Residents of the 8th District know first-hand the serious and unfortunate impacts of disasters that threaten our homes, our businesses, and our way of life. Our communities are forever changed by the terrorist attacks that occurred just across the Hudson River on September 11th, 2001. The 8th District has also experienced the impacts of natural disasters and continues to recover from Superstorm Sandy. It is clear that local, state, and federal government agencies must work closely together to make our communities more resilient for future disasters, whether they are man-made or natural. As a Member of Congress, I have been, and will continue to be, a strong advocate for further Homeland Security and disaster preparedness funding.
Preparedness measures and emergency response capabilities help the communities in the 8th District improve recovery capabilities after adverse events. The 8th District is home to what is considered the most dangerous two-mile stretch in the country due to our critical transportation and industrial infrastructure. Everyday our district facilitates the passage of interstate commerce that is crucial to our local, state, and national economies. The district houses both the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, along with Newark Liberty International Airport and the Port of Newark/Elizabeth. Our district also transports the residents of New Jersey to and from New York everyday with important PATH railway terminals along with New Jersey Transit and Amtrak rail lines. Protection of this infrastructure is paramount, which is why I have and will continue to push for proper transportation and port security funding.
Our nation’s preparedness efforts rely heavily on our local firefighters, police officers, emergency medical services, and emergency management agencies. It is in the best interest of all citizens that we provide our first responders with the resources they need to protect us during everyday emergencies, and during natural and man-made disasters. As a Member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, I remain committed to supporting legislation that benefits fire departments and first responders.
More on Homeland Security
While in Washington this week, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund our military for fiscal year (FY) 2019. Also, the Transportation Committee’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee hosted a hearing on the implementation of the FAST Act and the full Committee marked up the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).
This week in Washington, I voted to pass disaster assistance for Puerto Rico, cosponsored more legislation to address the gun violence epidemic, met with the Prime Minister of Srpska, and discussed the Iran deal at a Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing.
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Sires issued the following statement regarding the President’s most recent tweets about disaster response resources in Puerto Rico:
(Jersey City, N.J.) – Congressman Sires issued the following statement regarding POTUS latest tweet about the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico:
"The Island of Puerto Rico and its residents have been faced with an unprecedented disaster with Hurricane Maria. The President's latest comments regarding the Mayor of San Juan are uncalled for. This is a humanitarian crisis and the people of Puerto Rico deserve every resource available by this Administration.
This week in Washington, I attended a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the reorganization of the State Department, marked up my Global Health Innovation Act, and met with various groups to discuss health care, education, and regional security in the Western Hemisphere.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires issued the following statement in response to the Administration’s decision to temporarily waive the Jones Act for 10 days to provide assistance in sending supplies to Puerto Rico:
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires joined over 140 of his colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump demanding more resources for recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. The letter requests that President Trump further mobilize the Department of Defense (DOD) in its disaster relief response to Puerto Rico. Current DOD missions have been deployed to the island, yet more immediate assistance is needed.
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Sires issued the following statement regarding Hurricane Maria and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico:
“In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which destroyed the island’s infrastructure, our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico are without power, food, and water. Food and water are desperately needed and infrastructure must be rebuilt so aid can be delivered quickly throughout the whole island. While there are some disaster relief and military teams on the ground, more can and should be done.
This week in Washington, the House of Representatives passed a relief package for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, I cosponsored the DREAM Act of 2017, met with President Trump and other Congressional members about the Gateway Project, and welcomed Mayor Corral of Santa Fe City in Argentina.
This week in Washington, I discussed microfinance and the importance of international diplomacy at a Foreign Affairs Hearing and at a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing, spoke with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly about President Trump’s immigration reforms, voted on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and held a number of meetings.