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Sires Votes in Favor of Critical Financial Services Legislation to Aid New Jersey Residents

Jul 16, 2015
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) -“ This week, Congressman Sires voted in favor of several pieces of legislation critical to assisting New Jersey veterans, homeowners, and those affected by Superstorm Sandy.

On July 13, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 208, the Superstorm Sandy Relief Act, which would improve the Small Business Administration's (SBA) disaster lending initiative to give firms impacted by Hurricane Sandy the opportunity to reapply for a disaster loan from the agency. After Superstorm Sandy, many New Jersey businesses fought delays and red tape when trying to secure emergency loans from the SBA, and this legislation would give local businesses another chance to apply for assistance. H.R. 208 was passed unanimously by voice vote.

"I am glad that Congress has voted to support local businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy by providing them with a much needed opportunity for disaster assistance. Hundreds of New Jersey residents are still dealing with the aftermath of the storm, and it is critical that we ensure the Small Business Administration does a better job helping small businesses following catastrophes in the future," stated Congressman Sires.

On July 14, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 251, the Homes for Heroes Act of 2015, which aims to prevent low-income veterans and their families from becoming homeless. This legislation specifically establishes a Special Assistant for Veterans Affairs and requires an annual report on veterans' homelessness be submitted to Congress, so that legislators may address the coordination of services for homeless veterans between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA), as well as prevent veterans from falling into homelessness. H.R. 251 was passed by a vote of 412 - 1.

"Just as the military pledges to leave no soldier behind on the battlefield, we must leave no veteran behind when they return home," said Congressman Sires. "We need to remain devoted to providing for those who have served selflessly in our defense, and ensuring our veterans have a roof over their head must remain a top priority."

Finally, on July 14, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1047, the Housing Assistance Efficiency Act, which aims to remove a layer of red tape that will save money and allow people to get housing assistance more quickly. Specifically, this legislation would require HUD to conduct reallocation of funds just once a year, allowing HUD employees to provide more human resources towards providing better service to constituents, as well as permanently allow non-profits to administer rental assistance through HUD's Continuum of Care program the assistance, giving certainty to the system and those who rely on it. H.R. 1047 was passed unanimously by voice vote.

H.R. 208, H.R. 251, and H.R. 1047 now await action in the Senate.