Rep. Michael Grimm, whose district covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, has launched a petition drive to protest the possible diversion of more than $1 billion from Hurricane Sandy relief funding.
About $3.5 billion remains in the Hurricane Sandy relief bill that provides funds to disaster-struck areas across the country.
However, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that lawmakers are considering diverting between $1- and $2 billion to more recent disaster recovery efforts as part of a national competition for resiliency funds.
Members of the Staten Island Alliance called on the Department of Housing and Urban Development to keep the funding in place.
"The idea that people are still not back in their homes, and we're going to consider some resiliency competition across this country for [$1] billion, possibly as much as $2 billion, is so absurd that I didn't believe it when I heard it," Grimm said.
"You see a house, you know, you can't tell the devastation. Open up the doors and you can tell the devastation. So there's been no help from the government yet," said Tom Cunsolo of the Staten Island Alliance. "So the money that's there, that is allocated for us to get the help, they're looking to pull away."
Petitioners said they hope to gather enough signatures to prevent the diversion.