victims of Hurricane Katrina received billions in federal funds. When Hurricanes Gustav and Ike hit in 2008, an initial relief package was approved in 17 days while victims of Hurricane Andrew received aid in 31 days. It has been nearly 70 days since Hurricane Sandy ravaged New Jersey and our people are still waiting. As such, we, along with our constituents and the people of New Jersey, feel we have been abandoned by our government.

Our recovery will be very long and difficult, but we cannot even begin to move forward without federal aid. Therefore, we are respectfully requesting that you take immediate action on this emergency federal funding which is so desperately needed to assist homeowners and businesses recover from the devastation caused by Sandy.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Sincerely,

Senator Jim Holzapfel
10th Legislative District

Assemblyman Dave Wolfe
10th Legislative District

Assemblyman Greg McGucking
10th Legislative District

c.c. New Jersey Congressional Delegation

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The 10th District Team

Jim Holzapfel

Senator - District 10

Dave Wolfe

Assemblyman - District 10

Greg McGuckin

Assemblyman - District 10

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