U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has introduced an amendment to help provide critical disaster relief funds for the Northeast fishing industry. Co-sponsors of the amendment include Senators William "Mo" Cowan (D-MA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Angus King (I-ME).The amendment is the first introduced by Senator Warren since she took office in January.
This amendment would allow appropriations in the FY14 budget to be allocated to provide disaster assistance for fishermen in Massachusetts and across the region. The funding would help support a response to the commercial fisheries failures declared by the Secretary of Commerce in 2012.
"We must support our fishermen in Massachusetts and throughout the Northeast who are struggling to make ends meet during this difficult time," said Senator Warren. "The fishing industry is an important part of our region's economy, and I'm proud to introduce my first Senate amendment to help make sure these hardworking fishing families have access to the critical disaster assistance they deserve."
In September 2012, the Secretary of Commerce issued disaster declarations for several fisheries, including the Northeast Groundfish fishery, which faces significant reductions in catch allocation for key fish stocks such as cod for the next several years. The Senate's Sandy relief act provided $150 million for fisheries disaster assistance and passed the Senate last December, however the funding was not considered by the Republican controlled House of Representatives.