Granger Remarks on Senate-Amended Disaster Relief

Jun 3, 2019
WASHINGTON – Today, top Appropriations Committee Republican Kay Granger (R-TX) delivered the following remarks on Senate-amended H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019.
Mister Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019.
This bill provides much-needed relief to more than 40 states and territories to help them recover from devastating hurricanes, wildfires, flooding, and tornadoes.
The bill provides critical aid to farmers and ranchers across the country. 
From the Category 5 hurricane that destroyed crops in the Southeast to the historic floods of farmland in the Midwest and fires in the West, billions of dollars of damage has occurred.
The funds in this bill will help restore the livelihoods of our agricultural producers and rural communities. 
The bill also provides critical funding to repair military installations that were severely damaged by hurricanes and floods. 
This assistance will return these facilities to a condition that can support our men and women in uniform and help them get back to the job of protecting our nation.
The bill provides vital funding for Community Development Block Grants to help communities devastated by hurricanes, flooding and wildfires rebuild.
I have seen how critical these funds have been for the state of Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The communities affected by storms in 2018 and 2019 have been waiting for these critical resources for months now, and I am pleased we are taking action today to provide needed relief to restore housing and businesses where it is so desperately needed.
The bill also provides funds to compensate State Departments of Transportation for road and highway repairs already underway or completed.
This funding will go to dozens of states for disaster repairs that are critical to restoring road networks that are vital to both traveling public and the movement of goods across the nation.
The bill provides significant funding for the Army Corps of Engineers, most of which will be used to repair existing projects to pre-storm conditions.
This work will include dredging navigation channels, repairing levees, and refortifying coastal defenses.
Funding will be used for the most critical repairs following storms in previous years as well as the ongoing flooding in the Midwest.
The funding for the Corps also includes work to study and construct new projects to protect against future storms.
These projects will help protect our people, businesses, and property, and will reduce the funding necessary to recover from future storms.
This bill was stalled for months because of the Administration’s concerns about providing additional assistance to Puerto Rico.  The final agreement removes the most problematic language and funding.
Bringing this bill to the floor today shows that we can put politics aside and work together to address the needs of our nation. 
However, one emergency that is not addressed is the humanitarian and security crisis on the border. 
We must work together quickly to pass a bill that addresses the surge of unaccompanied children crossing the border and provides law enforcement agencies with the funding they need. 
I have made several recent visits to the border and have seen this crisis unfold up close.  The numbers are alarming.  Customs and Border Patrol is exceeding 100,000 apprehensions per month.
The stakes are high.  There are serious - life or death - repercussions if the Congress does not act. 
In closing, I thank Chairwoman Lowey for working with Members on my side of the aisle to reach this compromise on disaster assistance. 
I also thank the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman, Senator Shelby and Senator Leahy, for their work on this bill. 
I look forward to our continuing conversations about how to quickly address the needs on the border.  I reserve the balance of my time.