WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement after devastating tornadoes hit Oklahoma City and its suburbs:
"Yesterday, the people of Oklahoma City, and especially the suburb of Moore, faced a terrible tragedy as tornadoes ripped through their community and flattened their homes and schools. The latest reports indicate that at least 24 people lost their lives, including at least nine children. It is especially heartbreaking that so many children have died, including at least seven who lost their lives while at their elementary school.
"I absolutely support the President and his commitment that we must match today's words of sympathy with our deeds in the coming days, weeks and months. This is a time for neighbor helping neighbor. This is not the time for a 'budgeteering' battle. This is a time to respond with compassion and competence.
"As search and rescue efforts continue, and the recovery effort begins, my prayers go out to everyone who has been touched by this terrible event. We are all grateful for the teachers who did all that they could to protect their students, and for the first responders who worked through the night to save the lives of so many victims."