What’s causing the delay in disaster relief? Here’s what really happened behind closed doors
By U.S. Senator David Perdue
Our country has suffered a series of unprecedented natural disasters over the last year. Hurricanes in the Southeast, wildfires in California, earthquakes in Alaska, and floods in the Midwest have left millions of Americans in desperate need of help from the federal government.
Congress had an opportunity to pass a $13.6 billion disaster aid package that would have provided immediate assistance to people who are suffering. Senate Democrats voted against it.
Why? Democrats said Republicans were unwilling to provide adequate funding for Puerto Rico. That is absolutely ridiculous.
Here’s what really happened behind closed doors:
Last December, disaster aid got caught up in the border security debate and was left out of the spending bill. Senate Republicans went back to Senate Democrats to see what was needed in order to make a deal on disaster relief as soon as possible.
It was determined that $600 million to extend the food assistance program in Puerto Rico was most critical since the program was set to expire at the end of March.
I personally brought this updated request to the president, and he agreed to it.
We added the $600 million to our bill in the Senate, and then we voted on April 1st. I wish this was the end of the story. It’s not.
Democrats cowered to their political self-interests and their leadership and killed our disaster relief bill on the floor of the United States Senate.
We gave Democrats exactly what they asked for, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., decided to change course and hold disaster relief victims hostage in a misguided effort to extract concessions from Republicans on a number of unrelated topics, including border security.
Schumer watched carefully as Democratic senators cast their votes on the disaster relief bill. After the senior senator from California, Dianne Feinstein, voted “yes” on the bill – which includes billions for her state – the Democratic leader pulled her aside and then she switched her vote to “no.” At the same time, the other Democratic senator from California, Kamala Harris, was in Nevada campaigning for president and missed the vote entirely. This kind of blind partisanship is exactly what the American people find unacceptable about Washington.
Now, Democrats have started a campaign of manufactured outrage and have purposely misled the American people for their own political gain. They’re pushing headlines like, “Trump’s Grudge Against Puerto Rico Is Blocking Needed Disaster Aid Across The US.” That could not be further from the truth.
President Trump has been resolute in his support of the people of Puerto Rico.
The president has already approved $41 billion in combined disaster aid for Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the Island. He has also made an additional $50 billion available to Puerto Rico going forward.
As a result, Puerto Rico is set to receive three times more funding than Texas did for Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and nearly double what was appropriated for Hurricane Sandy in 2013.
It’s clear this fight has nothing to do with Puerto Rico funding. For Democrats, this is about obstructing the president and preventing him from keeping his promise to help the American people recover after hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires ravaged their communities.
People in my state have been waiting on federal disaster aid for six months. While the Democratic Leader and his members play politics, Georgia farmers are going bankrupt, California wildfire victims are struggling to rebuild, and Puerto Rican families are losing access to food benefits.
If Democrats truly cared about the people of Puerto Rico, maybe they would listen to them. Puerto Rico’s own representative in Congress, Jenniffer González-Colón, said our bill provides exactly what her constituents need. Specifically, she said, “I urge swift Senate passage of the $600 million funding for the Nutrition Assistance Program. Over 1.3 million of my constituents are already experiencing cuts in their food benefits. Puerto Rico needs this funding and needs it now.”
I’m sick and tired of politicians that claim to be looking out for the little guys, but all they do is treat them like pawns in their power games. Democrats claim they want to be bipartisan, but time and time again, they fail to rise to the occasion.
Democrats may think they’re sticking it to the president, but they’re actually sticking it to the American people. Georgians are paying attention and will not forget how Democrats have abandoned them in their time of need. Mark my words, the American people will remember how President Trump is standing up and fighting for them.
State and local lawmakers are giving a clear picture on the bills passed during the 2019 legislative session.
Fort Valley State University was full of politicians for its Ham and Eggs Legislative Breakfast and Georgia Agricultural Showcase Friday morning.
Politicians highlighted that FVSU will be one of two universities to research, grow, and dispense medical marijuana.
“The Farm Bill, for Fort Valley State to be designated with some appropriation with the Farm Bill. With that in mind, it was a good day for FVSU, it’ll mean a lot to the university to get in on the growth side and the dispense side,” Representative Calvin Smyre said.
U.S Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, U.S Senator David Perdue, and State Senator John F. Kennedy say Middle Georgia came out on top during this year’s legislative session.
The passing of House Bill 324 allows families to use cannabis for medical uses.
Secretary Perdue and Representative Smyre say being able to grow marijuana will be huge for Middle Georgia’s agriculture.
When it comes to protecting farmers, and their crops, Senator Perdue says he’s upset about the Disaster Relief Bill not passing. Not just for Georgia, but the country.
“We’re hot and heavy every night in negotiation. I’m very hopeful here in the next short period that we’ll get some type of compromise. President Trump has been very cooperative and workable in terms of moving towards getting to a package that is financially responsible, but meets the needs of the people across 12 different states,” Senator Perdue said.
Read more at 41NBC.
President Trump has continued to be resolute in supporting people in Georgia and other areas of our country who have been devastated by natural disasters, including Puerto Rico.
It’s completely unacceptable that Washington’s intransigence is threatening the livelihoods of the people who sent us here to represent them.
Every day that Congress continues debating disaster relief is a day people around the country face crippling uncertainty. It’s past time for Congress to put aside political interests and pass this disaster relief bill for the Americans who are depending on us.
Senator Attends Cook Fish Fry
The Valdosta Daily Times
Hundreds of Cook County residents turned out for shrimp, chicken, iced tea and a chance to hear from elected officials Friday.
Crowds packed the gymnasium at the Adel Church of God for the 11th Annual Cook County Courthouse Fish Fry.
The annual fish fry was inspired by former Sheriff D.J. Connell’s weekly fish fries with state troopers, judges, and others in the judicial circuit to promote fellowship, friendship and community continuity, said Cook County Probate Court Judge Chase Daughtrey
Among the featured speakers was Sen. David Perdue.
Perdue, a Republican, spoke about efforts to get hurricane relief on its way to South Georgia, Daughtrey said. An attempt was made to include that aid in the continuing resolution that ended the partial federal government shutdown but failed, he said.
The Senate intends to take up the issue soon.
Daughtrey said the senator also talked about border security, including a trip he recently took to the Mexican border with the U.S. Border Patrol.
Perdue’s group met three people who came across the border illegally and talked about how they paid cartels to smuggle them across, Daughtrey said.
Other invited guests included Rep. Austin Scott and Court of Appeals Judge Trent Brown.
Senators Perdue, Isakson To Introduce Disaster Relief Package
February 18, 2019
U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) announced they will introduce a stand-alone disaster relief package to provide critical funding for Georgia and other states recovering from recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Michael.
“Enough is enough. Georgia and other states across the country are hurting from historic hurricanes and devastating wildfires, and the federal government continues to drag its feet,” said Senator Perdue, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “In October, President Trump and Vice President Pence both saw the devastation firsthand and promised to help Georgia and other states rebuild. It’s long past time to make good on these promises. For farmers in Georgia, it’s not a matter of putting a crop in the ground this year – it’s a matter of putting a crop in the ground ever again. I will continue to fight for disaster relief until our farmers and rural communities have the resources they need to recover.”
“The biggest immediate crisis facing Georgia today is the relief money needed for the lost agricultural products from the hurricanes that have hit here and in other states,” said Senator Isakson. “We are in crisis mode for our farmers and agricultural community, and we will not stop until we get needed aid for those who have suffered devastation. Additional losses grow every day we wait, and it’s far past time we fulfill the promises that were made. Supplemental disaster funding was overwhelmingly supported in funding proposals voted on earlier this year, so there shouldn’t be a reason for further delay on a supplemental disaster relief package to provide critical aid for Georgians.”
The senators plan to introduce a supplemental funding package after the U.S. Senate reconvenes on February 25 that includes $3 billion to provide critical agriculture disaster relief for farmers recovering in the wake of Hurricane Michael, along with additional funds for communities in Georgia and other states. Senators Perdue and Isakson have vowed to continue raising this issue in the Senate until Congress approves disaster funding.
- On November 30, 2018, Perdue and Isakson sent two letters requesting additional funding for disaster assistance for Georgians recovering after Hurricane Michael: the first letter to Senate appropriators and the second to Senate leadership.
- On January 31, Perdue and Isakson introduced a supplemental agriculture disaster relief amendment to provide critical funding for Georgia and other states recovering from recent hurricane and wildfire damage.
- On February 13, Perdue and Isakson joined 11 other bipartisan senators in sending a letter to House and Senate leadership urging immediate action on a supplemental disaster relief package.