Granger Remarks on Disaster Relief

May 10, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, top Appropriations Committee Republican Kay Granger (R-TX) delivered the following remarks on H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019.

Madam Speaker, I rise today on H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019.

This bill is similar to the disaster supplemental that passed the House in January. We have been waiting for the Senate to act on their version of the supplemental for several months.

During the four months since the House passed a bill, additional areas have been affected by natural disasters.

We know that the need is great, but taking up a disaster bill for the second time without addressing the Administration’s concerns unfortunately will not increase its chance of becoming law.

There is a lot to praise in this bill. It will provide critical resources to communities struggling to recover from hurricanes, wildfires, flooding and tornadoes.

The bill also provides resources to repair severely damaged military installations. These repairs are sorely needed to return these facilities to a condition that can support our men and women in uniform.

However, we must also address the humanitarian and security crisis at the border, and this bill fails on that front.

Unfortunately, the rule for this bill does not allow us to consider an amendment to provide humanitarian relief and enhance security on the border.

On my recent visits to the border, I have seen firsthand that the humanitarian crisis is getting worse by the day.

The numbers are staggering. In April alone, Customs and Border Protection made 109,000 apprehensions on the southwest border - more than half of these were part of a family unit.

There have been more apprehensions in the first seven months of this fiscal year than all of the last fiscal year.

Resources are urgently needed to address the health and safety of our law enforcement personnel, as well as families with children who are seeking refuge.

This bill does nothing to address this crisis. We have no choice but to work together on this issue. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for months to get resources to law enforcement, social service providers and public health officers. The time to act is now.

I thank Chairwoman Lowey for her tireless work to address the needs of our nation.

Just as we worked together to end the shutdown in February, we can come together again to rebuild our communities, protect the border, and provide humanitarian assistance where it is urgently needed.

I reserve the balance of my time.