Policy

Louisiana Lawmakers Make Plea to Obama for Flood Aid

Call to make relief funds part of stopgap funding bill now being negotiated

Sen. David Vitter joined his fellow Louisiana lawmakers in calling on President Barack Obama to make a supplemental funding request to Congress for flood relief for their state. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Louisiana lawmakers want federal dollars to aid in the recovery from devastating recent flooding in their state.

The delegation, led by Republican Sens. David Vitter and Bill Cassidy, are making a plea to President Barack Obama for a timely request.

"With Congress considering appropriation bills to fund the federal government, it is crucial that a Louisiana supplemental disaster funding component be included as part of a funding bill," the Louisiana members wrote. "To facilitate and expedite consideration of a Louisiana supplemental spending package, we request you to make a supplemental appropriations request to Congress."

[Obama to Meet With Congressional Leaders on Funding Government]

A stopgap funding bill to keep the government operating past Sept. 30, which sources indicate is likely to be married with emergency dollars to battle the Zika virus and potentially, a broader Military Construction-VA spending measure, could reach the Senate as early as this week.

Any additional funding requests could complicate those discussions, but including the money also has the potential to provide additional votes for the bill.

"The combined flood events have damaged more than 84,000 homes, documented by [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] and more than 180,000 individual disaster assistance registrations," the lawmakers wrote. "The anomaly of two extraordinary floods occurring over a short period of time, in the same geographical region, has caused significant financial implications for the state of Louisiana and its citizens, making the combined flooding one of the worst natural disasters in our nation’s history."

The bipartisan request for assistance comes after Louisiana was ravaged by declared flooding disasters in March and August.

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