Congressman Paul Tonko, Congressman Maurice Hinchey and Congressman Bill Owens tonight made the following statement after voting against a Continuing Resolution to fund government operations through November 18, 2011. Included is $3.65 billion in disaster relief funding, which is about half as much as the nearly $7 billion in disaster relief approved by the U.S. Senate. The House measure was defeated, 195-230.
"We voted against this continuing resolution because after three weeks of inaction by the Republican leadership, they have presented a package that falls far short of what is needed. It does not provide enough resources to help families rebuild their homes, and it blatantly excludes disaster relief programs at USDA that our farmers and rural communities need so desperately to recover. It kicks the can down the road to another, lingering fight.
"We are again calling on House leadership to schedule an immediate vote on legislation passed by the U.S. Senate that provides more resources for our families and farmers. And we will be working together on new legislation that would provide additional disaster funding for our farmers through the USDA.
"We will fight for every dollar of much-needed disaster relief funding we can get, but at the end of the day, this bill simply does not hold the breadth and depth of aid we require. It is a slap in the face to families, farmers, and small businesses in our area who have lost everything."