Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) this week in calling on the Trump administration to put forward a comprehensive package to provide relief from the recent onslaught of natural disasters. The administration has committed to releasing such a package in the coming weeks.
In a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, Senate Democrats outlined what must be included in a comprehensive package that would allow adequate investment in technology, conservation, and infrastructure to mitigate further damage in future disasters and make our communities more resilient.
"As with past disasters, the request must come in the form of emergency spending-the federal government owes it to the people of Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and our Western states to step up, now, when it is most needed," the senators wrote.
In the weeks since Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Bennet has led an effort to ensure federal funding can be used to rebuild more resilient and clean energy systems after disasters. He has also delivered a speech on the Senate floor, pressed Senate leadership several times, met with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and introduced legislation to secure a wildfire funding fix in future disaster aid legislation.
In October, the Senate passed a $36.5 billion emergency supplemental, which included $18.7 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund, $16 billion for National Flood Insurance Program debt forgiveness, $1.27 billion for nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico, and $576.5 million to combat wildfires.
In September, the Senate passed a $15.25 billion emergency supplemental package that included $7.4 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund and $450 million for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program. The legislation also provided $7.4 billion in Community Development Block Grant funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A copy of the letter is available HERE.