Long Island members ask House leaders to make Sandy relief top priority

The letter was signed by Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.).

These members did not make any specific demands for federal aid, and their letter came on the same day that Democrats said they believe the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has enough funds to cover the initial costs of Sandy.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he was told by the agency that there is "no shortage of dollars" at FEMA, which has $1 billion from fiscal 2012, and was just funded at $7.1 billion for fiscal 2013.

But the Long Island members said the devastation from Sandy in New York is extensive, and indicated to Boehner and Pelosi that further requests for money will be made.

"While many communities continue to feel the effects of the storm, it is clear that damages to private property and public infrastructure across the region far exceed local governments' ability to meet the needs of those affected," they wrote. "In our Long Island congressional districts, entire neighborhoods are flooded, the coastline is severely eroded, many roadways and bridges are in in peril and hundreds of our constituents cannot return to their homes."

The members asked not only that FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have enough money, but also that the Small Business Administration and the Department of Agriculture are in a position to help small businesses affected by the storm.

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