Following a town hall today with hundreds of Puerto Rican community members in Kissimmee, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson asked Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer to immediately bring the disaster supplemental to the Senate floor to help communities across Florida and throughout Puerto Rico that need federal assistance to continue their recovery efforts.
In the letter, Sens. Nelson (D-FL) and Rubio (R-FL) wrote, “Congress has delayed providing this aid for too long while our communities face the consequences of our inaction,” and “strongly urged” the leaders to bring the disaster relief measure to the floor immediately so these communities get the necessary relief as quickly as possible.
Following is text of the letter lawmakers sent to Sens. McConnell and Schumer, a PDF copy is available here.
January 12, 2018
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
S-230, U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Charles Schumer
S-221, U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer:
We write to highlight the importance of the disaster supplemental and urge you to consider this much needed appropriations measure on the floor as soon as possible. As you are well aware, last fall produced a number of devastating natural disasters, and our communities are still in need of federal assistance in order to continue their recovery efforts. In particular, hurricanes and wildfires caused catastrophic destruction throughout the country, and we are deeply concerned that affected states, territories and local governments will not have the resources needed to address critical issues including agricultural aid, healthcare, and housing if Congress does not act immediately.
These disasters caused unprecedented destruction, and yet the federal government has still not provided an acceptable response. Congress has a duty to fulfill, and a disaster supplemental appropriations bill would provide the federal aid our states and territories were promised months ago. The House of Representatives passed a disaster supplemental, and while it did not fully encompass what is needed, it is past time for the Senate to act. Unfortunately, Congress has delayed providing this aid for too long while our communities face the consequences of our inaction.
It is imperative that Americans nationwide know that the federal government is both ready and willing to direct resources needed to help them in the recovery process. As such, we strongly urge you to bring the disaster relief measure to the floor for consideration at the earliest opportunity to ensure that our communities are able to address and assist their respective needs.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.