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Washington, DC— As the nation braces for Hurricane Irene, Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02) demands that Congress prepare by not requiring offsets to hurricane related emergency spending. This session, House Republicans repeatedly proposed requiring cuts to other Federal programsbefore funding emergency disaster relief. This changes a long standing Congressional practice of providing funding for disasters as they occur and when they are most needed. Mr. Richmond released the following statement:
“Days before the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we’re all praying that there is no damage from Hurricane Irene. If there is damage, however, Congress absolutely must respond quickly, efficiently, and compassionately. It should be the policy of this body that we're going to be wherever our citizens need us in times of emergency.
“House GOP leadership is floating the idea of requiring an offset for disaster assistance. If that was the policy after Hurricane Katrina we would have been waiting for months or even years for the assistance we needed to get New Orleans up and running again.
“I’m asking House GOP leadership to commit to a swift response—one that doesn’t require politically charged cuts to hurting Americans before helping Americans in need. Americans need to know that if a hurricane knocks down your house through no fault of your own, we're going to be there to help you.”
Mr. Richmond published an editorial opposing the GOP idea of requiring offsets to emergency spending here. He also presented the Humanitarian Aid for Americans Act (H.R. 2455) and an amendment to preemptively block any such proposal, video of which can be found here.