NEW YORK: Today, a coalition of New Yorkers urged the immediate reform of a 9/11 aid program meant to help families and individuals after the disaster, but failing in numerous ways. The program in question is the FEMA Individual and Family Grants (IFG) program that is being managed by the New York State Department of Labor. It allows for nearly $15,000 for lost or damaged property and home repairs after national disasters, but average aid provided through the program in New York ($1,039) is less than half what has typically been provided to individuals in other disasters around the country ($2,586), and applicants have experienced extreme delays in receiving decisions on aid by the state. In addition, the 13.8% to 26% approval rate for accepted applications after 9/11 is far lower than the IFG program's approval rate after other national disasters which averaged 55% in 2001.
Washington, DC - Recent press reports have indicated that $700 million in 9/11 aid, primarily $500 million from the Liberty Zone tax benefits, has disappeared from the books. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is pointing fingers at Congress, but in fact it was the White House who announced $5.5 billion in Liberty Zone tax benefits in March of this year.
Washington, DC - Yesterday, after reports that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to stop supplying the Philippines with contraceptives within 2 years, lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary Colin Powell asking him to reconsider his decision.
Washington, D.C. - Yesterday, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), along with Representatives JosÁ Serrano (D-NY), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), and Martin Frost (D-TX), introduced legislation, H.R. 5676, “The Disaster Relief for Our Schools Act,” which would return authority to the U.S. Department of Education for providing assistance to school districts following a disaster. In 1994, responsibility for disaster assistance officially was transferred from the Department of Education to FEMA under the Stafford Act.
Washington, DC - On learning that former Representative Bill Green had passed away on October 14, 2002, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) issued the following statement:
Washington, DC - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and several other New York Lawmakers introduced legislation yesterday to protect lower Manhattan businesses and residents from having to pay any taxes on 9/11 recovery assistance.
Mr. Speaker, this is a very difficult vote for me. If there is ever one vote that should be made in the national interest, a vote that transcends politics and where Members must vote their conscience, it is the one before us today.