Senators press for concrete solutions

Journal Inquirer

The Connecticut congressional delegation is pushing for various amendments aimed at providing financial assistance to homeowners with crumbling foundations, determining the overall financial impact, and creating a map to determine where to find pyrrhotite, the mineral causing foundations to fail.

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, who is a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, both Democrats from Connecticut, introduced several amendments to various federal appropriations bills.

The senators are joining U.S. Reps. Joseph D. Courtney and John B. Larson, who led the passage of similar amendments in the House last week.

All four congressmen introduced an amendment that would provide funding for the U.S. Geological Survey to develop a map showing where pyrrhotite is found throughout the country, as well as one that provides funding for a Treasury Department study to examine the financial impact of crumbling foundations on homeowners, banks, and municipalities.

These amendments cleared the House last week and are awaiting action in the Senate.

In a joint statement, Courtney, D-2nd District, and Larson, D-1st District, said the House vote was “another small step to help our constituents.”

“We urge the Senate to act on these measures so they can be sent to the president’s desk for a signature,” they said.

Additionally, Murphy and Blumenthal introduced an amendment that would provide $100 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to states such as Connecticut that have created nonprofit crumbling foundation assistance funds.

The amendment is based on a proposal the senators previously introduced.