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Governors urge Congress to approve supplemental disaster aid

By on January 25, 2018

SAN JUAN – The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, together with the governor of Florida, Rick Scott; the governor of California, Jerry Brown; and Texas Gov. Greg Abott urged congressional leaders Wednesday to pass a substantial disaster supplemental funding package.

In the letter addressed to the House of Representatives’ speaker, Paul Ryan, and minority leader, Nancy Pelosi; the Senate’s majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and minority leader, Charles Schumer, the governors highlight that September’s weather events devastated several of their jurisdictions.

The letter to Congress says that although no longer front-page news in Washington, D.C., the aftermath of the disasters require Congress to finish its work.

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“Over the past several months, we have received numerous assurances that adequate disaster funding was imminent,” the governors wrote. “Its continued delay only exacerbates ongoing uncertainty in devastated areas. Simply put, the communities devastated by these storms cannot be completely put back together until the federal government makes good on its promise to our citizens.”

The governors acknowledged the work done so far by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal agencies, but said, “If ever there was a time and role for the federal government to urgently help its citizens rebuild communities damaged by epochal disasters, now is the time to step up and fill that role.”

“We stand ready to work with Congress to address the critical needs of people across storm-ravaged areas and recognize our collective work on this supplemental is only the next step in what will be a long-term recovery effort both at the federal and local level,” they added.

Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida were hit by hurricanes and floods last year, while California’s wildfires were reportedly one of the most destructive on record.

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