Reps. Tauscher and Pappas
June 4, 1997
in this forum:
How well is Congress covered in the press? How are you using your Web sites? Will campaign financing ever be really addressed? How could Congress leave before approving the flood relief bill? Is FEMA doing its job?
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A question from Kai Beriones of San Diego, CA:
emergency appropriations bill
It is very, very irresponsible of House Republicans to leave town without passing the emergency appropriations bill. Attempting to attach unrelated amendments to this urgently needed relief aid is unforgivable. This Republican show of callousness detachment and small-mindedness will be remembered by many people at the polls (some of us are still smarting over the government shut-down of last Congress)
Rep. Tauscher responds:
You are absolutely correct -- it was the height of irresponsibility for the majority in the House of Representatives to play silly partisan games when so many people's livelihoods are still at stake due to the devastating floods in North Dakota, as well as people who are still reeling from the devastating winter floods in my own home state of California. Congress should not be in the practice of attaching extraneous provisions to supplemental emergency appropriations that have absolutely nothing to do with the emergencies that we are attempting to alleviate. If Members of Congress would put the priorities of their own Districts and the nation above partisanship, we would not have the kind of delay in approving emergency appropriations that we experienced several weeks ago. When peoples lives have been lost, homes and businesses ruined, and millions of dollars of other damages have resulted -- it is no time to play petty partisan games.
Rep. Pappas responds:
I agree with you that the funds to assist the victims of these disasters should move as quickly as possible. I believe that the legislation will be sent to the President some time this week. There is currently enough FEMA funds to accomplish the short term emergency measures needed. The funds in this legislation is in addition to existing funds and will replenish the accounts that have run low. This bill has not become law yet because of problems that I would not classify in the same way as you have. Included in the bill is legislation that would prevent the government from shutting down. I am committed to making sure that the shut down that occurred last year will not occur again. I find it ironic that the very same Administration that condemned the shutdowns in the last Congress, is now opposing the very basic remedy that will prevent another shutdown. This measure had strong bi-partisan support and I am hopeful the president will act positively so that we can provide the emergent flood relief and the emergent peace of mind relief to the federal workforce so that future shutdowns can be avoided.