Senate may act on disaster money

Mar 24, 2019

The U.S. Senate may act next week on the disaster supplemental appropriation passed by the House on January 16. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has filed the necessary cloture motion setting up the vote. What the Senate version of H.R. 268 will include, however, is still being negotiated. Proposals from the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator David Perdue (R-Georgia), and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) all include $25.2 million for the Marianas food stamp program, as a result of my floor amendment during House debate, as well as $56 million set-aside for solid waste management and $10.4 million for water and sewer projects that we negotiated for the Marianas.

In addition, the typhoons we experienced in 2018 are specifically referenced to make the Marianas eligible for recovery money from the Economic Development Administration ($600 million), Rural Development ($150 million), and the Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery ($1.06 billion). One area of difference: the $36 million for Medicaid that I amended to the House bill during floor debate. Senate Republicans’ bills have not included this money, even though Governor Torres, also a Republican, has attested that Marianas Medicaid is out of money.