Rep. Richmond Votes Against Disaster Supplemental Bill
WASHINGTON – Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA-02) released the following statement after voting against the disaster supplemental bill for Texas, Florida, and U.S. territories:
“Experience with recovery efforts after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike, has taught me successful recoveries require more than good intentions. While this bill provides some relief to the U.S. Virgin Islands, it fails to address the unique challenges the territory faces after being destroyed by two Category 5 hurricanes in the span of three weeks. Additionally, the territories’ leaders have expressed serious concern over their ability to maintain their Medicaid program and bring some critical health facilities back on line,” said Rep. Richmond.
“I continue to believe the federal government should provide necessary resources to our citizens when disaster strikes, without delay. Additionally, we cannot nickel and dime our citizens when life-saving critical needs have not been met. When the federal government doesn’t give states and territories the resources they need to responsibly rebuild and recover, it turns a natural disaster into a manmade one.”
“In addition to the insufficient relief being offered to the U.S. Virgin Islands, this bill failed to address the financial burdens that schools such as Xavier and Dillard are facing as a result of loans needed to recover from Hurricane Katrina. I have pressed Congressional leadership on the urgent need facing these schools. That need continues to be ignored. Having to pay back loans ties up a significant portion of the schools’ funds and make their financial positions difficult to manage. These unfair burdens continue more than a decade after the storm even though almost all other emergency loans taken out after the storm have been forgiven.”