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Bill Cassidy speaks on the need of disaster relief across La.

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:35 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Congress is on the clock as it has to make a big funding decision in the coming days that will impact Southwest Louisiana.

Congress has to fund the federal government by the end of September or it will shut down. The Biden administration recently sent a message to Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to include funds for Hurricane Ida recovery and long-term recovery funding for Southwest Louisiana following Hurricane Laura.

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy spoke about the need of disaster relief across the state on Wednesday. He said the state of Louisiana is no stranger to severe weather.

“2020 set a record nationally for the most named storms in a single season with 30 - 5 of which hit my state,” Cassidy said. “It’s time to pass the disaster assistance bill for Laura, for Delta, for the winter storms, and for Ida.”

Local and state officials have been begging for help following the natural disasters over the past 13 months, and now, another hurricane has increased the state’s need for relief. Cassidy said the need for relief goes back to the 2020 storms. Washington made the request for help just last week.

“The White House Budget Office sent a formal request to congress, acknowledging the unmet needs for these communities over a year later,” Cassidy said.

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said he believes aid would have eventually been asked for without Ida happening, but Ida helped elevate the conversation of the state’s need.

“But I’m trying to focus, today, on the fact that we are a lot closer to that aid, that is so needed, than we were three weeks ago,” Hunter said.

Cassidy also pushed for the passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructural Investment and Jobs Act to help with hurricane recovery.

“I am also supportive of the Infrastructure Act, and I don’t think infrastructure should be a controversial or political topic,” Hunter said. “We as a country have an ancient infrastructure. The City of Lake Charles is 150 years old,” Hunter said.

In closing remarks, Cassidy said getting help shouldn’t be a political issue, and this is a time to learn from these storms and continue to build back a stronger Louisiana.

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