Thursday, September 22, 2016

Down payment

Looks like we're only going to be able to squeeze $500 million out of congress for flood relief before they rush off to recess again.

The short-term funding bill, formally known as a continuing resolution, has been identified as the fastest way to get flood money for the state before Congress recesses this month. Lawmakers won't return to D.C. until December, after this fall's elections. Gov. John Bel Edwards had requested a $2.8 billion package.

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, said that the $500 million in the proposal is seen as a "down payment" on future flood relief that can be awarded in the December "lame duck" session.

"It's a great start," he said Thursday. "This obviously gets things going."

The flood relief package, which Senators will have for four days before votes are cast and then it heads to the House, would largely go toward meeting housing needs in the flood-ravaged areas. As it's currently written, the money would also go toward recovery for North Louisiana, which experienced mass floods in the spring.
They sound pretty proud of themselves as well as optimistic about getting the rest of the money after the fall break. Could they have done now, though? Probably
The Senate may break two weeks ahead of schedule, with lawmakers on Monday suggesting that an early recess is underway.

Friday could be the last day the Senate is in session until after the election, meaning senators have just one week to make progress on Zika, an environmental bill, and relief for Flint, Michigan, and flood-damaged Louisiana – not to mention pass a continuing resolution, known as the CR, that would keep the government funded before the fiscal year ends on September 30.

“Republicans took the longest summer recess in 60 years and are rushing for the exits again after three short weeks back at work,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in a statement. “This Republican Senate has worked fewer days than any Senate in modern history.”
Oh well. Have a nice vacation, guys. See you after the re-greatening of America. 

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article102774302.html#storylink=cpy

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