Dems Threatening To Vote Down Disaster Recovery Funding

‘Democrats Are Threatening To Block’ ‘Much-Needed Recovery Funds’


“Senate Democrats … may block legislation proposed by their Republican counterparts that would allocate billions of dollars for disaster recovery across the country …” (“Disaster Relief Bill at an Impasse Over Puerto Rico Aid,” The New York Times, 3/28/2019)

  • “[I]t threatens to indefinitely delay the bill, which provides more than $13 billion in much-needed recovery funds for everything from volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and wildfires in California, to hurricanes in Florida and Georgia and flooding in the Midwest, among other calamities.” (The Washington Post, 3/29/2019)

“The dispute has put Senate Democrats who are running for president in a delicate position, as they have to explain to Iowans why they are opposing money for recovery in that state.” (The Washington Post, 3/29/2019)


The Bill Provides ‘$13.45 Billion In Supplemental Funding For States And Territories Recently Ravaged By Tornadoes, Flooding, Hurricanes, Wildfires, Earthquakes [And] Volcanoes’

“The [disaster supplemental appropriations] measure provides $13.45 billion in supplemental funding for states and territories recently ravaged by tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons, and other such events.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Press Release, 3/26/2019)

  • “The supplemental appropriations bill provides critical aid for states affected by disasters in 2018, as well as ongoing relief for disasters that occurred in 2017, including: agriculture disaster relief for farmers; development grants for small, rural communities; assistance for veterans’ health facilities and military construction projects; emergency funds for critical timber, watershed, and wastewater infrastructure needs; and resources to restore highways, aviation facilities, and other transit projects.  The measure also includes an additional $600 million in nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico – a key Democratic priority in the bill.  In addition, the legislation expands eligibility in certain accounts for states in the Midwest and the South that have experienced catastrophic flooding and tornadoes in 2019.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Press Release, 3/26/2019)


‘The $600 Million In Disaster Relief Included In The Senate Bill Would Help Puerto Rico Fund Its Food Assistance Program Through The End Of The Fiscal Year’

“Caught in the middle are more than 1 million Puerto Ricans who rely on a federal food subsidy program that’s slated to run out of money … unless Congress intervenes. The disaster relief bill the Senate advanced on Tuesday included an additional $600 million in funding for Puerto Rico’s Nutritional Assistance Program, or NAP … The $600 million in disaster relief included in the Senate bill would help Puerto Rico fund its food assistance program through the end of the fiscal year in September.” (PBS NewsHour, 3/28/2019)

JENNIFFER GONZALEZ-COLON, Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner (R-PR): “I stand with @marcorubio and @SenRickScott and urge for swift Senate passage of the $600 million funding for NAP. Over 1.3 million of my constituents are already experiencing cuts in their food benefits. #PuertoRico needs this funding and needs it NOW.” (Jenniffer Gonzaelz-Colon, @RepJennifer, Twitter, 3/30/2019)


Democrats: ‘Providing Desperately Needed Relief To Impacted Communities Should Be A Bipartisan, Bicameral Priority And Continued Inaction Is Unacceptable’

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “American children and families reeling from natural disasters deserve a Congress and a president who will ensure they have every resource needed to fully recover and rebuild their lives and communities.” (Sen. Schumer, Op-Ed, New York Daily News, 3/31/2019)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): “[I]t’s important to me that we are covering disasters for everyone, including the disasters here in Iowa and Puerto Rico.” (The Washington Post, 3/29/2019)

SENS. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI), KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), RON WYDEN (D-OR), DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), BRIAN SCHATZ (D-HI), DOUG JONES (D-AL), BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR), CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD), and WARREN: “[W]e are writing in the interest of all communities impacted by recent disasters to request a continuation of the bipartisanship this body has previously demonstrated in providing aid for disaster recovery and rebuilding…. Providing desperately needed relief to impacted communities should be a bipartisan, bicameral priority and continued inaction is unacceptable.” (Sens. Hirono, Harris, Wyden, Feinstein, Warren, Schatz, Jones, Sanders, Gillibrand, Merkley, and Van Hollen, Letter to Sens. McConnell and Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Rep. McCarthy, 2/28/2019)

REP. ABBY FINKENAUER (D-IA): “This is a time when we come together as political parties, as districts across the state & do everything we can to support our neighbors.” (Rep. Finkenauer, @RepFinkenauer, Twitter, 3/22/2019)

REP. CINDY AXNE (D-IA): “The flooding, particularly in Mills and Fremont counties, has resulted in likely hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in agricultural losses, destroyed homes, schools, small businesses, medical centers and caused significant damage to public infrastructure that is vital to these communities…. The lasting effects on the health and well-being of Iowa families and our rural communities is beyond calculation.” (Rep. Axne, Press Release, 3/26/2019)

SENS. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT), BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ), SANDERS, AND WARREN: “[W]e write to urge your prompt consideration of appropriating $610 million for Puerto Rico’s Nutritional Assistance Program.” (Sens. Blumenthal, Menendez, Sanders, and Warren, Letter to Sens. McConnell and Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Rep. McCarthy, 3/01/2019)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Infrastructure, Appropriations