Bobby Jindal introduces first Bill
WASHINGTON, January 27 2005
US Congressman Bobby Jindal introduced his first bill
early in the 109th Congress, keeping a promise he had
made to his constituency and signalling that he is already
building his reputation as a pro-active legislator.
According to Jindal (Republican from Louisiana), the
legislation "Disaster Prevention Protection Act
of 2005" he introduced on Wednesday is part of
his promise made to Louisianans that he would tackle
a ruling that considers disaster grants as income in
Representative Jindal is the second Indian American
to be elected to the US Congress. He has made known
to President George W Bush's administration his support
for efforts to change the social security system.
As president of the Freshmen Class of Republicans,
Jindal has already chaperoned the group to a meeting
with Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Discussing the bill, Jindal said "There is a terrible
situation in Louisiana and across this country, which
is causing financial hardship for far too many people."
"This bill will stop that. This bill will allow
people to protect their homes without fear of their
losing them when the tax bill comes."
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mitigation
grants are given on a competitive basis to individuals
or businesses who have just sustained a major disaster
or whose properties have received repetitive losses
resulting in insurance claims. In July 2004, the Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) began considering these grants
In a release Jindal's office noted that these grants
averaging $100,000, when considered as "income",
push recipients into the highest tax brackets.
"As a result the recipient is required to pay
additional taxes beyond their means and often loses
access to other government services, such as income-based
education grants," the Congressman contended.
"This is a perfect example of a programme meant
to help, but actually doing more harm than good,"
Jindal said. "It makes no sense to increase people's
taxes when they are most vulnerable, when they are recovering
from a natural disaster," he said calling it a
case of a federal agency taking away with one hand what
is given with another."
Louisianans have received $8 million from 2001-03.