Senate Passes Bipartisan Disaster Relief Bill
‘So I am grateful and relieved that Chairman Shelby, Senator Leahy, and colleagues of ours including Senators Perdue, Isakson, Scott, Rubio, Ernst, Thune, Blunt, Sasse and others have brought us to this point with their tireless work on this subject. And I am grateful to the president for his leadership and his focus on getting results. I’m glad we have passed this legislation and sent it on to the House. And I urge our colleagues in that chamber to support it.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Senate passage of disaster assistance funding legislation:
“All week, Chairman Shelby and a number of our colleagues worked tirelessly to get a supplemental funding agreement for disaster relief over the finish line. He has prepared one thoughtful, good-faith, compromise offer after another.
“In fact, this has been going on for months now. Compromise offer after compromise offer from Republicans. Constant engagement and good-faith work. So I am pleased that, today, all this hard work has finally paid off. Thanks to efforts from a number of our colleagues, and thanks to leadership from President Trump and the administration, and I might add the occupant of the chair who has been extremely persistent in this effort over the last weeks and months, the Senate has now passed a compromise solution for disaster funding and we’ve sent it on to the House. Regretfully, they are gone.
"The president has indicated he supports it. So the Senate’s bipartisan vote is a big step toward making law and actually delivering the relief that communities across our nation sorely need.
“Now, I am sorry that our House Democratic colleagues blocked commonsense efforts to include funding in this legislation for the ongoing humanitarian crisis down on the southern border. Despite days of negotiations, House Democrats insisted that we could not provide more funding for our overwhelmed agencies – agencies which are running on fumes – without including other poison-pill policy riders. So, as a result, today’s agreement omits those needed resources.
“This wasn’t money for the wall, or even for law enforcement. It was money so that the federal government could continue to house, feed, and care for the men, women, and children showing up on our southern border. Money for agencies that are currently running on fumes. This is money that is so uncontroversial that even The New York Times published an editorial entitled ‘Congress, Give Trump His Border Money.’ The New York Times. They also said, ‘political gamesmanship [that] threatens to hold up desperately needed resources.’ That’s what they call this.
“Well, I’m sorry to say their political gamesmanship did hold up those resources. Apparently our House Democrat colleagues heard ‘President Trump’ and the word ‘border’ in the same sentence and decided they preferred no action at all to the sensible compromise that even The New York Times had called for. I’m sorry that partisan spite has infected even such blindingly obvious priorities as the humanitarian efforts on our own southern border. I’m sorry that our Democratic friends have become so committed to the ‘resistance’ that they’re now to the left of The New York Times editorial board.
“But, nevertheless, we should celebrate the progress that we are making today. The Senate passage of this legislation marks a huge step forward for communities across the United States that have gone far too long without receiving this federal assistance to help them get back on their feet.
“Finally, the millions of Americans who have grappled with nature’s worst are closer to receiving the supplemental aid they urgently need. The western communities that are still sorting through the ashes of last year’s record-breaking wildfires. Our coastal states in the southeast, and Puerto Rico, where hurricane damage punched holes in homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure. The Deep South communities victimized by tornadoes. And for those still grappling with the floodwaters that have surged over farms and towns across the Midwest, and in my own state of Kentucky.
“So I am grateful and relieved that Chairman Shelby, Senator Leahy, and colleagues of ours including Senators Perdue, Isakson, Scott, Rubio, Ernst, Thune, Blunt, Sasse and others have brought us to this point with their tireless work on this subject. And I am grateful to the president for his leadership and his focus on getting an outcome. I’m glad we have passed this legislation and sent it on to the House. And I urge our colleagues over in the House to support it.”
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