January 16, 2019
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted to fund emergency relief for disasters that ravaged communities across the country in 2017 and 2018, including wildfires, which devastated parts of California. The bill allocates more than $12 billion to address the damage from natural disasters, including $1.7 billion for the Department of Transportation to repair federal highway and bridge damages, $447 million to repair and reconstruct Coast Guard facilities, and $128 million for the Department of the Interior to repair damages to national parks. The bill also includes $720 million for the U.S. Forest Service to replenish funds that were redirected from other priorities to fight fires.
“California just experienced the worst wildfires in our state’s history. Across the nation, other natural disasters have damaged communities, wrecked livelihoods, and harmed some of our nation’s most pristine national parks. Today, we helped California and other states plagued by wildfires to have tools to implement mitigation plans—not just borrow money intended to prevent future fires to fight today’s fires. This funding ensures our coasts, inlands, and communities are resilient and directs planning to make them stronger in the face of these natural disasters.
“We also voted to reopen the government—once again—so all federal agencies can get back to work serving the American people, especially the communities that need this disaster funding. My Democratic colleagues and I continue to provide options to open the government while Republicans have let the shutdown continue for 26 days. The White House and the Senate must come to the table for reasonable negotiations and quit holding the paychecks of federal workers hostage,” said Rep. Peters.
Earlier this week, Rep. Peters recommitted to ending the shutdown and provide funding to government agencies still unfunded. On the first day of the 116th Congress, Rep. Peters voted to reopen the government and fund the Department of Homeland Security until February 8. He also voted to reopen the government with individual spending bills for the unfunded agencies. The Senate has not considered any of these funding bills.