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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., today wrote to House and Senate leadership urging immediate action on a supplemental disaster relief package to provide critical aid for victims of natural disasters in Georgia and across the country. Supplemental disaster funding was overwhelmingly supported by 98 senators including Isakson and Perdue in funding proposals voted on earlier this year, but this week’s initial agreement to fund the government past Feb. 15 does not include this crucial funding.

In a letter to Congressional leaders, Isakson and Perdue joined with a bipartisan group of senators representing states recovering from recent hurricane and wildfire damage to urge an immediate vote on disaster recovery funding for states working to rebuild, writing, “…we insist you bring a disaster supplemental bill to the floor for consideration at the earliest opportunity to ensure that the federal government fulfills its responsibility.” 

The letter also expresses concerns that, if a supplemental disaster relief package is not passed by Congress, “state and local governments will not have the necessary resources needed to address critical issues, including defense capabilities, agriculture, infrastructure and economic development that are crucial to our constituents and businesses in hard hit areas.”

In their effort to ensure Georgia farmers and others recovering in the wake of Hurricane Michael receive much-needed federal aid, Isakson and Perdue have twice introduced a $3 billion agriculture disaster relief amendment to bills under consideration before the Senate in the 116th Congress.

Perdue and Isakson plan to continue raising this issue in the Senate until Congress approves disaster funding.

Today’s letter was led by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and in addition to Isakson and Perdue, signed by U.S. Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Doug Jones, D-Ala., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Rick Scott, R-Fla., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

On Nov. 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.

The full text of the Feb. 13 letter to Senate leadership is available online and follows below.

The Honorable Mitch McConnell                               The Honorable Nancy Pelosi 
Majority Leader                                                          Speaker of the House
S-230, U.S. Capitol                                                     H-232, U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20510                                            Washington, D.C. 20515                                             
The Honorable Charles Schumer                                The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader                                                          Minority Leader
S-221, U.S. Capitol                                                     H-204, U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20510                                            Washington, D.C. 20515
                                   
Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy:

     We write to urge prompt consideration of a bipartisan and bicameral disaster supplemental appropriations measure to infuse communities across the nation with much needed resources in the aftermath of recent natural disasters. As you are well aware, last year produced catastrophic hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that have left our communities in need of federal assistance to continue their recovery efforts. We are deeply concerned these state and local governments will not have the necessary resources needed to address critical issues, including defense capabilities, agriculture, infrastructure and economic development that are crucial to our constituents and businesses in hard hit areas. 

     Both sides of the Capitol must work together with the administration to come to a solution that addresses the needs of our home states, which have been forced to shoulder the burden of recovery efforts without the necessary assets. Unfortunately, Congress has delayed providing this aid for too long while our communities face the consequences of our inaction.

     Congress has a responsibility to appropriate disaster funding and assist our states which are facing daily challenges trying to rebuild and restore. As such, we insist you bring a disaster supplemental bill to the floor for consideration at the earliest opportunity to ensure that the federal government fulfills its responsibility.  

     Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, and we look forward to continuing our work.

Sincerely,

 

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