Senators Hawley and Blunt Praise Senate Passage of Disaster Aid Bill

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Missouri Senators Josh Hawley and Roy Blunt today voted in favor of a disaster aid package that includes much-needed resources for Missouri farms and communities impacted by flooding. The measure passed the Senate by a vote of 85-8.

“This is an important step forward that expedites the assistance that Missourians need,” said Senator Hawley. “I’ve seen the devastation firsthand and talked with families who have lost everything. Passing this aid package is just one step of many toward getting folks in our state back on their feet, and we’re grateful to have it. The path toward recovery continues.”

“The flooding in our state has been completely devastating in some areas – from destroyed homes to lost crops to damaged infrastructure,” said Senator Blunt. “Relief is finally one step closer to reaching these communities so they can recover and rebuild. It’s an important start, but as the full scope of the damage becomes clear we must be ready to provide any additional assistance this is needed. And, we need to look at ways the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can better manage the Missouri River to help prevent catastrophic flooding in the future.”

The bill includes:

  • $4.5 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to repair damage to farmlands, rebuild infrastructure and rural community facilities, and provide assistance for crop losses in flood impacted states, including Missouri. The bill also includes a provision Blunt worked on with Sens. Grassley (Iowa), Ernst (Iowa), and Fischer (Neb.) to extend aid eligibility to stored commodities that were lost and crops that were unable to be planted. Hawley supported that effort;
  • $3 billion in funding to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair waterways infrastructure, including $1 billion to aid repairs of local levees that were breached or damaged in Missouri and elsewhere;
  • $1.6 billion for the Department of Transportation’s highway emergency relief program to repair roads and bridges; and
  • $2.4 billion for grants to cities, counties, and states for long term-recovery, infrastructure restoration, and economic revitalization through the Community Development Block Grant program.

This week, the Missouri Senators teamed up on Hawley’s legislation to help prevent future catastrophic flooding by requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize flood control in its management of the Missouri River System.

In late March, Blunt and Hawley toured flood damage in Northwest Missouri and emphasized the need to get relief to impacted communities.