Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. has been very critical of the way Hurricane Sandy relief has been handled and Pascrell told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that New Jersey is losing 25 percent of its water resources every day because of the water infrastructures.
Pascrell has spoken about about the need to reopen RREM grants. Pascrell said that there are 7,000 to 8,000 people out there that have not gotten back into their homes. He said that he has been warning the Christie Administration and he found out that the people who were hired to monitor the money really did not do their job. He said that the administration finally fired those people and got a second group that they also fired and now have a third group. He said the Democrats, Republicans, and the delegation fought so hard for the money and they do not want to see it go to waste.
Pascrell said having a third party with credentials come in to administer programs is not a bad idea but he said who do you choose and how did you get to this particular company in the first place? He also questioned why HUD approved some of the projects that had nothing to do with Sandy.
Pacsrell was pushing to get money for New Jersey’s water infrastructure. Pascrell said that New Jersey is losing 25 percent of the water resource every day. He said this is water that has been treated and is on the way to faucets. He said that New jersey is only hurting itself if the issue is not addressed.
Pascrell said that he wants to lift bonds for private investment into the infrastructure. He said if the state can put together $140 million over 10 from the federal government, the state can have $50 billion of private investment. He said that the state needs much money money than that form the project but it would be a good bite into what is a very serious problem.
“This is a peculiar congress. We have never had problems in the past with passing infrastructure or transportation bills. We need it. Our highways are falling apart, our airports, our bridges. Many of our bridges, 30 percent to 40 percent of them, you wouldn’t want to drive over once you see the condition that they are in. We take these things for granted and the less you invest in transportation, infrastructure, education, energy, what are we going to be when we are really competing with other countries throughout the world? I believe in that kind of investment, if we are smart about how we spend it and if we are smart about where we get the money from and what we cut, I think we will be okay,” said Pascrell.