WASHINGTON, D.C.—Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said he is appalled that Republicans have again blocked disaster relief funding for the Marianas and over a dozen U.S. states that are still recovering from natural disasters last year.
After weeks of objections from President Donald Trump, the Senate finally passed H.R. 2157 on Thursday afternoon and the House was expected to act Friday morning. But Republican Chip Roy of Texas, a former aide to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, objected to the swift action during Friday’s pro forma session, killing the bill for now.
“I began working immediately after Super Typhoon Yutu struck to make sure the Marianas was well taken care of in a national disaster relief bill—and was very successful,” Sablan said. “In the House, we added $36 million for Marianas Medicaid, $25 million for food stamps, $56 million for solid waste facilities, $10 million for water and sewer repairs, and eligibility for tens of millions of dollars of other federal grant funds. The bill the Senate passed Thursday had all of that.
“And now Republicans have killed the bill—which helps mostly Republican states and districts. It is difficult to understand what these people are thinking.”
Sablan said he has every intention of continuing to work for Marianas disaster aid. “I feel confident that our Democratic majority in the House will not let this be the last word. Too many Americans are counting on getting help and we will not leave them hanging.”
Three times since December the House has passed disaster aid and, until Thursday, the Republican-controlled Senate had taken no action. (PR)