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Sen. Cassidy speaks on disaster relief assistance

Published: May. 11, 2021 at 8:20 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Sen. Bill Cassidy spoke about federal aid following the president’s visit to Southwest Louisiana.

During President Biden’s visit, the Mayor of Lake Charles voiced concerns about disaster assistance funding and a lack of federal help. Southwest Louisiana is slowly recovering, but it is staring down another hurricane season, and local leaders are looking to Washington for help.

Mayor Nic Hunter spoke with President Biden about the need for a supplemental disaster package. This type of funding would help rebuild the communities across the state of Louisiana that have sustained damage from last year’s disasters.

“We’re an important American city,” Mayor Hunter said. “We are a great American city, and we need the proper federal response, and that includes a supplemental disaster package.”

Many in the Lake Area side with Hunter, saying rebuilding the community is the primary concern and needs to happen now.

“The priority should be getting things rebuilt from the hurricane,” said Lake Charles resident Henry Iatesta.

Sen. Cassidy, who said federal help is in the works, spoke of a federal funding package that includes other states that experienced natural disasters as well. He said that he and other lawmakers have been working on a disaster relief package for the past couple months.

“I’m working with senators from other states affected by natural disasters, so that as they group, we can bring forward a package,” Cassidy said. “It will come down as typically community development block grants, getting latitude for the state and the community to use it to help rebuild those areas most affected.”

The senator said the bill has received support from President Biden, though the bill is not finished.

“I do believe that houses and the businesses need to get rebuilt, and things need to get going again,” Iatesta said. “Federal funding would help us quite a bit.”

Cassidy added that though there is no definite timeline, it could be another two months to see action on this bill from Washington. That would be just shy of Hurricane Laura’s one year anniversary.

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