Crowley Votes to Fund National Flood Insurance Program to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

January 4, 2013
Press Release

First Part of Sandy Disaster Relief Package Passes House

Crowley Expresses Concern Over Process, Delays in Voting for Remaining Assistance for Sandy Victims

(Washington, D.C.)Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, voted in favor of H.R. 41, a bill to raise the borrowing authority of the National Flood Insurance Program by $9.7 billion, providing much-needed assistance to property owners affected by Hurricane Sandy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which runs the National Flood Insurance program, had announced that without the approval of additional borrowing authority, the program would run out of money to pay flood insurance claims by next week. By passing this funding, Congress can help ensure that the outstanding flood insurance claims, including 115,000 claims related to Hurricane Sandy, can be paid.

“Homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy needed this money yesterday,” said Rep. Joe Crowley. “While I’m pleased the House acted today to ensure the National Flood Insurance program can continue to assist property owners affected by the storm, I remain concerned about the process and the delays that have plagued efforts to provide all of the critically needed relief assistance. When it comes to helping our fellow Americans after a natural disaster, there is no time for games.”

On December 28, 2012, the U.S. Senate passed a $60.4 billion Sandy Disaster Relief Package in a bipartisan vote. On January 1, 2013, the House Republican Leadership announced the Senate bill would be divided into two parts: a $27 billion Sandy Disaster Relief Package, and an amendment that would add $33 billion to the bill. It was expected that the bill and amendment would be considered by the House on January 1 or January 2. However, late on January 1, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) unexpectedly cancelled votes on the package. The following day, in response to widespread criticism of the cancellation of the vote, the House Republican Leadership announced that the House would consider the $9.7 billion flood insurance portion of the Senate-passed Sandy Disaster Relief Package on Friday, January 4, and would consider the remaining $50 billion of the package on Tuesday, January 15.

“Our neighbors and fellow Americans are suffering and the clock is ticking,” continued Crowley. “Congress must provide the assistance and reassurance necessary to help the region rebuild and recover, and we must provide it now.”

In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves, since standard insurance does not cover flooding. The program offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners in participating communities.

Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.