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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 7, 2013 4:00am-6:01am EST

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principals of the establishment clause that both sides of the court, the liberals and conservatives, have agreed to carry and endorsements are prohibited. and we have both of those things in this case. >> what is the larger problem, the message or the method? >> the message. it does not matter who was selected to give the prayer. it matters what the prayer givers says. the prayers in this case are explicitly christian and often heavy handedly christian, talking about the saving grace of jesus christ on the crossed and similar things. we do not care if pastors give a prayer as long as they remain nonsectarian. >> how can you make them sectarian to appeal to many religions? how can you do that? >> we have a tradition in this country of nonsectarian prayers that appeal to a wide range of positions. it is true you can't protect everybody. but you can protect almost everybody and you can protect
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more than one faith. this case is about christians aggressively imposing themselves on their fellow citizens with the power of government. that is not right. it is not part of the american tradition. >> can we get the plaintiffs? >> susan galloway. >> i am susan galloway. i am one of the plaintiffs. i just want to thank americans united for being our attorneys and representing us. i appreciate the justices hearing this case. i think it is important. i feel the town has aligned itself with christianity by just having christian prayer givers. they have had a couple other people but primarily it is christian. that is very sectarian. as a citizen i felt i was different.
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and because of my own faith and my own religious beliefs. i'm glad that the supreme court is hearing this. is there anything -- >> what are your religious beliefs? >> i am a jew. >> why did it make you feel uncomfortable? >> i think that when you have people that, first of all, the town, the pastors face the people, not to the government. it is like they are praying over us. i know when i stood then i sat and i have 100 eyes looking at me and questioning what is going on and thinking i am being disrespectful, it does put pressure on you and makes you very uncomfortable. it singles you out.
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that should not be in my town government. it should not be anywhere. >> you can give the next prayer. why doesn't that resolve it? you can give a jewish prayer. >> if i wanted to give a prayer, that is fine. that excludes other people. i believe that it has been one- sided and it has favored christianity. i do not think that is right. >> what would you like to see happen? what do you want to see happen? >> i would like to see people feel they are included in the government and they are not made second-class citizens. they stone their faith or non- faith dashed -- based on their faith or non-faith. i think there are ways of doing it that would be more inclusive than what they are doing.
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>> i am melinda stevens. i live in the town of greece and i am an atheist. i want to thank the americans united legal staff for putting thousands of hours into this very worthwhile and needed action. one thing i would like to say to my fellow atheists is, we need to come out of the closet. atheists are starting to come out of the closet now, after 9/11. there are many, many of us. we have to follow the lead of the lgbt community and make our voices heard. we can't be shy about this because it is important. we need to be included in town government, and government at all levels. unless we speak up, we are not
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going to be. >> would any prayer work for atheist's? is there a model that would work for you? >> i have heard atheist indications that i admired. a state senator in arizona gave a wonderful one but he got blowback at the next legislative session from conservative christians. they bashed him and said two prayers for the one he disagreed with the previous time. so it is hard for atheist or other minorities to speak up because susanna and i have both experienced hostility from our fellow residents in the town of greece. it is not a pleasant experience. susan and i got two letters telling us to stay away from town board meetings if we did not like what was going on, to move out of the town if we did not like it. i had vandalism to my house
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several times. one night someone came in the i. i had vandalism to my house several times. one night, someone came in the middle of the night, dug up my mailbox and smashed it and put it on my car. someone dismantled a fire hydrant near my home and threw it in my pool in the backyard. things like that. >> do you think the supreme court decision will change any have experienced. class time will tell. this has been mentioned in the media. why is it that christians who profess to be moral and upstanding people, would do such things? >> any thoughts on the question? >> i like very much the way the session began.
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i thought her questioning was excellent. >> do you think it will ever get easier? eliminate a set of rare or these rails test these , the town> four years of greece had a moment of silence. in 1999, the new supervisor changed all that for the race. [indiscernible] know.o not >> do you know if it was related to this case? >> i believe it was. this all happened when the case was being discussed in the local media. i have no doubt it was related. >> thank you. >> i am the legal director of americans united for separation of church and they. united has been so
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proud since 2008 to have bins on -- sponsored this case. we got involved in the case for a very simple reason. we believed what the town of greece was doing was wrong. participating in one's local is a universal right of citizenship. onshould not be condition recitation of the lord's prayer or participation in any other fray are to a particular faith tradition. town residents attend these meetings as participants. singlen's sports teams words. exercising the rights and seeking important benefits
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should not be conditioned on bowing one's head in left mission of the divinity of christ. weis important to understand are not asking the board to discontinue its practice. of presenting prayers. we are asking citizens not the presser -- pressured to participate in the prayers and that they be nondenominational and inclusive. is "in god weotto trust" and not in christ we trust. our pledge of allegiance refers to one nation under god and not one nation under god -- jesus, allah, or buddha. chosen tof greece has thumb its nose at this long- standing constitutional tradition that has served us so well. residentstown's view, who participate in these meetings could be asked to join in a prayer that promises
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eternal hellfire to anyone who .oes not accept jesus christ that cannot possibly be constitutional. we hope the supreme court would agree civic participation should not be conditioned on conference rising one's religious scruples. thank you. have --sts do not believe in god. they should not hear even denominational prayers. >> yes. country hason but followed does not recognize the increasing diverse city of the country. we will leave under the proposal we have made that atheists would he allowed to come forward and present a prayer, as would or anybody else who comes from a more diverse
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tradition than the monotheistic one the court opened with today. >> thank you. >> my name is holly. the general counsel of the baptist joint committee for religious liberty. a brief on behalf of respondents to stand with them along with the united church of christ and the press. church usa. we are religious organizations that stand for religious liberty. in this case, we stand with those who challenge a prayer practice that would make their political rights incumbent on their participation in a prayer with which they do not agree. one thing the court clearly is in the principle
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of religious liberty and that one's political standing should not depend on their adherence to religion. in this environment, the town council and other governments where there is erect interactive participatory relationships, it is improper for the government engages citizens in an act of religious worship. this is not a position against prayer. all religious people should pray for their elected officials but it is very important to understand it is not the role of government to lead in religious act. when it does, there will be practical problems, theological problems, a myriad things that the court talked about today that can't be resolved consistent with our tradition of religious liberty to protect all people, whether they believe or do not believe. without harming government or religious congregations. hollyn hollman. >> thanks. >> i'm with the fund for religious liberty.
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we believe that religious freedom is critical to the constitutional protection. the town of greece permitted christians, jews, wiccans, to give invocations and recognized religious diversity. allowing these kind of prayers does not harm our society, it recognizes and respects our religious diversity and our religious freedom. we are encouraged by the arguments this morning and are hopeful the supreme court will issue a decision that recognizes the freedom of our nation and our long history of permitting legislative pairs. thank you.
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e rules, but one of them is do it now, the second one is do it right the first time. why not shut down and do it right? >> mr. chairman, i am relying on the advice not only of the
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inside team and contractors, but a lot of the outside experts who have come in to take a look at this system and they did a number of things along the way. they did a series of diagnostics, looked at the entire system and determined at the outset that is fixable, that it is not fatally flawed, which was the from many people. secondly, we have asked that question a number of times. would it be helpful to take down the whole system and make fixes along the way? we have been advised that that actually does not help, that it is better to do routine operations, some of which are hot patches that can be done while the system is fully running and others are better to be done in the maintenance , whenn 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
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the user experience is low and we take the system down for periods of time. but given the fact that the various fixes, various functionality fixes, the code, have to be written in batches, it has been advised that you do not gain much from taking the whole system down for a week or a couple of weeks, that it is better to do this on an ongoing basis. who i think is, somewhat in charge of fixing some of this as far as i can .ell, says he has a punch list and he is going to punch them out one by one. how many items are on that punch list? which of them have been punched out? when do you expect to do the end to end testing? helpff has come into manage the operations between the contractors and the cms team
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and the aggressive fix schedules. he will be with us, hopefully, through this process. he has been enormously helpful in being a management lieutenant with maryland, the cms administrator. i would say that there are a couple of hundred functional fixes that have been identified. .hey are in priority grouping the first series of them has been underway. depends on the night. it is hard to give you a moment by moment snapshot. there was a number that were done last night, hardware, additional installations were done over the weekend. or 6:00 each day it is
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really identified whether or not the testing for the individual coding fix can be actually apply that night. the list changes, but mr. chairman we will get you an update and i would say that we are into the list and not where we need to be, but that it is a fairly aggressive schedule to get to the entire list. >> are you going to do an end to end? wax because the site is running, it is an to end daily. people are coming through every day and it helps to identify some of what we are seeing. what we are doing with live time and to end testing, we could go back and inform the tech team what needs to happen. >> speaking of, i want this to work. is a two-way street, you have to tell us what is going on
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candidly, fully, so that we do no with them and with the scottish government. >> order. questions for the prime minister. mr. steve baker. [shouting] >> number one. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, with remember today, i'm sure the whole house will join me in remembering those who have given their lives in the service of our country. perhaps particularly with the president of the republic of korea we should remember those who fell in the conflict and all who serve many who are not
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coming to the end of their lives. we should again pay tribute to the heroic job our armed forces to to keep us safe. mr. speaker, this morning i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties in this house, i shall have further such meetings later today. >> mr. speaker, i wish we pressure i'm sure we'll wish to associate ourselves to the prime minister. hard-working businessman facing tough decisions -- decent trade unionists and newspapers including the "daily mirror" will have seen a poll by the so-called -- [shouting] the so-called -- [inaudible] will my right honorable friend take steps to ensure that families, families and children and homes are protected? [shouting] >> well, my honorable friend makes an important point.
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this sort of industrial intimidation is completely unacceptable. we have seen wanted posters put through children's letterboxes. we've seen families intimidated, and we've seen people neighbors been told that they are evil. it is completely shocking what has happened. it is also shocking that the labour party is refusing to have a review and to stand up to len mccluskey. and let me say, they should do so. >> ed miliband. [shouting] >> let me start by joining the prime minister in recognizing the enduring importance of giving thankful remembrance on sunday to all those men and women who served our country. this is a moment to remember all those who've lost their lives and to think about their family. that's why i know members from across the house, and, indeed, people from across the country are wearing their poppies with
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pride this week. >> here, here. >> can the prime minister guarantee there won't be a crisis of this winter? >> we will do everything we can to make sure the nhs continues to perform in the excellent way that it does today. let me give him the latest figures. last week was the 27th week in a row that we met our aid in the target. the nhs is treating 1.2 million more people in a unique than it was when he was in office. but i can tell them where there will be a particular problem that i can tell in this. there will be a winter crisis in the nhs in wales where labour are in control because there's a crisis every day of the week in wales. [shouting] >> mr. speaker, the prime minister is simply wrong about the figures. if you look at what is happening coming to look at what is
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happening in our aid in the department and hospitals, the target has been met for 15 consecutive weeks. and the whole country will have heard, and the primers to can't guarantee that there won't be a crisis this winter that's because the already is a crisis, mr. speaker. that's what the president of the royal college of emergency medicine said. he said this -- i know they don't want to hear about the crisis in a&e. he said this, there are almost daily instances and most a&e departments of patients facing extended weight. the prime minister did two years ago i refuse to go back to the days when people had to wait hours on end in a&e. is broken that promise, hasn't he? >> as i said, a&e in this country is treating 1.2 million more patients now than under labour. and let me give them one simple
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fact. the simple fact is this -- >> order. there's simply too much noise in the chamber on both sides. i at deal to the house. i get bucket loads of letters every week from members of the public complaining about this. cut it out. it is low-grade, downmarket. it's not necessary. prime minister. >> let me give them one simple fact, which is today in our a&e the average waiting time is 50 minutes. when the shadow health secretary was sitting here as health secretary, the average waiting time was over 70 minutes. those are the facts. because this government didn't take the advice of -- i wouldn't listen to the health secretary. he's the man who refused to apologize for the mess. [shouting] the nhs, it is getting better under this government. >> ed miliband. >> across the medical profession they are saying there is a crisis in a&e department and with the prime minister saying
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crisis? what crisis? how out of touch can he be? and in the last year a million people waited more than four hours in a&e. prime minister wait times are a. delayed discharges up, and it is response time out. why is it happening? because of his top to we organization that nobody wanted and nobody voted for. can he tell how so many nhs managers have received a six-figure redundancy package as a result of his we organization? >> what i can tell them is there are 20,000 fewer administrative grades. [shouting] and what i can tell it is there are 5500 more doctors in our nhs. and there are 1000 more midwives in our nhs. and there are 1000 more health visitors and our nhs. and let me tell them why this is the case. his health secretary said it
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would be irresponsible to increase spending on the nhs. we rejected that advice. we rejected labour. we invested in our nhs and we are proud of our nhs. [shouting] >> ed miliband. >> what the health sector did was warned of cuts to social care and that is exactly what they did. and that is the crisis he has produced. now, here's the answer, here's the answer to the question he didn't answer. the answer is 2300 managers have received six-figure payoffs. so -- [shouting] >> order. too much noise. it better stop or this will take longer. i say to those who can't grow up, try, try. ed miliband. >> said he is giving the 45 to nurses and six-figure payoffs to managers. can he tell us how many of the
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people who have been let go from the nhs have actually been fired, paid off and then rehired? >> first of all we are saving 4.5 billion by reducing the number of managers in our nhs. and for the first time anyone reemployed has to pay back part of the money they were given. that never happened under labo labour. but we don't have to remember the labour record of the past. we can look at the labour record in wales. they've been running the welsh health service. they cut the budget by 8.5%. they haven't met a cancer target since 2008. they have a met in a unique target since 2000. the fact is he is too weak to stand up to the poor management of the nhs in wales just as his two-week to sack his health secretary. [shouting] >> ed miliband. >> and we have a prime minister too clueless to know the facts about the nhs.
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[shouting] >> let's give him the answer, shall we? the answer is over 2000 people have been made redundant -- it's absolutely true. a parliamentary answer from one of the health ministers. [shouting] 2000 people made redundant and rehired. diverting money from the frontline and this prime minister sacked nurses. the prime minister seems to think it's untrue. if he gets accidentally whether it's untrue. we know what the nhs is failing. his botched reorganization, the abolitionists of nhs direct, cuts to social care, and 6000 fewer nurses. there's only one person responsible for the a&e crisis, and that's him. [shouting] >> we have taken 20,000 administrators out of the nhs and i'm not going to take lectures from a government that saw patients --
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>> order, order. order. members are shouting at the tops of the voices at the prime minister and they must stop doing so. the prime minister. >> let me give them the facts about the nhs under this government. mixed set accommodation down by 98%. 1.2 million more people treated in a&e. half a million more impatient. we are doing all of that and we're not following labour's advice which was to cut the nhs. that's the truth under this government. the nhs getting better. labour would have cut it and labour never stand up for the nhs. >> well, the whole country would have heard today is a prime minister complacent about the amt crisis -- a&e crisis and clueless about what is happening in the nhs. what the british people know is nhs is heading into winter with fewer nurses, a lack of senior a&e doctors and a shortage of beds. he promised he would protect the nhs but it is now clear the nhs
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iisn't safe in his hands. [shouting] >> once again he is just wrong on the facts. let me give them a simple fact. there are more a&e consultants working in a&e and there were five years ago. that is why we are meeting our targets in england and that is why labour is missing its target in wales. i'm clear my job is to stand up for the nhs and d d to stand up to the some courage? [shouting] >> mr. speaker over the past week we've heard about unite union's strategy to just mental that supply chain. what signal does the trying three -- prime minister -- [inaudible] looking to invest in britain?
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[shouting] >> industrial intimidation is bad for britain. it's very nearly cut off federal supplies to large part of our united kingdom. and every week the leader of the opposition comes are calling for an inquiry on to that, and inquired onto this but he never stopped calling public inquires but he hasn't got the guts to hold one of his own into unite. [shouting] >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker. people watching visit changes today will be struck that when you than 1800 people have learned there to lose their jobs neither the leader of the opposition or the country seem to raise it is thus far. i hope -- i hope that the prime minister thoughts are with the families of people who are set to lose their job. and will he confirm that he agrees with the statement that glasgow is the best place to build frigates? >> well, i do think this is a vitally important issue.
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that is why the defense secretary will be making a statement right after prime minister's questions. these are extreme the difficult decisions at her first thoughts should be with all those that are affected and, frankly, i was surprised the leader of the opposition didn't choose to raise this vitally important issue. let us be clear about what we need to do. we want our royal navy to the best and most modern ships and the best technology and that means we will go on building warships. we'll be announcing three new offshore patrol vessels, keeping that you are dizzy rather than paying it to remain idle as the last government proposed. and enforcement, yes, there will be job reduction but there are many more people involved initiative servicing and in shipbuilding so the workforce will go from 12,000, the 11,000 but no one should be any doubt of two things. under this government will have aircraft carriers, destroyers, the new frigates, submarines. and there's something else they should know. if it was an independent scotland we wouldn't have any warships at all. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
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as we approach remembrance sunday and looking ahead to the anniversary of first world war will he join in commending the work of the trust? will you look at how the government might assist the trust and it's important task of restoring and maintaining the graves of some of the nations bravest soldiers, sailors and airmen? >> i pay tribute to my right honorable friend for his support for the tory across trust and hard work he has done. i welcome any initiative that commemorates those who have given their lives in defense of our country. many graceful under the protection of the commonwealth war graves commission equipped continue to do everything we can to work with the war graves commission with the victoria cross trust to make sure we do everything that these people are probably improper remembered. >> thank you, mr. speaker. page 47 of the manifesto says, and i quote, we will stop the
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forced closure of a&e and maternity ward so that people of better access to local services. how is that going, prime minister? >> there are no changes to services unless they are supported by local gps. and that is a complete difference with what happened under labour. where top down closures of hospitals pick that isn't happening under this government. >> thank you, mr. speaker. according to unite, and i quote, it is increasingly recognized that bullying, violence and harassment is a bad interest because the primers agree that the authorities should always investigate allegations of harassment against employees and their families including women it is allegedly involving members of the trade union? >> my friend is absolutely right. they are very cities these allegations of international intimidation. they need to be properly looked
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at because the party office is ducking is responsive build it will have to consider what we can do to look at this. i have to say the leader of the labour party is behaving like the mayor of a sicilian town towards the mafia. they put me in and i don't want him to take me out. [shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. speaker. last week i asked the question -- [inaudible] the response i got was members are, honorable members would agree was a determination of employers on employees. can't i now ask country, how many people in the past and in the government holdings --
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[inaudible] >> he doesn't care. >> i don't have those figures to handle. what i can tell the honorable gentleman is where having a review in 20 hours contract and we're particularly looking at those people on zero hours contract who are forbidden from working for other employers. this government will look at these things but the last government that saw zero our contracts go through the roof it absently nothing about it. >> the prime minister and his chancellor close the gaping loophole left by the last government for the rich to avoid -- [inaudible] [laughter] isn't it now time, isn't now time to close the of the disgraceful loophole they left to overseas residents to buy up the best housing in london without paying capital gains tax? >> i think my honorable friend makes a very important point. it was vile, particularly mickey
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shorter that foreign borrowers pays down duty properly in london. that needed to happen. the shadow chancellor of course was city minister when all these things went wrong is shutting his head off as usual. it's this government that is insisted people pay their taxes that are do. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister is right to extend supervision and too short censored -- new ways for reoffending. but he must be aware of the growing concern that his government's current plans undermine other service. now that a criminal investigation has been opened, will he sit down with his secretary, reconsider the option and at least trial the favors by result proposal is made to see whether it works? >> first of all i welcome what the honorable gentleman says. he has huge experience in this area about the importance of making sure there is support for
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people as they leave prison which is the plan that would put in place but i think my result can make a big difference producing reoffending. the cruel fact is that half of all prisoners are back imprisoned within tenuous -- two years. it is time for a different approach. [inaudible] creating 23 jobs as a result. would my right honorable friend join me in congratulating the director on the success? >> i delighted to meet their service with my honorable friend and i've made business with them and passed to look at what is happening in the black country in terms of greater job opportunities and it is part of a picture of a country with our 1.4 million more people in private sector employment, so in spite of the predictions we would lose job there are
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1 million more people in work in britain today. >> it's the duty of any government to protect the public. since the prime minister has stated deliberately to downgrade the country's anti-terror laws, to suspects abuse their government granted freedom to escape. the latest one -- with the prime minister admit that this decision was a hugely irresponsible mistake and believe in particular we visit the sunset clause that will lift the remaining regime under remaining suspect in january the? >> i don't accept what the right honorable chairman said. the fact is this, under the control order regime that was seven people who absconded under control orders. until orders were being endlessly hacked away at by courts so we needed to put a new system in place, a system that has the confidence of the police and the security services. of course, we will look at every single thing we can do to make
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sure the system is as good and robust as it can be but we should be frank in this house that what we're dealing with is people that we are not able to charge and lock up, and people many of whom would like to throw out of her country but cannot currently. as we have to have some sort of regime like this but we will do everything we can to make it as robust as possible. >> thank you with my right honorable friend the prime minister join in congratulating -- [inaudible] >> here, here spent they export metal products all across the world. they have contribute to the drop in youth unemployment in my constituency by 15% and over on the plum has fallen by 10% in the last three months alone. isn't is in stark contrast to the gloomy economic predictions of the party opposite and what he -- thank you. >> my honorable friend is an excellent job in standing up for
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the people of his party. of course, private sector blood is up by 4,502,010. the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance is down by 29,000 he's right that the party opposite predicted we would lose 1 million jobs. the answer is a complete opposite. there are 1 million more people in our country and it's about time they apologize for prediction after prediction being wrong. >> last month, prime minister, tory counselor was -- [inaudible] subject to an arrest warrant in pakistan in connection with the brutal murder. after shaking this man's hand and having voters taken at number 10 will the gentleman with the prime minister allied to say he thinks the gentleman's return to pakistan and face of justice? >> i'm looking carefully into this case and our right to the honorable gentleman.
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>> may i ask the prime minister whether he is of the opinion that the intelligence services of some countries may be dangerously out of political control? and easy confident that he has kept fully informed of all sensitive external initiatives taken by our service is? >> i don't want to break the rule of not commenting on intelligence issues, but to answer his question directly as again, i've looked very carefully at the governors that we have in the uk for our intelligence services. the work of the intelligence commission, the work of intelligence and security committee, and the oversight particularly by the home secretary and the foreign secretary, and i think with a good system in our country.
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and the edges question, yes, i am fully involved in these decisions. >> thank you, mr. speaker. two years ago the prime minister quite rightly agreed -- be made available. and yet only months later he turned down a similar request from my constituents whose son is still missing after 22 years. will the prime minister please . . son? >> this has been the absolute heartbreaking case and another whole country has followed over these years. i look very carefully the letter that she wrote me. obviously, it's important the police make these decisions themselves. government should always stand by to help which is what happened in the madeleine mccann case but i will look to see what i can do.
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>> mr. speaker, can ask the primus to elaborate on his or her statement about the effects of the government will put in place in mediation, for the dreadful effects of 940 core jobs at be and many thousands of jobs in the supply chain? i'll be grateful if you could expand that further effort. >> i will expand a little but i believe the defense secretary to give a really detailed answer. what is happening is the current work force of 12,000 defense-related and shipbuilding activities will go down to 11,000. the m.o.d. will be investing 100 million pounds into the final ship servicing work and as he well knows that in many more people involved in ship servicing the and shipbuilding. and, of course, with some of the largest and best equipped warship we've ever had in our country being-based and hosted at portsmouth, the two aircraft carriers and the destroyers, that would mean a lot of work for portsmouth and for our naval
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base enforcement for many, many years to,. >> thank you, mr. speaker. many women face discrimination at work when they become pregnant so how will charging them 1200 quit to go through tribunal help them? before he answers and starts talking about all the trade unions on the side of the house of just like to make it clear i'm a trade unionist and i'm damn proud of it. [shouting] >> i think the means the people in our country who are very proud of being trade unionist but the problem is they are led so badly by -- [shouting] they are led so badly by people who seem to condone intimidating families, intimidating witnesses, and intimidating the leader of the opposition shot back that so we've come to with unite. they pick the candidate, they choose the policy, they picked a leader and then they bully him into the get what they want. [shouting] >> actually i think the question was about tribunals if memory serves me correctly.
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[laughter] spent no, no, no. it's a good idea to try to remove the essence of the question. >> [shouting] >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. [inaudible] what steps is the prime minister taking where small groups are using -- [inaudible] >> i know that my honorable friend has been campaigning very hard and relentlessly to provide them with the ground that they need to come and i commend her for the. obviously, there has been an issue with judicial reviews and these play a role. of course, knowing government to account that i share her
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frustration to judicial review has become something of an industry and we do need to fix that. we have taken a series of steps to try to do that. >> david winnick. >> a bit of flesh and a bit of courtesy. the honorable gentleman happens to not get. is perfect understandable. >> one of the objectives of the last war, the second world war was to bring about a fair society in britain. is the aware how wrong it is that the chancellor and himself to never had any form of action security should not be pursuing policy of the most hard-pressed -- stomach the people in our society, millions, many who finds it difficult to feed and clothe their children? what is happening is totally unacceptable and i find it contemptible spend what i would say to the honorable gentleman
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is that we have taken 2.4 million of the poorest people in our country out of income tax altogether. i have to say to him, the figure simply don't fit with the story just trying to do. the facts or inequality is at its lowest level since 1986. fact. applications to universituniversit ies has gone up, not down. fact. there are fewer workers households, untied answer the question, mr. speaker. it's a very direct answer. [shouting] yes. workers households down by 425,000. payday lending regulated properly for the first time, and yes, a proper consultation of zero hours contract. those are the actions that we are taking to build a more fair country. instead of complaining about them he should be backing them. [shouting] >> sir peter bone.
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>> thank you, mr. speaker. on the third of september i wrote to the prisons minister requesting a meeting to discuss -- stomach i received no response to that request at this week i received a letter from the prison minister showing the site of the prison was to be sold but i do not understand that as the prison was the third cheapest and the country to run. will the prime minister meet with me and concerned constituents to discuss the matter? >> what i will do is arrange very quickly for the honorable gentleman to have a meeting with the prison minister that he asked for so they can discuss the future of the prison state. it is important we modernize it and make sure we get good value for money for the people that we keep in prison and for the taxpayer. >> mr. speaker, the prime minister has been forcing again about 1 million extra jobs. [shouting] can he, therefore, explain why a number of people in my
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constituency unemployed for more than two years has risen by 350% in the last year alone? and now it's the worst in the country. nine out of 10 are in the northeast, worst in the country. mr. speaker, is this because it's the same old tory -- [inaudible] >> the fact is we are sitting right across the country, including in every region, more opportunities in terms of jobs, more people involved in our private sector and the claimant count coming down. in the northeast, for example, we've got the new factory that will make a real difference. we've got the expansion of nissan which is doing extremely well, but i tell except we need to do more to give our economy growing and to keep people employed into growth number of jobs. but uncertain about one thing. we won't do that if we put up, borrow, put up taxes because the fact is today, labour is the greatest risk to our recovery.
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[shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. in the prime minister confirm that any review of levies on energy bills it's the fairness of the funny processes that is the priority for the review and that the government still supports vital measures to insulate people from to make sure that the fuel cost can keep their house is warmer in winter? >> of course we want to see installation programs and, of course, we want to help people, particularly bondable household to keep the bills down but what we should be doing is looking at every subsidy at every levies and making sure its value for money and making sure it's not in place for a moment longer than it needed. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the chancellor of the exchequer wouldn't answer this yesterday salinity the prime minister a dry. on the so-called private sector jobs that he quotes about just how many of those are people of the zero out contracts? >> i don't have the figure for that, but the fact is there are more people at work in our economy than ever before. two-thirds of those jobs have
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been full-time jobs and while we're on the subject of pay, perhaps it is a good moment to recognize that labour controlled area doesn't have a living wage where it's conservatives in london doesn't. >> on a difficult day for uk should building isn't more important than ever that our young people, -- [inaudible] >> my honorable friend is absolutely right about this in his campaign long and hard to encourage respectful engineering and for more young people to study engineering. we are seeing a growth of young people studying engineering but it is true if you look at the skills shortage was in terms of the immigration advisory committee, there are still engine jobs on that list and that is a rebuke to our country were we need to get more young
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people studying math and science at school and more people studying engineering at our universities. >> last you, bankers bonuses group 91% faster than wages for ordinary working people despite the prime minister's assurances that this would not happen. can the prime minister tell us is he unwilling to act are just a bit useless as -- at being prime minister? >> the point the honorable lady should bear in mind is bonuses were 85% higher when the shadow chancellor was sitting in the treasury. it is this government that is making sure that people -- [shouting] >> order. i want to hear the answers. prime minister. >> that we inherited a situation where the cleaners were paying higher tax rate than hedge fund managers who work for. if you want to see someone who is useless, she should look at
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her own front bench. >> welcome to the subcommittee
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in thegency management district of columbia. we thank you all for being here. we are here today to examine the
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east onein the north year after hurricane sandy came to shore on october 29, 2012. as we mark this solemn anniversary we owe it to ourselves and to those who were lost a year ago to continue to learn from sandy, to improve disastrous response and recovery across the country. as we all know, the next big disaster can happen at anytime, anywhere. my home state of alaska, we have our fair share of disasters from the gulf, from the alaska earthquake to the oil spill. we saw a along the yukon river. the ongoing recovery is a testament in the same type of federal, state, and local coronation that was so crucial to the months following hurricane sandy. as cochair of the national preparedness month, which wrapped up at the end of september, i believe it is also important to remember that individuals play a large role in
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preparing their communities for disasters. following sandy we saw citizens from around the country donating their time, money, resources, and expertise to help the affected area. nonprofit organizations like the red cross mobilized volunteers and leverage nongovernmental resources. it is in this whole community response that proves to be the best practice in large disasters. alaskan state care -- alaskans take care of our neighbors. we understand that the interconnected infrastructure is both this countries to get asset and our biggest vulnerability. anddisasters begin locally their effects can reach beyond established geographic boundaries. one of the most critical aspects of the recovery process following a disaster is learning from mistakes and integrating those lessons learned.
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since hurricane katrina, fema has worked with other members of the federal family to institutionalize recovery reforms. the agency has released the national disaster recovery framework just last year and it is already in used in states across the country, including my home state of alaska. all agencies were presented here today have illustrated a fierce anditment to response recovery. i applaud their efforts but we can do better. our responsibility of an oversight committee is to make sure we do better. leave we require oversight is the financial management of the sandy supplemental funding. approved $50 billion to aid with response to recovery by 19s, being performed federal agencies. assuring this money is spent in a timely fashion is critical. as we know there are many communities and individuals still in need over a year from the storm. we also must assure that at -- that taxpayer dollars are being
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spent wisely. federal agencies must be accountable for their expenditures and must be prepared to communicate exactly how these funds are being used. don't advocate for burdensome reporting requirements the slowdown recovery. controls exist to protect our national investment. must assure that laws and regulation, mitigation, and response -- this must be the top priority. i look forward to hearing the testimony from today. we are doing something a little different. we will have senator paul interrupt the flow, allowing him his opening statement. we have invited members who are not members of the committee to also artistic pay. having senator landry here, who was affected by katrina in her community -- i have asked members to make sure that -- we will have your full statements in the record and then a reminder that we want to hear
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from any of our folks here to testify. i will do an order of appearance. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am going to leave my comment weekly, submit my full statement to the record, and honor the delegation from the northeast that is here. the work of senator menendez angela brand was essential to this recovery effort. of course, welcome senator .rooker to the committee the former mayoral write-in the middle of the storm as it occurs -- i'm sure you can bring expertise to the senate and this committee as we struggle to build a better response to disasters of all sorts, man-made or natural. medium, and catastrophic, which was clearly the case of katrina and came very close in sandy. we have a long way to go.
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but i appreciate the work of this special subcommittee. it is what mayors and county commissioners and chambers of commerce and individual families and consumers and residents -- the citizens count on us to do our best work. in times of disaster they know their government will be there for them and helping them to recover. i will submit my full statement to the record but really think the northeast delegation for their extraordinary work in recovery. we managed to get a little bit of money out of the bill in louisiana to keep going with our ongoing permanent recovery of the many storms that hit our state. very much.u senator paul does not have an opening statement but i thank him for attending and being part of this. he is the ranking member and it is important we continue to analyze all of these issues related to the emergency response of our country. senator brooker is next great he is so new that you can tell by
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his sign plate. or he just brought his own as a former mayor. senator menendez, you were not supposed to say that. we wanted him to learn that process. i will start with you and go to senator menendez. --first of all [indiscernible] not only to i appreciate the opportunity to participate, but this is clearly my first hearing as a senator. it could not be more according to the people of my state. that's more important to the people of my state. i want to thank those testifying, including secretary donovan, who has been a partner with me on many issues. i look for to working with him even closer now. i look forward to hearing what he has to say as well as those others who are testifying today,
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especially mr. few gate -- mr. fugate. in the aftermath of hurricane sandy, many people in this room played such critical roles, holding all table hearings and advocating for robust federal ensure that new jersey, new york, and although states affected had the resources and support they needed. on behalf of the people of new jersey i think everyone for their leadership and for your recognition that much urgent work had to be done. i want to especially acknowledge my senior senator, senator menendez. he is a true champion of our .tate as a mayor who had significant impact and loss of life, he was a champion of the whole state and every community that was suffering. from day one you are crisscrossing the state, ship shepherding -- shepherding
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desperate resources to new jersey. there's no denying the process we have made -- the progress we have made. low-interest loans, national flood insurance program payments and public assistance grants. in new jersey we are resilient, we are determined, and we are incredibly resourceful. our famous boardwalks have welcomed families and tourists to the jersey shore. hoboken, atlanta city, and newark are bustling with activity. emily's and business people continue to pick up the pieces and move forward. still, far too many are recovering and it is challenging. it is a daily struggle. from a little fairy in north jersey were we were -- where we were, thousands remain out of their homes. countless businesses have been washed away in the storm and have not been reopened. in july i visited orderly beach.
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there were many signs of birth -- of rebirth. houses that stood like skeletons on the roadside, the sots intact but insides gutted. many of the residence i spoke to felt left behind and forgotten by washington. they were still in pain. any of them had challenges not just with d.c. but with trent. i know no one in this room has forgotten those families. have soind us that we much more work to do. in new jersey we have an estimated gap of 28.3 billion dollars between what is needed for a full recovery and what we are receiving in federal support. this number considers residential and commercial sector support reimbursement of municipalities and activities. though congress passed a release package in the aftermath of the storm, billions of dollars in
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federal assistance have yet to make their way to families in need. once they run federally run packages, the reason that the reconstruction mitigation grant program provides up to $150,000 to individual families, critical dollars to help them rebuild their homes. this 600t week, million dollar program had yet to make even a single payment. the logjam in federal funding's is devastating. indeed the delay has put lives on hold and entire families were uprooted from their homes. small businesses still shudder. and iments postponed, have heard directed from any of those affected painful stories of strong people struggling against incredible odds that determined to make it one way or another. there is understandable concern as i go across my state. they speak of a bureaucratic
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maze that forces those impacted by the storm to complete reams of what seems to be unnecessary paperwork sometimes just to be considered for federal aid. they detail stringent regulations that lead to little to no flexibility. they worry about impending flags -- impending hikes in their rates as well. we must increase our sense of urgency to get funding out the door as quickly as possible, while still remaining goods stores of taxpayer dollars and always protecting against fraud. it is critical that we provide and toble grant programs avoid something that has been championed but i -- by the people to my right, were rooted bring -- where we would bring in economic concern. recovery from a national disaster of this magnitude is a very long process. it is not easy.
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thosed as it seems for here who have been toiling for over a year to make this work. , we can make sure it is much much harder for the new jersey -- we can assure you it is much much harder for the thousands of new jersey business owners and families. commitment to them is to join with all of you to ensure the folks from the -- to everywhere in between get the health they -- the helpalth they need, the help they respect, and the help they deserve. thank you. >> thank you very much. i have senator menendez next. >> thank you, mr. chairman. since you are going to include our full statement for the record i am not going to go through it all. or are a couple of points i want to highlight, particularly for the committee's consideration as it moves forward in thinking about future disasters. we just say i am thrilled to be
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here with my colleagues from new york, who were extraordinary in our joint effort to fight for the resources for recovery in our area. i remember my late colleague, a member of this committee that was passionate about this issue -- i appreciate then mayor ohchr doing an extraordinary -- then- mayor ohchr doing an extraordinary job. doing anbooker extraordinary job. you really test the mettle of leadership. we appreciate his leadership in this regard and look forward to having him work in with us and continue to recover. i want to commend the hud the transportation
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department, fema, there were many successes. there are many people who are hurting and they continue to language -- to language. there are those who find themselves in new flood zones that mean the ability to keep their home and what they have built in their lifetime is known the crosshair because of new requirements to either raise their homes and or a variety of other issues as well. there is a responsibility to ensure that when we give out the taxpayer cost money, even in a disaster, that we do it in a way that ultimately ensures the integrity of that money.
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that has to be balanced by the urgency of now. i appreciate that, hopefully part of what the task force is doing is how we do this prospectively. for disasterwait to figure out what the appropriate programs are needed to set up in response. trying to balance the integrity of the money with the need and urgency of now has been a challenge. there has still been too much money flowing to the state that does not quite flow to the people of new jersey. we need to do a better job of that. and the one thing i do want to take the balance of my time to talk about, and i appreciate virtually all of my colleagues and the chair having joined us, is the natural of, not the disaster we face, but the man-
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made disaster we have if we do not rectify it. that is the question of flood insurance. forreality is that thousands of people in new is an around-ry the-clock effort. new jersey families and others in the nation, as he saw by the broad bipartisan support, have been hit with a triple whammy. they were first flooded by sandy and lost their homes, their lifetime of effort, many memories of a lifetime, and then the second was they had to face repair and mitigation costs and they are thirdly, facing astronomical increases in flood insurance costs built into the flood reform bill that was passed before sandy hit. the fact is that the combination of updated flood maps and the phaseout of premium subsidies for the national flood insurance program buttons to force victims out of their homes and destroy -- threatens to force victims out of their homes and destroy
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communities. homeowners would be forced to pay premiums several times higher than the current rate. and those that cannot afford the higher premiums will be forced to sell or be priced out of their home, which will drive down property values and local revenues at the worst possible time. so i want to take the opportunity to promote a partisan legislation -- a bipartisan legislation that seeks to take a timeout, that seeks to say, we asked fema to do and affordability study. we shouldn't have premium that -- premium increases until that affordability is done and we find and affordability mechanism so we can keep the solvency of the program, but also create affordability so people do not lose their homes and be the victims of a natural disaster. ist, mr. chairman, i think one of the most urgent things. i look forward to your help and
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the help of our colleagues. >> thank you very much. senator jill brandt. -- senator gillibrand. m a i want to get a special thanks to senator landrieu, who i have dubbed the third senator from new york. she was such a visit for us advocate for our families. she made sure we could fix as many things in a dance to make sure recovery flowed on the make sure all of the logjams she experienced with hurricane katrina did not happen in new york, new jersey, and other states. she is someone who understands what works and what doesn't work. i just want to thank her for her andinued focus on recovery preventing and creating resiliency. her leadership has been extraordinary. want to thank senator menendez and senator schumer. strongernever seen champions than my colleagues to put themselves in the shoes of
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every family and advocates for what they need most. i want to thank them for their leadership in i know senator booker will not only state -- will stand in issues but he will be the same strong advocate. he has shown it as mayor and i know you will shun it as senator. obviously, the road to recovery is long and hard. new yorkers are strong. areebuild, we rebuild that -- rebuild better, we rebuild stronger. we lost 61 lives. we lost hundreds of thousands of small businesses. we lost 300,000 homes. i remember senator landrieu, who suffered far more loss of life, cannot quite conceive of the loss we separate at home because our population was so dense. our road to recovery was difficult and different. our solutions are difficult and
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different. i think what you're doing is essential to meeting our goals. congress is try to work hard on a couple of problems and did a few things that were necessary. we extended the critical deadline to give sandy survivor's the time they needed to document the losses, which is difficult for some families. we did ease regulations that would have invented substantially damaged homes from acquiring excess of funds. this is something that senator schumer was very aggressive on, very early on. there were a lot of projects that the army corps has designated as necessary. he made sure that it was not funded. we have to do so much more. that is what the senators have already talked about, have touched upon. we have to continue to assure that the red tape does not get in the way of reimbursements. we need to make sure that these communities can get the financing and the money they need. we has to make sure that homeowners, individual homeowners receive the kind of
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resources that they need to build. the senate must pass legislation that we have cosponsored to delay flood insurance premium increases. these increases are set to take affect and no one can afford them. they are of -- they are on affordable for nearly every new yorker i have spoken to. you cannot have a flood insurance program that is too expensive for everyday americans. it just does not work. we must do that. has completed the study we can look at it and congress can help make a plan on how to raise the affordable -- given as homeowners are rebuilding their seeing this increase. many new yorkers may not be able to rebuild. they are homeless. as we continue to recover from sandy we need to throw that we need to strengthen the resilience for our future storms.
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this is not the first nor the last superstorm. as we see storms come and more violently, more damaging, more lives lost, we know what is to come. when we rebuilt would have to rebuild for the future storm. -- when we rebuild we have to rebuild for the future storms. called theed a bill strong act, we introduced it in the ep w committee. it is a bipartisan bill. it is the kind of bill that builds on the progress that mary landrieu and others have been making on these storm recovery efforts. thatso do something engages the local government by requiring the government to develop strategies. we have come a long way in the last year. as i have said, we have so much more to be done. reports of how few homeowners have been actually
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able to rebuild, it breaks your heart. new yorkers want to rebuild, they want to rebuild stronger but they need your help. >> thank you very much, senator schumer? >> thank you mr., chairman. -- thank you mr. chairman. senator landrieu has been invaluable. we have learned from the mistakes that were made in katrina and she was our guide as we went through this. i want to thank my colleagues here. we were a great team. ,hey made the impossible getting $60 billion -- we were held up for a two. -- ray too long -- for a too long. bang -- too long period of time. i want to welcome senator booker . he will fill large shoes as a member. i want to say to the five of
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you, i have worked closely in making sure getting things worked -- making things work. have done a public service at the federal and city level. and i thank you for that and look forward to continuing to work. i can think of accomplishments on each of you that we have done together in terms of negotiating and getting things done. , jok you to shaun donovan holloway.ey, cas keep an eye on us. well, you know, there's so much here. first, there's a question how is it going? it's going, overall, very well. amount of money that has been spent and allocated is
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.arge and at least up till now, and let's hope it continues, we seen a major misspending of money. we wanted to avoid the scene of trailers being unused which happened despite mary landrieu's great efforts in louisiana. and then what she warned us of as well, lots of money sitting be used.t couldn't so the way we structured these programs, particularly cdbg but corps's programs, the transportation programs, the fema programs as well, was to make sure that the money would go where it had to go and go quickly but without wasting money. so i know there was a move -- money should be spent in three months. if that were happening, there still millions of people, or thousands of people, complaining that they didn't get needed because it wouldn't have been allocated carefully and properly, and there would have been lots of newspaper reporters writing about, oh, all the misspent money.
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that.en't seen so it's taken longer than we would like. and it is certainly true that not gotten the money that we would like to see them have gotten more quickly. but i believe while the first year was one of laying the , makinge and recovery sure the roads were cleared, making sure people had electricity, making sure rents hundreds ofr the thousands of people who were pushed out of their homes, the year -- first year was recovery, but second is rebuilding. flowingy is flowing and well, and flowing, i think, in a way that it will be better used than in any major public disaster in the history of this country. will se wners see $1.4 billion. didold many of them, we all together, lay out the money to rebuild and you will be repaid. the combination of the fema program, which is fairly rigid cdbg program which is more flexible, will lead to that happening.
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now, it couldn't happen for a lot of reasons. first, people did have to rebuild. second, we weren't going to pay shouldivate insurance step up to the plate. so we had to see how much private insurance people were getting. what we made sure of is if your was $100,000 and your fema money was $10,000 and your insurance was $40,000 and you had a $50,000 gap that cdbg money will be there. good thing. second, we worked really hard to make sure that there were processes put in housing and transportation and in everything else we did. we rebuild, we'll be much more resilient against a future storm, which has been said will happen. and we've done that. and that makes a great deal of sense, too. i predict that the second be aof sandy recovery will year when people see lots of r rebuilding. by the end of year two people will be a whole lot happier with the program than
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year one,t the end of but it's because of the good ,ork that we all did together the five of us here. cory, of course, doing his work in newark. of us at the federal level and those of you back there. it's been a strong team effort that i believe will be regarded as one of the most successful aforts in terms of getting large area to recover from a horrible storm as well and as quickly as possible. >> thank you, senator. of first to speak secretary hud, secretary donovan, and has served in the position since 2009. alaskaou for coming to as you have done before. you i know you have a personal
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of what happens in new york. let me turn it over to secretary donovan. >> chairman, senators, it is a pleasure to be joining you today. rememberinggin by that last week on the one-year anniversary of hurricane sandy paused to remember all of those who lost their homes, their businesses, and tragically lost their lives. i remember visiting the region struck andthe storm being stunned by the breadth of destruction. $65 billion in damage and 650,000 homess, damaged or destroyed, 9 million people lost power. was clear that the road to recovery would be long and difficult. but if you know anything about region, androm this i'm proud to count myself as one of them, it's that they are resilient. knocked down, but they always get back up. after sandy, they began the work
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their lives and communities back together and president obama pledged his these legal efforts in order to ensure a full recovery. thee create -- we created taskforce to maximize cabinet level coordination in support of region. to rebuild this i have been enormously proud to chair this effort as we worked basic goals.o one, to get the assistance that au all fought so hard to make reality, to communities as quickly as possible. immediate needs. and, second, to ensure that the region rebuild stronger and than before so that it's better equipped to deal with future storms. let me begin with the work of getting assistance to communities quickly and effectively. as you know, in january, working with all of you in the congress, state leaders fought tirelessly to get $50 billion in funding inlemental order to aid victims of the storm. it's been a priority to get these dollars into communities
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quickly and responsibly as possible. that's why we thought it was critical to include several the supplemental that facilitated more efficient spending of these dollars. i want to particularly call out senator lan landrieu for all ofr .elp and assistance on this a few examples. giving hud the authority to duplicative environmental reviews. as a result of these and other measures, we made great progress number of fronts. more than 230,000 people in small businesses have received assistance from fema, the small business administration, labor.artment of more than 99% of sandy-related national flood insurance policy totaling more tha than $8 million have been paid filed policyholders who claims. 97% of public beaches in the affected region were opened by memorial day 2013, sending a strong message that the shore was ready for business. when you include the national flood insurance program, the administration has
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nearly $40 billion in funding for recipients with $13.5 billion of this already paid out. hud in particular, has allocat allocated $10 billion in community development block grants including an allocation that took place within eight the sandye signing of supplemental into law. this it represented the fastest the allocation following signing of an appropriations bill. so relief is getting to communities. said, weu have all know it can never be fast enough. that's why we've been creative work with ways to local partners to expedite the rebuilding process. businessudes the small administration's work to accelerate application processing times which has ok's during -- abouto 42 days, a drop of 1/3. the use of a streamlined permit and review process for complex, infrastructure projects that's based on a model which is implementationed times by 51%. one example, cutting three to
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five years off the projects like the tappan zee bridge. of foreclosure prevention policies in disaster-effected areas making stay in homes at such a critical time in their lives. and the establishment of a minimum flood risk reduction standard across the for majorvernment sandy rebuilding projects, representing the first time a standardovernment-wide has been set that accounts for the effects of rising sea levels we'll moving forward, continue to look for new ways to remove unnecessary barriers and headaches, ensuring that the that flow into the region are put into use as quickly and efficiently as possible. our other goal, rebuilding stronger and smarter so that the region is better prepared to withstand future storms. on august 19, the taskforce released our rebuilding strategy included 69on which recommendingions to do just that. it included steps to harden our producer grid and our fuel supply chain to address the sawge and gas lines we
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during sandy and steps to help families and small businesses times. in these new the strategy also identifies ways to leverage additional private funds to support infrastructure projects. investing in projects that will make our communities more resilient is vital to their safety. it's also good for our economy. as senator guillen brand point out, we know for every dollar we spend, we save $4 in avoided costs in future storms. recommendation in this strategy has a detailed implementation plan, and i and my department will be accountable to the region to you, to see them through. and we will stay at it for as takes knowing that eventually we'll emerge stronger and more vibrant than ever. earlier,ioned following sandy, it was clear that the road to recovery would long and difficult. we made significant progress. families have gotten back on their feet, businesses reped o, communities turning the page and looking to the future. that much more work needs to be done. all of us in the obama administration are committed to
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local partners and with all of you to continue to get assistance to those in the rebuilding, ensure the region is better prepared to withstand future extreme weather improve ourwork to recovery efforts across the nation. these are goals i look forward this committee on and i look forward to answering your questions today. thank you. >> thank you very much. person i have on the list is has served as a deputy dot since 2009 before becoming the deputy secretary he served twice as a secretary of the maryland of transportation. thank you very much for being here. >> thank you, chairman. and members of the subcommittee. it's a pleasure to be here today to highlight the department of innsportation's role assisting the communities that were devastated by hurricane sandy a year ago. hit, thehurricane damage it caused didn't just take a tragic human toll it also blow to thestating regional transportation system which is the life blood of the region's economy. the aviation side, three of the busiest airports in the country flights were
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effected. the highway system, as well, suffered significant damage. stands apart is this historic storm triggered the worst public transit natural disaster in the history of the united states. disaster,e to this congress passed the disaster radio he leaf appropriations act included $12.4 billion in aassistance for transportation .rograms it's worth noting that assistance was reduced b to$6,750,000,000 due requestions taking - taking -- $650 million, due to sequestration. program proy relief prosed by president obama in 2011, later authorized by our map 21.tation bill this emergency relief program for transit was in place for about 30 days before the hit.ter in addition to helping transit repairs,make immediate the program also supports mitigation activities that will
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improve resiliency and help transit infrastructure resist future.storms in the disaster relief appropriations funding also went to fix the transportation network as well, roads and bridges, restore amtrak service, mentioned, repair airport facilities at newark, guardia and -- la j.f.k. to date, the department of transportation allocated nearly $7 billion for repairs and resiliency efforts in response to sandy. we've learned a lot from the hurricane experience that will help us respond to future even events. andt, a coordinated efficient federal response is essential. president obama's hurricane rebuilding taskforce has helped all the federal agencies involved work together to best possible outcomes for the communities effected by the storm. donovan's leadership has been important in moving forward. second, hurricane sandy and recent disasters underscore the nation's vulnerability to extreme weather
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climatender current conditions. that's why one of our top priorities moving forward is to existingotect transportation infrastructure and equipment from the impact of future natural disasters it just makes sense if we're going to spend money rebuilding transportation, let's build it last. we'll soon be issuing a notice forunding availability capital projects that will reduce the risk of damage from future disasters in the region impacted by hurricane sandy. we're going to do that on a competitive basis. these investments in resiliency will help reduce the need for any future recovery efforts. and has been previously pointed out, research has shown every on actionst by fema to reduce disaster loss now saves the nation almost $4 in impacts. we're hoping to realize similar americanngs for the taxpayer by ensuring that our transportation infrastructure is futureo withstand storms. however, i must caution the need investment far
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exceeds the available funding. emergency has only relief funds available for hurricane sandy recovery efforts and nothing nationwide beyond that. leaves us without any ability at the department to address our next crisis, emergenciesture occurring outside this region. much of my own career has been at the state and local level. i know firsthand how important respond quickly and effectively. i strongly encourage congress to appropriate funds so that when the next disaster strikes and takes public transportation offline, we'll be in a position to respond immediately. i thank the subcommittee for meg t -- inviting me to testify. thank you. >> thank you very much. mr. craigpeaker is fugate who was confirmed for the fema administration -- in 2009 after serving as the director of the florida division of emergency management. managed the largest federal disaster response in florida history as four major
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hurricanes impacted the state. thank you very much. good to sigh again. chairman.ou, mr. senators. secretary donovan laid out a lot of the numbers. to come back to what you have done to set the stage for what we were able to do as a federal government and then our next steps. withoing to start something that you're not hearing a lot about, but i think it's important we talk about. the continuous support and fulling for -- funding for state and local and grants and emergency management grants building the capability at the and local level to manage the impacts of these types of disasters. the federal, government could not have done its job if our state and local partners weren't able to do theirs. so this is one thanks for the investment over time specifically since 9/11, those investments are paying off in capability and resiliency our communities have against all hairs yards.
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the -- hazards. we would not have been prepared to respond without the formation i doubt very much i would be here testifying. that law substantially changed fema mission was, requirements of the person that has chosen to lead the organization, as well as the wait untilred to not states are overwhelmed before the federal government can mobilize. this put us in the position under the president's leadership and playssources before any state was hit by the storm, before we knew how devastating this was going to be. again, those tools set the stage for the response and support of local government. but the other part of that, which we oftentimes talk about the supplemental, overshadows something i think is fundamental, a change to the stafford act. and that was the sandy recovery act.vement many of the issues that we still had, that became impediments to
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recovery. probably one of my best examples debris.n we were actually increasing the cost of removing debris because and policy that said if you use your folks and your public works department to we're not going to reimburse you for those costs. only their overtime. to do hire a contractor that we'll pay you the full cost share on that. these tools that we began to implement. we have used them in disasters post. these were not sandy specific, but sandy became the catalyst of we would be better stewards of getting money out effectively and state local governments to rebuild faster tohout losing the ability maintain the fiduciary responsibility of ensuring that the dollars go towards the intended to go. we have used these not only in but in some of these that we were allowed to go to previous disasters, where we've
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to use estimating tools in vermont to did a big challenging project there. do somebeen able to things that quite honestly they gaves made sense, but you us the tools. fewalthough it was only a tribes impacted, this came after sovereignhink for our federally recognized tribes also something that was very unheralded. finally gave federally recognized tribal governments the recognition of their sovereignty that no longer requires them to go through a state to request declarations. that programented after the law was signed. the first tribal government that the eastern band cherokee. we did not wait for the rules to catch up. we did not wait for our to catch up. we implemented the law as intended and have successfully declarationsster at the request of tribal governments. we have a lot of work to do. only -- we tend to look at one-year marks. but i knew going in this was
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multi-year recover rix think senator schumer said it right, that the first year is initial stepsse where you see a lot of progress in the beginning and then it starts to slow down. because now we're starting to the rebuilding. and from the president's direction on down, what we want rebuild for is we the future and not the past. that we can make these improvements and make investments that we may spend a the front more in end, but we assure the delivery of critical services and future.ucture in the and then lastly, senator theinez, again, we agree administration's position on the reauthorization of flood insurance programs, we needed to affordability, but we found that in the legislation past, we to allowave the tools us to use that to build affordability o before the took so, again, we look forward to working with congress to get a allows us not to keep kicking the can down the road
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but address affordability for live in their homes but also ensure we're not the same way, putting people and future generations at risk. thank you. chairman, martinez was my former colleague from florida. >> sorry, senator mendez. >> we're both cuban but we don't all look the same. >> yes. sorry. >> great. thank you very much. >> let me also say i really withciate the work you did the tribes. that's a huge opportunity. thank you for that. ist person i have ms. jo-ellen darcy, assistant secretary of the army civil primaryich is supervision over the u.s. army corps of engineers. prior to her appointment, ms. darcy served as the advisor to the senate finance committee conservation,rest energy issues. good to sigh again. thank you. you, senator. thank you for the opportunity today to testify on the corps's continued working on the recovery from hurricane sandy. the federal support during the response to sandy was
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unprecedent. the corps was part of an interagency team to include governmentscal which provided technical assistance and rapid response activities across the impacted areas. the disaster relief appropriations act of 2013 withded the corps $5.35 billion to address damages caused by hurricane sandy. tos money's being used reduce future flood risk and increase the long-term the coastalty of ecosystem and communities while reducing the economic costs and with largeiated floods and storms. the corps has made significant progress in the year since hurricane sandy. and in the time since the passage of the appropriations bill. the corps's hurricane sandy recovery program has three major components. first, it's our near-term component that supports repaircy operations and and restoration of previously constructed corps projects along dredging federal navigation channel and repair of corps-operated structures.
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secondly, investigations component that expedites the completion of ongoing studies at federal expense and funds the north atlantic coast comprehensive study. our construction component rehabilitates, repairs, and constructs projects to reduce future flood and storm damage risk in smarter and more .ustainable ways as part of the near-term component, the corps started restoration ofd existing projects along the atlantic coast in february of to3 and is scheduled conclude these actions by the fall of 2014. to date, the corps has placed approximately 12 million cubic yards of sand to repair dunes workerms and will continue to restore them to their original designed conditions. obligatedcorps has almost $390 million to restore damage projects. the total 33 projects in this phase, seven are completely have been -- have awarded contracts, construction contracts, and four are in the
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pre-award stage. near-term efforts also include addressing the storm's impacts navigation infrastructure. the corps's operations and maintenance work began in of 2013, and most projects are scheduled for completion by the spring of 2015. fiscal year 2013, the corps had obligated over this work withr 35 projects completed and 28 in construction. for the investigations component, the corps is using funding to expedite completion of 18 flood and storm damage reduction studies in the northeast that were underway occurred. $20 million of the investigation funding is for the comprehensive will assess 31,000 miles of the north atlantic coastline bringing and coastalerts planning, engineering and science from more than 90 academic, and non-governmental entities. the comprehensive study team has developed a draft framework currently under review. and the results of the study, we think, will inform our future
5:47 am -- efforts. the corps was also directed to conduct a performance evaluation study to evaluate the effectiveness of completed corps projects during hurricane sandy to include summary recommendations for future improvements. i signed the transmittal of this this morning. so it should be here on the hill by now. [laughter] the third component of the program will construct projects authorizedreviously but not constructed at the time fall.ricane sandy's land potential projects identified for implementation following the investigation process and withins that will fall our continuing authorities program. expediteddesign, and reevaluations are underway for the 18 previously authorized but constructed projects and the corps anticipates construction will begin in early 2014. the corps expects to complete construction working on roughly half of these flood-risk projects by mid 2015. of the identified continuing
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projects, massachusetts, connecticut, new york, new jersey delaware, areland, and virginia currently scheduled to receive beach erosion and coastal storm damage risk reduction projects. and we expect 70% of this work by 2016.pleted there will always be residual ink for americans who live coastal regions. expected changes in sea level otherextreme weather, and impacts are likely to increase the risks fating these areas. -- facing these areas. together with noah and fema, the corps of engineers developed a helpevel rise tool to communities anticipate the influence of sea level rise. will use base flood elevation maps from fema, the coastal of noaah.pabilities and a sea level rise calculator engineers.rps of this tool yesterday was recognized by the president and awarded the green government climate change champion award. ourhe collaboration between
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agencies as a result of sandy has already produced a future-looking sustainability and tool that we can all use throughout the federal government. in addition, noaah and the corps of engineers are working moreher to help rebuild resilient and sustainable coastal communities. while working on post sandy york andefforts in new new jersey know ya and the corps set systems, rebuilding principles in order to promote a unified strategy for activities coast.oring the collaborative efforts on all levels continue to explore and that reducelution risk from coastal storms such as appropriate land use planning, non-structural solutions, and well communicated evacuation planning. mr. chairman, and members of the committee, i thank you for the opportunity and look forward to questions. >> thank you very much. our next speaker is ms. kathleen thai, chair of the recovery, accountability, and transparency
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board while continuing herr inspector general for the department of education. the board has been charged with dollars beingal spent on the sandy recovery. thank you for being here. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman, senators, i want the opportunity to appear before you today. as chair of the recovery board, i will be speaking to you about the board's roll and the inrsight of funds expended support of hurricane sandry recovery efforts. the boards with a created in february 2009 ooze part of the recovery act. it consists of 12 inspectors its mission to s to provide transparency of the use of recovery funds and to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse. we meet this mission by managing website through which recipients of recovery funds report and by spendingg that information in unique ways on our public website, we also develop the recovery operations center or what we
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as a central data analytics service to support fraud detection and prevention. roc has the ability to rapidly aggregate and analyze of dataomplex volumes to screen for potential risks or identify targets and provide deeper investigative information in the support of audits, prosecutionns and ises. while the board was originally due to sunset on september 30 of this year, the sandy legislation extended the board through 2015 with additional duties for the board to develop and use our resources and mechanisms to detect and remediate fraud, waste, and funds related to hurricane sandy. our oversight efforts related to have focused on applying the techniques and processes developed by the roc examine the spending, primarily working with our ig partners. theoordination with department of homeland security office of inspector general, we
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of 104 entityview that received hurricane sandy from 32emoval contracts cities in new york and new jersey totally over $329 million. among the particular risk dhsoigors we reported to were firms whose owners had liens, and state tax ones that had been listed on the federal list of suspended or bidders, and companies that had filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy and had federal tax liens. in addition to this work, we have provided assistance to dhsoig on its investigations of other fema, hurricane sandy grants, and toce other ig's and their sandy work. island,state of rhode we undertook a proactive analysis of 10,000 potential contractorsndy against our data bases that would show potential risks and reported information back to that state. in addition to our work in the website,re using our
5:53 am to information is available on hurricane sandy spending. we visually display hurricane sandy-awarded contracts from the federal procurement data system award information as well as links to fema spending by state and state hurricane .andy websites we also display the department of justice's disaster fraud .eporting hotline we are currently in the final stages of moving the hurricane sandy information to our website to be able to better use the .unctionalities of that website since commencing our working on hurricane sandy mission, we've identified a series of that we continue to face. the first is a painting accurate complete hurricane sandy spending data. with no mandated centralized such as in recovery, access to standardized data is limited. procurementderal data system and usa spending have information related to
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sandy, each has its limitations. for example, on usa spending, hurricane sandy grants and loans lack a unique identifier, making accuratelytic to extract and analyze hurricane sandy awards. subddition, the lack of recipient data will further complicate our work. given the types of hurricane sandy grants expected to be awarded, prime recipients of these awards oftentimes will be a state or a municipality but historically the majority of below this level by entities performing the actual work. my testimony. thank you for the opportunity to discuss the activities of the board. answering any to questions. >> thank you very much. for our last speaker, again, i want to thank you for being here. before i mention you and your title, i want to the sure the folks know for record we did invite representatives of both the new ork state and new york -- new jersey state government. they declined the invitation. so we're happy a local
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person is here. i appreciate that as a deputy onor for operations august 4, 2011, as deputy mayor, mr. holloway oversees offices including the police department, fire department, office of emergency management. mayor michael say bloomberg, but you had an legislation last night. i'm not sure what it is today. glad you're here. we appreciat it, especially from a local perspective. so, please. you very much, mr. chairman. just for clarification, the january 1.n is so i still have my job for the next 55 days. [laughter] does the mayor. >> very good. good afternoon, march and senators. -- mr. chairman and senators. thanks for the opportunity to testify about the role and toectiveness of federal aid new york city's recovery from hurricane sandy. i want to begin by thanking you behalf of mayor bloomberg and all new yorkers for answering new york city's call after the unprecedented devastation caused by hurricane sant sandy. from president obama and members
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includinginet, secretary donovan who's here today to entire agencies of the particularlynment, fema, hud, and the army corps of engineers, to assets including generators, fuel, food, and many others to the billions of dollars in recovery aid that available through the disaster relief appropriations act of 2013, what sandryfer to as the recovery bill. the federal government has been there for new york city since landfallre sandy made on the new jersey coast last october 29. sandy was the worst natural disaster to ever strike new york city. it took the lives of 44 new yorkers, caused unprecedented damage to public infrastructure and private property and onggered an enormous and doss going response. i will touch on the role of federal aid in three components recovery. before and up to five months after the storm the second stage thatng recovery efforts are underway now and will continue for the next 12 to 18 city's plan to protect and mitigate against the
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thatte-related impacts have become an increasingly life.nt part of everyday i'll start with the pre and immediate after sandy aid. our partnership with federal agencies began well before sandy moved up the east coast to the united states and took that left ward hook that would subject new york city to the storm's most devastating impacts. the city implemented its coastal storm plan, fema and the national weather service were us at the city's emergency operations center. and i was there for days. attest we had much support. though the storm did tremendous damage, the prestorm evacuation largelyn was successful. and post storm surveys indicate that most new yorkers knew about the storm, knew if they lived in theynerable area, and knew should eyak kuwait -- evacuate. after storm together with fema enat new york national guard we removed an estimated 700,000 tons of storm debris through some of the contracts that mrs. tighe mentioned. -- and the than
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defense logistics agency. distributed more than 2.1 million meals ready to eat and canvassed more than 100,000 areas tos in affected distribute food and water, sanitary items, and make referrals to healthcare case services. as we reported to you when congress took up the act, the estimatedred an $19.5 billion of damages due to nearlyrm including $5 billion in direct recovery costs, hundreds of homes were totally destroyed, thousands of famesly, families displaced. given the density of new york city and the challenge of relocating, mayo mayor bloombere it a priority to get people back into their homes. the entire -- the creativity of craig fugate and his team at fema, we developed fema called the shelter and temporary essential power program step. in store city we called it rapid repairs. rapid repairs was an innovative approach to shelter that is based on a simple premise, the best temporary shelter is
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shelter. step enabled the city to hire contractors to make emergency hot water and power repairs to victims' own homes. and only 110 days since we went into the first home on november 21, the city was able on 11, 800 repairs homes and multifamily buildings. enabled roughly 54,000 new yorkers to return to their homes. and our survey data indicates that many -- most people, the vast majority, are back in their althoughnew york city many still need to recover. i have -- have additional do all federal dollars are accounted for properly -- and we want to make sure they're properly spent. it's been a priority for new beginning.ince the will we have established monitoring programs overseen by the department of investigation the housing initiatives we have undertaken. we will continue this rigorous oversight. can provide reporting at any level that the committee would like.
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while rapid repairs helped thousands of new yorkers to move back into their homes, that was the beginning. thousands of families need much done to make a full recovery and make their homes able to better withstand climatetorms and other impacts. thanks to 15.2, it was 16 toortunately due sequestration, of community developed block grant funding, leadership of shaun donovan and the federal recovery taskforce, we launched build it back, a $700 million program in june, with the city's first cdbg funding and the basic idea is to help homeowners continue that recovery. avs october 31, nearly 26,000 families have signed up for the and approximately 500 of those had homes that were destroyed. we have encouraged many new yorkers to seek this help and we're glad that they've done so. need and, the overall demand does exceed supplies. so we will need additional to make surend