WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) delivered a speech today on the House floor calling for additional long-term hurricane recovery resources and urging the Biden administration to issue a supplemental disaster request to Congress. This follows the delivery of an official letter to President Biden earlier this week urging additional long-term recovery resources.
Congressman Higgins’ remarks as delivered are below:
“Madam Speaker, it has been nine months since Hurricanes Laura and Delta devastated Southwest Louisiana.
“Our region has endured natural disaster after natural disaster. This past year has been incredibly challenging. Two very powerful major hurricanes, a crippling ice storm, and this week, ongoing… a severe rainfall event that is causing homes and businesses to flood.
“Many families will have to again start the difficult process of rebuilding their lives.
“Our people have been resilient in the face of great adversity. A show of incredible strength. But the need for help from the federal government is dire.
“While much work has been done, Southwest Louisiana has long-term recovery needs.
“To date, we’ve worked with our federal partners to deliver well over $1 billion in disaster relief to Louisiana with more on the way.
“We have worked with both President Trump and President Biden to secure increased federal assistance through cost-share adjustments now at levels of 90 and 100 percent.
“These resources have supported Southwest Louisiana’s most immediate needs: housing and rental assistance, utility repairs, debris removal, hazard mitigation, and other disaster response costs.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related bills, these federal disaster accounts have received supplemental funding well beyond normal appropriations and are still available to the people of Southwest Louisiana.
“However, our region requires additional support in the form of long-term recovery resources… primarily through community block-grant funding.
“Louisiana’s Governor issued a formal request to the Biden administration in January of this year. My office has supported our Governor’s request in every way through every channel.
“We have worked for months to build support in Congress for long-term recovery resources, and our efforts to build that coalition have been successful.
“While that support exists broadly, the Biden administration must first respond to our Governor’s official request for supplemental disaster funding. President Biden must formally request specific supplemental disaster relief from Congress. Only then can our brotherhood of support take action here in the House of Representatives. That’s the way it works.
“We have communicated these extreme needs directly to the Biden administration and House Leadership.
“Additionally, the State must do more to ensure private insurance companies are treating Louisiana citizens fairly. This has been a significant issue that has frustrated Louisiana citizens and hindered our recovery efforts.
“I will not stop fighting for the citizens of South Louisiana, and I ask that my colleagues here in this body stand with us. I ask that our President stand with the people of Louisiana.
“We are one nation, and as a Republic of sovereign states, we have never failed to come to each other’s rescue in the wake of natural disaster. Now is one of those moments. This is a time when Americans must stand together as one.
“Every day, we are working to help Louisiana stand back up.
“Thank you Madam Speaker, and I yield the balance of my time.”