Kennedy: U.S. Senate again blocks disaster aid to Southwest Louisiana

State News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KLFY) — For the second time in a month, the U.S. Senate has blocked Sen. John Kennedy’s attempts to pass a $1.1 billion disaster relief bill for Louisiana residents recovering from hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta.

“Today, I offered the Senate an opportunity to help our people without adding a dime to the debt or taking a cent from taxpayers, and I’m incredibly disappointed they chose not to do that,” said Kennedy in a press release this afternoon. “It’s clear once again that President Biden must send a request for this disaster aid to Congress in order for Washington to grant disaster aid for Louisiana.”

Back in mid-July, Kennedy tried to fast-track the bill. It was introduced for unanimous consent, but it was rejected by Senator Rand Paul (R), of Kentucky. Kennedy says the only way this bill gets passed is with support from President Biden, but so far there’s been no luck with the White House.

Today, Kennedy attempted to add the bill as an amendment to the Senate’s infrastructure bill, and the Senate blocked the amendment. Text of amendment is available here.

Below is a timeline Kennedy provided on the history of his attempts to get supplemental disaster aid:

  • In September 2020, Kennedy wrote to Senate leadership, Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), to request that the Senate consider emergency supplemental aid to help Louisiana residents recover from Hurricane Laura.
  • On May 13, Kennedy helped introduce the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act, which would allow rural homeowners, renters and small businesses to access disaster relief more easily in the wake of a natural disaster.
  • On May 18, Kennedy again urged President Biden to provide supplemental disaster relief for southwest Louisiana.
  • On May 19, Kennedy pressed HUD for answers about why the White House has been silent on providing disaster relief to southwest Louisiana.
  • On May 20, Kennedy spoke directly with Housing and Urban Development Secretary (HUD) Marcia Fudge about supplemental disaster relief for Louisiana.
  • On July 15, Kennedy introduced and asked the Senate to pass the Gulf Coast Hurricane Aid Act of 2021. The bill would provide $1.1 billion in disaster relief to Louisianians recovering from historic storms. The Senate blocked the bill’s passage.
  • On July 21, Kennedy joined Louisiana’s congressional delegation in urging the Office of Management and Budget to prioritize Louisiana’s request for supplemental disaster relief.
  • On August 2, Kennedy offered an amendment to the Senate’s infrastructure bill that would provide $1.1 billion in disaster relief to Louisianians recovering from Hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta.

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