WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today 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. The aid would come through the Community Development Block Grant program. Neighborhoods and communities could use that funding for long-term disaster recovery needs, including repairs to infrastructure.
“In the last year, Louisiana—especially southwest Louisiana—has suffered through historic hurricanes, followed by flooding. Louisianians have always helped their neighbors, and I again ask the Senate to help Louisiana recover by adopting this amendment to get them relief. Our people have waited too long for the funds they need to rebuild their lives and communities,” said Kennedy.
To pay for the aid, Kennedy’s amendment would use revenue from the Federal Communications Commission’s spectrum auction last year. That would leave the government with no need to borrow money or add to the deficit.
Text of amendment is available here.
Background on requests for disaster relief:
Kennedy continues to support supplemental disaster relief for Louisiana as the state is still rebuilding after historic storms.
Once Congress receives a request for supplemental disaster aid from the White House, legislators can appropriate relief funds and send that bill to the president for his signature. The White House has not yet made a request for supplemental relief for Louisiana, despite repeated requests from Louisiana’s congressional delegation.
- 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 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 May 20, Kennedy spoke directly with Housing and Urban Development Secretary (HUD) Marcia Fudge about supplemental disaster relief for 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 18, Kennedy again urged President Biden to provide supplemental disaster relief for southwest Louisiana.
- On May 13, Kennedy helped introduce the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act, which would allow rural homeowners, renters and small businesses to more easily access disaster relief in the wake of a natural disaster.
- 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.