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Lowey floor statement on additional disaster relief funding

October 12, 2017
Press Release

Mr. Speaker, since Hurricane Harvey wrought historic flooding in Texas, 12 major disasters have been declared.

From a hurricane that damaged large swaths of Florida, storms that annihilated Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and wildfires burning in the West, Americans deserve certainty the Federal Government will stand by them in their time of need.

This is particularly important after the President threatened to abandon Puerto Rico in his latest Twitter rant this morning. Congress cannot turn its back on recovery, no matter how reckless the President's outburst may be, as Americans are suffering and simply trying to survive.

This package provides critical disaster relief, flood insurance aid, and help for communities devastated by wildfires. Puerto Rico would be aided by provisions to address its liquidity crisis by facilitating recovery, not paying creditors, and providing additional nutrition assistance. Additionally, the bill would continue aid to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands from the Department of Defense.

However, more must be done to provide medium- and long-term investments, including rebuilding ports, coastlines, airports, roads, bridges, repairing the electrical grid and other infrastructure, and ensuring the health needs of American citizens are met.

I urge your support for this bill and your continued focus on ensuring the full recovery of American communities devastated by natural disasters.

115th Congress