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Public Statements

Blizzard of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mrs. NOEM. Mr. Speaker, this past Friday, a storm struck western South Dakota and dumped up to 4 feet of snow throughout the region. This has left thousands without power and devastating livestock losses in the area. Some estimate that hundreds of thousands of livestock have been killed, many of which are still buried in the melting snow.

The weekend's blizzard is expected to cost local governments millions of dollars. Those counties and the Governor are expected to petition the President for disaster status and for FEMA funds so they can clear the fallen trees and help ranchers remove all the cattle that died during that storm.

Some in South Dakota are wondering if this partial government shutdown will affect the timing of potential assistance. It certainly does not have to. There may be disagreement over certain parts of the Federal budget, but not on FEMA.

Last week, the House passed a bill to fund FEMA. It passed with Democrat support because there is bipartisan recognition that we should fund noncontroversial aspects of our government and stop the attempts of some to make this partial shutdown as painful as possible. It does not have to be this way.

I call on our Senate colleagues to act immediately on the funding measures that we have sent them. It's time to negotiate, to work together, so that we can end this shutdown.

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