WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Senate voted Tuesday to move forward on a $13.5 billion disaster relief bill for those affected by hurricanes, wildfires and flooding — funding that was hung up by partisan disputes over Puerto Rico and additional aid for farmers.
Georgia Republican Senator David Perdue says millions of Americans are currently waiting for billions in disaster assistance from the federal government.
“It’s been five months since Hurricane Michael ravaged the south east and this Congress has done very little to help people who are barely hanging on right now. That’s shameful.”
Perdue says Congress is quick to appropriate federal aid right after disaster strikes, but it takes too long for the states to get that money.
A recent government report found that the federal government has been slow to get block grants to areas hit by disasters — dating all the way back to Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Texas Democratic Congressman Al Green introduced a bill to speed up the process. It would give the large metropolitan areas a possibility of receiving direct funding and give smaller areas a better understanding of how they can access rescources.
Green says his bill would ensure states actually get disaster funding, which includes the package the Senate is taking up this week.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell says the bill would give $3 billion to help America’s farmers recover from recent storms, but Texas Democratic Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia says the promise is empty until states actually receive it.