e-News 8/31/17

e-News 8/31/17

  • A Devastating Storm, an Inspiring Response
  • How to Help the People of Texas
  • ICYMI: Arpaio Pardon
  • Salute: The American Legion’s first female commander.
  • Salute: The American Worker


A Devastating Storm, an Inspiring Response

Our thoughts and prayers are with the millions of victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.  We are all deeply moved by the suffering that we all have witnessed.  But we’re also equally inspired by the way the residents of Texas and Louisiana have responded. 

Of course, we owe a great debt of gratitude to the first responders for their heroic work, including our own New Jersey National Guard and New Jersey Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team, now deployed to Katy, Texas.  We also must commend the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Defense, the Coast Guard and all the other federal and state agencies on the ground and so many private organizations, like the American Red Cross, for their ongoing efforts to rescue, house and assist thousands of people in need.

And then there are the selfless individuals!  An army of volunteers manning an armada of small boats and trucks have plunged into the rescue effort, often placing themselves in harm’s way, to rescue fellow citizens and, in most cases complete strangers.  It’s been very inspiring.

The week’s efforts have been concentrated on rescue.  But, as the floodwaters recede, the focus will shift to recovery activities.  

The President has signed a disaster declaration for Texas which authorizes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of this disaster.

But the veterans of Super Storm Sandy, Hurricanes Katrina and other catastrophes – elected officials and businessmen and women alike – understand that a long-term, stable recovery requires an injection of resources at the earliest possible date to ensure the ability to rebuild and strengthen the region: rebuilding homes and businesses.

After Super Storm Sandy in 2012, as a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I faced the task of convincing my Congressional colleagues, many representing districts that have never suffered a major disaster, to approve over $50 billion in emergency funding to help New Jersey, New York and Connecticut recover.

I said it in 2012 and I will say it again: whenever a crisis or natural disaster hits any part of the nation, elected representatives from across the nation need to come together in a bipartisan fashion to deliver much needed federal support. This is what America is all about – when one of us is in need, we step up to lend a helping hand.

My Appropriations Committee stands at the ready to provide any necessary funding for relief and recovery. We are awaiting requests from federal agencies now on the ground in Texas, and will not hesitate to take quick action once an official request is sent.

How to Help the People of Texas

The compassion and generosity of the American people is never more evident than during and after a disaster. It is individuals, non-profits, faith- and community-based organizations, private sector partners, and governmental agencies working together that will most effectively and efficiently help survivors cope with the impacts of Tropical Storm Harvey.

However, there exist a few important guidelines to be aware of as you strive to help Harvey survivors:

  • The most effective way to support disaster survivors in their recovery is to donate money and time to trusted, reputable, voluntary or charitable organizations.
  • Cash donations offer voluntary agencies and faith-based organizations the most flexibility to address urgently developing needs. With cash in hand, these organizations can obtain needed resources nearer to the disaster location. This inflow of cash also pumps money back into the local economy and helps local businesses recover faster.
  • Please do not donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine, or perishable foodstuffs at this time. When used personal items are donated, the helping agencies must redirect their staff away from providing direct services to survivors in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
  • Donate through a trusted organization.  At the national level, many voluntary-, faith- and community-based organizations are active in disasters, and are trusted ways to donate to disaster survivors. Individuals, corporations, and volunteers, can learn more about how to help on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) website.

ICYMI: Arpaio Pardon

I believe the Presidential pardon of Joe Arpaio was a mistake. Law enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rulings of the court and this action undermines the rule of law.

The Wall Street Journal’s August 27 editorial said it well.  Read it here.

Salute: Congratulations to the American Legion’s first female commander.  Denise Rohan is a 33-year Legionnaire and current member of Post 385 in Verona, Wisconsin.  An Army veteran, she has announced her theme for this year will be “Family First,” and that the theme is based on The American Legion’s motto of “For God and Country."  Read more about this pioneering Legionnaire here.

Salute: The American Worker

As we prepare to celebrate Labor Day 2017, we salute the men and women who make up the world's most dynamic workforce. Through good times and challenging times, America counts on the strength, energy and innovation of the world's finest labor force.  

Twitter Facebook