BURLINGTON, VT – Today, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) joined Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in thanking the Biden Administration for its continued support for New England communities impacted by flooding in July 2023, and requesting the Administration continue to support communities, farms and businesses impacted by floods in any upcoming disaster supplemental appropriations request to Congress.
“The flooding was the worst New England has seen in over a decade, and in some areas the worst in almost a century. Many small businesses in the region are now struggling to reopen. It will take the impacted communities months, if not years, to fully recover, with significant costs associated with rebuilding. Many of these small and rural communities that were impacted do not have the resources available to immediately and adequately respond to the recent devastation. Instead, in the weeks since the storms, towns across the region have relied on residents to take time away from their jobs and families to clean up roads, downtowns, farmland, small businesses, and homes,” wrote the senators.
“Your administration is expected to submit a supplemental disaster appropriations request to Congress later this year. Since 2018, Congress has consistently issued emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster relief. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 authorized $2.36 billion to cover certain wildfire- and hurricane-related agricultural losses not covered by crop insurance or by the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). Most recently, in December 2022, Congress appropriated, and you signed into law, $3.74 billion to cover past crop losses from natural disasters that were not covered by other forms of USDA assistance,” continued the senators.
“To help New England farmers, small businesses, and communities recover from the July 2023 floods, we ask that you include assistance for New England in your supplemental appropriations request. Specifically, we ask that you work closely with affected states to identify the funding sources . . . and amounts necessary to help the region recover and work with Congress to ensure those funds reach communities in need,” concluded the senators.
Read the letter here.
Earlier today, Sens. Sanders, Welch, and Congresswoman Becca Balint (VT-AL) urged President Biden to support more aid for Vermont flood recovery in the upcoming disaster supplemental, which the White House is expected to formally announce in the coming days. In addition to Vermont’s immediate recovery needs, the Congressional Delegation urged the President to support investments in mitigation activities to build long-term resiliency against future disasters and the increasingly dangerous effects of climate change.