Americans Across the Country Struggling to Rebuild from Natural Disasters
‘[I]t is past time to put partisan politics aside, move past any tangential questions, and secure a final agreement that can become law - that is, something that can both pass the Democratic House and earn the president’s signature, soon. The Senate will vote on disaster relief this week. The members of this body will not return home for Memorial Day without taking further action to help these struggling communities.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the need for disaster assistance funding:
“Several of our Senate colleagues and their counterparts in the House are continuing to zero in on long-overdue legislation to deliver additional help to Americans all across our nation who are struggling to rebuild from natural disasters. This ought to have been a fairly straightforward process. We shouldn’t need to explain why the need for this relief is urgent. But just for good measure, let’s remember the Americans who are counting on us. In California, last year’s string of wildfires included the deadliest and most destructive fire on record. It killed 85 people and burned more than 150 thousand acres.
“In the Midwest, earlier this year, storm surges flooded whole swaths of states and racked up billions of dollars in damages. As one expert recently put it, quote, ‘We have points in Iowa and Illinois that have been in flood stage for over 30 days, which hasn’t occurred since we started keeping records — and some of them go back 150 years.’ Across the southeast and Gulf coasts, recent hurricane seasons have left lasting scars. Hurricane Michael, which swept across Florida into south Georgia last October, has itself produced nearly 150,000 insurance claims in Florida, alone.
“In Alabama, more tornadoes have already been recorded in 2019 than in all of last year. One that touched down in Lee County on March 3rd left 23 people dead. And nearly two years after Hurricane Maria tore across Puerto Rico, too many storefronts are still shuttered, too many homes still lack roofs, and power remains too unreliable. And the list goes on. This is hardly the first time facts like these have been laid out here on the floor. In fact this legislation has already taken far too long to deliver.
“But now that we are in the home stretch, it is past time to put partisan politics aside, move past any tangential questions, and secure a final agreement that can become law – that is, something that can both pass the Democratic House and earn the president’s signature, soon. The Senate will vote on disaster relief this week. The members of this body will not return home for Memorial Day without taking further action to help these struggling communities – which, by the way, include a number of military installations that need assistance to recover and rebuild. It is my sincere hope that we’ll be able to vote on a negotiated, bipartisan, bicameral solution. That is how we can get to an outcome. That is what affected Americans deserve.”
Related Issues: Infrastructure