Kyrillos and Holzapfel cry foul
President Barack Obama announced that he is diverting nearly $1 billion in Hurricane Sandy recovery funds away from New Jersey and New York to fund a nationwide resiliency competition that will ostensibly help the winning communities build infrastructure to deal with the impacts of climate change.
Obama announced the competition last weekend at the University of California Irvine’s commencement, according to The Star Ledger.
“In some parts of the country, weather-related disasters like droughts and fires and storms and floods are going to get … harsher and they’re going to get costlier,” Obama said during the speech. “That’s why today I’m announcing a new one billion dollar competitive fund to help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change and build more resilient infrastructure across the country.”
State Senators Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth)and Jim Holzapfel (R-Ocean)l condemned the diversion of recovery funds away from their constituents.
The federal government continues to drop the ball on Sandy recovery,” said Holzapfel (R-Ocean). “First, we had to shame Congress into passing a disaster recovery package for Sandy victims after months of inaction. Now, President Obama has announced that HUD will divert $1 billion of Sandy aid away from New Jersey, while thousands of our home and business owners remain stuck in a mountain of federal red tape and are still in need of help. HUD should scrap that plan and spend every penny of Sandy aid where it is needed most, along the Jersey Shore.”
“It’s outrageous that while thousands of New Jersey families and businesses along the shore are still waiting for aid, remaining funding allocated by Congress for these very type of recovery needs is now being put up for grabs as a contest prize,” said Kyrillos (R-Monmouth). “New Jersey has never gotten its fair share of the Sandy aid funding and we have never learned why New York State has received approximately twice as much money even though our losses are roughly the same. This funding should immediately be returned to those devastated by Sandy who need it most.”