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Graves Votes Yes For Disaster Aid

September 30, 2021
Press Release
Debt limit provision, now stripped from government funding, held the aid hostage

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) released the following statement after voting yes on the U.S. House bill that ties hurricane recovery funding to stopgap emergency government funding.

Initially, hurricane recovery funding was held hostage by the debt limit which was removed for a separate vote.

“We are exactly one month from Hurricane Ida making landfall and our efforts to deliver hurricane recovery assistance for the citizens of south Louisiana is already paying off. We have folks living in tents back home without electricity while politicians are arguing in Washington DC about how many tens of trillions in debt is an acceptable amount when mortgaging our children and grandchildren’s future. They tried to politicize the aid last week and despite the chaos, we were able to get some wins.

“This bill will provide direct assistance to individuals and families to help rebuild communities and homes. We were also able to secure complementary funding that invests in projects such as the Upper Barataria Basin project (St. Charles, St. John, St. James, Jefferson, Ascension, Lafourche and Assumption parishes), Morganza to the Gulf (Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes), Larose to Golden Meadow levee system (Lafourche Parish), and Grand Isle that will make our communities safer. This will also provide funding opportunities to improve protection in communities like Kraemer, Lafitte and many others. This bill will also help to kickstart our economy by opening up and dredging our critical navigation canals such as Mississippi River, Bayou Lafourche, Houma Navigation Canal, the Atchafalaya Basin Channel, Calcasieu Ship Channel and others. We will keep working with our community and parish leaders to help address their needs.”

Graves and Congressman Steve Scalise recently asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to immediately carry out emergency operations in at-risk areas based on the authority provided by federal law. Specifically, Graves and Scalise asked the Corps to quickly assess conditions and engage the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana, in cooperation with the appropriate levee districts, to determine how to best make emergency repairs and prevention investments to prevent further flooding, damages and loss of life.

Last week, the U.S House of Representatives leadership released a government funding bill, with an undefined amount of Hurricane Ida recovery funding included, provided 45 minutes to review the legislation, then withdrew and replaced the bill with a new version (without notice). Fast forward to this week, and the government funding bill has been changed and the debt limit has been removed for separate consideration.

 

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