WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today questioned Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge about the status of supplemental disaster relief for Louisiana in the wake of Hurricanes Laura and Delta and current historic flooding.
Watch Kennedy question HUD Secretary here.
Key exchanges include:
Kennedy: “Secretary Fudge, Louisiana, as you probably know, was hit by two massive hurricanes last year. The focal point was southwest Louisiana, but the hurricanes were devastating to central Louisiana, to northeast Louisiana. With respect to block grant disaster assistance . . . our entire Congressional delegation have repeatedly talked to the White House about getting an answer to our requests for the disaster relief. We have asked, we have begged, we have cajoled, we’ve sent fruit baskets. We haven’t sent over a personal pan pizza yet, but we are thinking about doing that to the White House. We just want an answer. Can you help me get an answer?”
Fudge: “What I am saying as well, is that we are more than willing to support what is happening, but Congress needs to make that decision. Whatever decision Congress makes we are going to be supportive of. I stand ready.”
Kennedy: “As you know, customarily the way this works, the White House has to send a request to Congress. Has the president decided to send over that request, and if so, do you know when we’ll get it?”
Fudge: “No, but I can ask.”
Fudge: “Well, I will find out, sir, because I think we need to do as much as we possibly can.”
Kennedy: “Okay, well I thank you for that, Madam Secretary. Let me be sure I understand: You are—you personally—on behalf of HUD are supportive of granting—of asking Congress—to give us the relief, is that right?”
Fudge: “I personally, yes, but as you say, that’s not my decision to make.”
Kennedy: “I know. Have you talked to anyone at the White House about our request?”
Fudge: “I have not, but I will make sure that I do it right away.”
. . .
Kennedy: “Can you tell me when we’ll get an answer?”
Fudge: “I’m going to call today. Now, I don’t know when that answer will be, but as soon as I get answer, I will make sure that you get it right away.”
. . .
Kennedy: “Okay. If you could, Madam Secretary, if we could get an answer—my people deserve an answer.”
Fudge: “I will.”