Louisiana lawmakers optimistic Hurricane Ida supplemental assistance coming soon

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 12:45 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - More than two weeks after Hurricane Ida shook southeast Louisiana, recovery efforts are still underway. Louisiana’s elected officials say they are looking for all the financial assistance they can get during this process.

Louisiana’s coastal representatives want quick federal relief as their communities continue to rebuild. Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA) says he plans to welcome a bipartisan group of House members to his district to show them the devastation first-hand.

“So when we have these debates in Congress, it’s not widgets, it’s people. It’s not something you’ve heard about, it’s something you’ve seen,” said Carter.

Carter is hoping the group comes to southeast Louisiana in the coming days. The congressman believes the visit will convince his colleagues to move quickly in approving additional help for the area.

“This is not something that we have the luxury of waiting on because peoples’ lives are literally in limbo,” said Carter.

Congress has to fund the federal government by the end of September or it will shut down. The Biden Administration recently sent a message to Capitol Hill urging them to include funds for Hurricane Ida recovery in what will likely be a short term funding package.

The administration also highlighted the lingering needs in southwest Louisiana a year after Hurricane Laura ripped through the area.

“We are very relieved to see, finally, action out of the executive branch and the Biden White House,” said Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) who represents the area where Hurricane Laura did the most damage.

He argues the government has the money to help right now, but accessing those funds is difficult. Higgins says supplemental funding from Congress will streamline the process of getting the needed community development block grants to storm-hit communities.

“Every family has gone through some level of impact, but we’re doing our best. We’re strong. We’re Louisiana citizens,” said Higgins.

September is slated to be a busy legislative period, but both Higgins and Carter are optimistic the hurricane recovery funding will come up for a vote on the House floor soon.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) also took to the Senate floor Wednesday to urge his colleagues on that side of Capitol Hill to expedite supplemental assistance to his state.

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