Mississippi Rep. Steve Palazzo was one of 67 Republicans who opposed a partial relief bill for the victims of Superstorm Sandy last week, but after visiting areas devastated by the storm, he has vowed to support a second $51 billion relief bill when Congress returns to Washington next week.
“I was reminded of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Mississippians have been through much of what the Sandy victims are experiencing," Palazzo, who represents a district along the Gulf Coast hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said in a statement. “Now is the time for the federal government to provide immediate relief to those affected by the storm. I am fully committed to providing the relief they so desperately need."
Palazzo made the announcement Tuesday after touring areas of New Jersey and New York still recovering from the October storm.
With Palazzo's shift, the relief measure requires four other members who have voiced opposition to the measure to flip.
The House and Senate last week approved a $9.7 bill to grant emergency funding to the Federal Emergency Management Agency program that offers subsidized insurance plans to households near coastal regions. A vote is planned next week to provide direct federal aid to state governments affected by the storm.