07/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/21/2021 16:55
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today urged the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prioritize Louisiana's request for supplemental disaster relief in response to Hurricanes Laura and Delta in a Louisiana congressional delegation letter.
'Today marks 328 days since the disaster, and as we approach the one-year anniversary of these devastating storms, we are hopeful that OMB will acknowledge the extreme need for supplemental disaster relief and issue a formal request,' wrote the Louisiana delegation. 'We respectfully urge you to expedite Louisiana's request for supplemental disaster relief. The federal government must provide the thousands of severely impacted Americans in Southwest Louisiana with a real recovery. Our offices look forward to working with you to accomplish this mission.'
U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), Representatives Clay Higgins (R-LA-03), Steve Scalise (R-LA-01), Garret Graves (R-LA-06), Mike Johnson (R-LA-04), Julia Letlow (R-LA-05), and Troy Carter (D-LA-02) all signed the letter.
'It's been over a year and our constituents, especially those in Lake Charles, are still suffering from the storms of 2020. Relief has taken too long. We're working together as our congressional delegation to push the administration to support disaster relief for Southwest Louisiana,' said Dr. Cassidy.
'For the past year and a half, weather disasters in Louisiana have painted a fantastic impression of hell. Since the Senate blocked my $1.1 billion disaster relief bill last week, it's clearer than ever that the Biden administration must prioritize getting relief to southwest Louisiana by sending a formal request to Congress. Louisianians are tough, but they're tired, and they need help,' said Senator Kennedy.
'It's been nearly one year since Hurricanes Laura and Delta devastated Southwest Louisiana, and our region continues to face extreme recovery needs. We are beyond the time for consideration. Southwest Louisiana needs help now. The entire Louisiana congressional delegation is united on this effort, but we need executive branch support to advance long-term recovery resources,' said Congressman Higgins.
'Hurricanes Laura and Delta brought widespread devastation to Southwest Louisiana last fall, and thousands of residents are still picking up the pieces nearly one year later. As we head into the more active months of hurricane season, it's imperative that additional supplemental disaster relief be delivered to Southwest Louisiana quickly so our communities can get back on their feet and make real progress toward a full recovery,' said Whip Scalise.
'It's been almost a year since Hurricanes Laura and Delta made landfall in Southwest Louisiana. To watch hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds go toward paying people to not work, bailing out private pensions, funding a bridge in New York, building a tunnel in California, or targeting EPA grants for environmental justice - and nothing for the 2020 hurricanes and natural disasters - is disgusting. To make matters worse, Congress rejected multiple amendments by our delegation to target disaster recovery funds for Louisiana and others impacted by the 2020 hurricanes. I appreciate the delegation coming together to push this long-overdue need for those impacted by multiple hurricanes last year. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration, and our state and local leaders to offer a hand up to those truly in need,' said Congressman Graves.
'As Louisiana braces for another hurricane season, many of our citizens who were devastated by last year's historic storms are still recovering. With the first anniversary of Hurricanes Laura and Delta fast approaching, it is imperative that the Biden Administration issue a formal request for disaster relief to Congress, and I join my Louisiana colleagues in urging this action immediately,' said Congressman Johnson.
'After a devastating year that has brought hurricanes, floods and freezes, it is infuriating that the people of southwest Louisiana are still waiting on answers from the federal government. This assistance is crucial for people to be able to recover and rebuild and our delegation is united to ensure that the administration makes this a top priority,' said Congresswoman Letlow.
'We are in the middle of the 2021 hurricane season, yet our communities have not recovered from disasters that occurred less than a year ago. The people of South Louisiana need assistance to both mediate the uncertainty of another deadly hurricane, and to support the long-term recovery process. I am confident the Biden Administration will work with us to get resources to those in need. I stand ready with my colleagues in the Louisiana delegation to work together to garner much-needed disaster relief. While I don't represent this area, when disaster strikes we are one Louisiana,' stated Congressman Carter.
Read the full letter here or below.
Nearly eleven months have passed since Hurricanes Laura and Delta devastated Southwest Louisiana, and we are still without any sign of additional disaster relief. We respectfully request that this important funding is made a priority by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the White House.
While over $1.3 billion in federal assistance has been delivered to support immediate response costs, Southwest Louisiana continues to face long-term recovery needs that are best addressed with a supplemental disaster package. The people of Southwest Louisiana are still deep in the rebuilding process and facing new uncertainty as another hurricane season has already begun. We must work together to alleviate those concerns and take swift action on additional recovery assistance.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a formal request in January 2021 outlining specific recovery and mitigation needs. Today marks 328 days since the disaster, and as we approach the one-year anniversary of these devastating storms, we are hopeful that OMB will acknowledge the extreme need for supplemental disaster relief and issue a formal request.
We respectfully urge you to expedite Louisiana's request for supplemental disaster relief. The federal government must provide the thousands of severely impacted Americans in Southwest Louisiana with a real recovery. Our offices look forward to working with you to accomplish this mission.