House Appropriations Chairwoman Lowey and Senate Appropriations Vice Chairman Leahy Statement on the Emergency Supplemental

WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY-17) and Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) released the following statement on Senate Republicans’ emergency supplemental appropriations bill for disaster relief and recovery:

“House Democrats first passed a comprehensive, emergency disaster supplemental in January.  We are disappointed Senate Republicans have refused to take up this bill for more than two months, leaving millions of American citizens affected by recent hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires and other natural disasters without the assistance they desperately need.

“Three weeks ago, we made a common sense offer that provided a path forward to compromise from the House-passed bill.  Had Senate Republicans accepted our compromise, this much needed disaster supplemental could have been public law weeks ago.  Instead, Senate Republican leadership is considering bringing to the Senate floor a bill that does not adequately address the needs of the American citizens of Puerto Rico and other territories.  Nearly 3,000 American lives were lost in the historic storms that devastated Puerto Rico and destroyed its infrastructure, and the island is still struggling to recover.

“As Americans, we should not pick and choose who to help in times of need.  We stand ready to support a disaster package that addresses the needs of all disaster victims.  Anything short of that will not pass the House.”