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tv   U.S. Senate Senator Leahy on Disaster relief funds  CSPAN  March 27, 2019 6:33pm-6:53pm EDT

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objection. mr. mcconnell: if there is no further business to come before the senate i ask it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow m ask consent the call of the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, on january 16, more than two months ago, the house passed a supplemental appropriations bill, h.r. 268, that addressed the needs of all communities impacted by disaster. the house passed disaster bill provide assistance to help
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people impacted by hurricanes florence and michael, the hawaii volcanos, and the california wildfires. it provided aid to the people of it provided aid to the people of . >> irma and maria. they pass that two months ago. and moving quickly in this package to help those americans in need, senate republicans at the presidents insistence held up the house u bill because it included assistance for americans in
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puerto rico. and it has been held over petty grudges and political concerns the presidents refusal to help americans in puerto rico is an important disaster bill that many states are relying upon to speed the recovery efforts to discriminate and certainly in my years here and then to take care all of the citizens and not pick and choose.
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i voted for disaster aid to purple states because possibly the united states of america. and with disaster with democratic senators with the state of vermont when we were hit with a disaster a few years ago but today puerto rico. one year ago hit by two back to back category five hurricanes it's so rare that they ever get hit by two back to back. and those who lost their lives
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homes are demolished that requires a commensurate response. and with the house passed bill. because we need to act. so the senate republicans say they require a substitute. at the presidents insistence to eliminate critical assistance to provide a house bill as well as assistance of us territories. it eliminates state revolving funds to rebuild damaged water systems, to ensure to stand up
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to future storms. it eliminates 100 percent cost sheriff pima through one - - fema through cash-strapped federal aid. and it eliminates $68 million from american samoa and guam. so on the other side of the aisle to claim that this money is not needed. so what we have already addressed to move on but that's not the fact that's not true. so given the extraordinary unprecedented nature of the
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storms and the extent of the devastation. the damage assessment the devastation comes clear to what is provided to fully recover. i remember when this first happened when the white house said two or three or four dozen fatalities in puerto rico but not just a handful. we don't appropriate the same amount of money to each state and territory we provide what
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is needed for people to rebuild their homes and communities and their lives. one size does not fit all. with katrina we had six supplemental disaster packages and then the assistance coming over time. and through louisiana and mississippi. a but americans receive more and more involvement and this is no different.
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the president reported the came to the capital that the president of the united states something that i have never seen. whether republican or president that we should refrain from helping american citizens. that was not based back to reality. but it was only federal assistance and what they say is not true using federal money to pay off the debt.
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the president knows that is not true. why does he keep saying it? that puerto rico has $20 billion but the bulk of the money and the republicans and democrats like to be held up by the administration and end to be purposely held back millions of dollars that this remains from washington d.c.
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of puerto rico. there is no excuse for that. for puerto rico and then to tell you to spend it and then holding these away from puerto rico you can do that. because they are not spending money they are just holdingat back. with a bureaucratic delays
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actually toen ask unanimous consent to be included in the record with the housing and urban development as the white house deliberately interfered with the hurricane funds from puerto rico. and then to look into if the white house to go to a disaster area.
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roads were washed out and bridges destroyed and communities were change with those bridges on houses on the north side of the river and now on the south side of the river upside down destroyed. schools destroyed. and to bring in medical supplies and as a lifelong vermonter in the effort to recover and rebuild. that that's the state line - - the same in other states. boulder and texas and then to
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create a path forward. and that is a reasonable proposal and to not restore from the house bill. and the most critical proposals and the senate republicans accepted this proposal to see passage of the bill in the bipartisan fashion which eliminates the need of government assistance of the people that need it sooner rather than later.
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and which makes me think because the congress only gave them one.$6 million for a wall. and then gave one.3 billion. i don't know if they actually read those proposals but in this case it's obvious what is happening the president is willing to endanger the entire disaster package for all of the united states because he wants to pick winners and losers. there are no winners and losers. americans come together to help o everybody.
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this is unacceptable. where will this end? but the president who in a tweet that he would cut off aid to california. that has some of the worst fires in recent history. a tweet? telling americans we have a responsible h people in the room at a not to be congress. but the way that vermont was hit with disaster hurricane
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with the day after surveying the damage republicans and democrats for when we had a disaster that's what i want to do. six time to add to louisiana and mississippi. it wasn't for the political benefit of vermont but the thing that, excuse me.
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and dad disaster package that picks and chooses. and then to say we pay for you. you get money. you americans but i don't like you. and all communities impacted. and with a recommend a compromise so now i hope all members will support.
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so i asked consent that this statement be made part of the records be mac without objection but americans in puerto rico and with alaska and hawaii. in such an important matter i urge you to remember what and read what the governor has to say.ic americans in puerto rico just like americans in texas or oklahoma or california or new
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york or wherever a disaster has struck. we are the united states of america. all americans on behalf of political biasest. >> to occupy an outside share ntof headlines across the country we have seen counties in alabama with the vicious tornado to support 23 people whose lives they claimed we have seen powerful hurricanes go across the shores of florida and carolinas leaving tens of billions of dollars in damage behind. flooding has repeatedly caused damage in my home state of kentucky and of course, a major disaster levelh


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