06.06.19

Reaction To President Trump Signing The Disaster Supplemental

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
REAX To President Trump Signing The Disaster Supplemental

THURSDAY, May 6, 2019

Since the House first passed a disaster package back in January, Senate Republicans needlessly delayed its progress at the direction of President Trump. It was in response to the President’s direction to not provide a dollar of additional aid to Puerto Rico that Republicans delayed the disaster relief for over four months. Democrats have said from the beginning, the President cannot pick and choose which American citizens to help in the aftermath of a disaster. From the flood-stricken farmers in the Midwest, to the hungry child in San Juan, to the small business owner in California, the federal government must stand with American citizens who are trying to rebuild their lives and their communities.

I want to thank Chairman Shelby, Chairwoman Lowey, and Ranking Member Granger for their help in finally passing this bill. This bill will provide billions of dollars to help rebuild communities across the country. It will finally provide much needed relief to the American citizens of Puerto Rico by providing $1.2 billion in new funding to help the island rebuild stronger than it was before. And it unlocks billions of dollars Congress has previously appropriated for Puerto Rico and other communities across the country that the Trump administration has needlessly withheld, locked in the Treasury in Washington, by the President’s order.

I am glad to see the bipartisan, bicameral disaster supplemental finally be signed into law, and urge the Trump administration to be a constructive partner in helping disaster victims rather than allowing disaster assistance to languish in Washington. It’s too bad that Republicans blocked aid to Georgia, Texas, Florida and so many other states for months – aid that was always supported by Democrats – but I am glad they finally relented. As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will be watching the administration closely to make sure this money reaches those in need.

Leahy statement on Senate passage here: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/minority/statement-of-appropriations-vice-chairman-patrick-leahy-d-vt-on-the-passage-of-the-bipartisan-bicameral-disaster-supplemental

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