A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Mitch McConnell: Congress faces number of pressing issues related to disaster relief — and debt ceiling

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Senate’s upcoming agenda items:
Congress has a number of pressing issues to address in the coming days.
There are three critically important things before us that need be done very quickly: pass disaster relief legislation to allow us to rebuild from Harvey and prepare for future disasters like Irma, prevent a default so that those emergency resources can actually get to Americans who need them, and keep the government funded.
These are the President’s immediate priorities, these are my immediate priorities, and they are critically important to establishing certainty and stability as our country continues to recover from one record-setting storm and prepare for yet another.

Harvey has already unleashed more rain than any other single storm recorded in the continental United States.

Irma has already forced the entire State of Florida into a state of emergency.

I’d like to repeat two quotes I shared yesterday that are even more relevant now, given the further approach of Irma.

This is the President’s budget director: “Given the need for additional spending as a result of disaster response and initial recovery from Hurricane Harvey, the Administration continues to urge the Congress to act expeditiously to ensure that the debt ceiling does not affect these critical response and recovery efforts.”

That’s because, as the Treasury Secretary explained, “if Congress appropriates the money, but I don’t have the ability to borrow more money and pay for it, we’re not going to be able to get that money…” to states that need it.

The need for certainty now is incredibly important.

I have been having conversations with the Democratic Leader on my view of the way forward on the three issues I mentioned. And this morning, he and I along with House leaders from both parties, will head to the White House for a meeting to discuss those issues further.

It’s good to see that Congress has made steady progress already.

I want to again thank the President and his team for working closely with us to ensure that families and states are able to get the help they need, and for working with us to prevent a default or lapse in government service that could get in the way of that help actually being delivered.
As we work on these immediate priorities, Members will also continue working on other critically important items like tax reform, national security, and filling vacancies across the federal government. 
We’ve clearly got a lot to do in the coming weeks and months. But we’ll all keep working to tackle these issues as soon as possible.

Mitch McConnell is a U.S. Senator from Kentucky and is Senate Majority Leader.

Related Posts

One Comment

  1. Tom Coe says:

    Why didn’t he print some comments from after the White House meeting?

Leave a Comment