Senate Passes Bicameral, Bipartisan Disaster Supplemental

…After months of delays, Senate finally approves aid for all American communities…

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, May 23, 2019) – The United States Senate Thursday passed a $19.1 billion bipartisan, bicameral disaster supplemental to provide aid for all American citizens recovering from 2017-2019 disasters by a vote of 85 to 8.  The House first passed an emergency supplemental in January, only for the measure to stall in the Senate due to President Trump’s insistence that it not include “one more dime” of funding for the American citizens of Puerto Rico recovering from two category 5 hurricanes. 

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a lead negotiator on the supplemental, said: “Even though it may be five months late, today is a good day for the United States Congress, for the American people, and for the nation.  I have said from the beginning that any disaster supplemental that passes this chamber cannot pick and choose which American citizens to help in their time of need.  The American community bands together to support one another when disaster strikes, regardless of where we are from, our politics, or our beliefs. That is the American way, and it is the role of Congress to make sure it is done.”

Senator Leahy’s full statement is available HERE.

The supplemental will provide long overdue aid to the people of California, Georgia, Florida, Nebraska, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Hawaii, Texas, Missouri, Alabama and Puerto Rico just to name a few.  Some of these people – these American citizens – have been trying to put their lives back together for nearly two years, since August of 2017.

In addition, the supplemental provides $605 million for the Puerto Rico’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and $304 million in Community Development Block Grants to help the island meet FEMA match requirements.  It also includes billions of dollars to help our nation’s farmers, rebuild communities, and repair our military’s infrastructure.  A full summary is available HERE.

The supplemental includes clear direction to the administration to build back better in order to mitigate future disasters.  The bill also directs the administration to release funds appropriated by Congress over 15 months ago for disaster victims that regrettably remains in the Treasury in Washington, D.C. 

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CONTACT: Jay Tilton – 202-224-2667