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Federal Emergency Management Agency Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CARTER. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present to the House a bill to fully sustain funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, commonly known as FEMA.

Right now, at this very moment, dedicated men and women at FEMA are preparing for the possible landfall of Tropical Storm Karen along our gulf coast, and they're not being paid. Right now, at this very moment, FEMA has begun to recall furloughed employees in Atlanta, Georgia, and Denton, Texas, as the agency prepares for a potential significant natural disaster.

According to the National Weather Service, a hurricane watch is currently in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana, eastward to Destin, Florida. A tropical storm watch is currently in effect from west of Grand Isle to east of Morgan City, Louisiana, and New Orleans and east of Destin to Indian Pass, Florida.

Mr. Speaker, this is a major storm, and we have to take it seriously. So this bill before us provides for continuing appropriations to ensure FEMA can fully render assistance to the impacted States and fully support our citizens and our brave first responders.

Mr. Speaker, all of us were aware that the government is shut down despite numerous attempts to move forward. We have repeatedly offered visions of a continuing resolution to sustain this government's operations, but to no avail. Furthermore, we have offered to negotiate, to convene a conference, and to work out the differences in a professional and orderly manner, but such offers have been refused out of hand. So, Mr. Speaker, this bill is yet another offer to the other side of the aisle to at least fund vital components of this government.

We have a duty to ensure that our Nation is adequately prepared for disasters and that our States are fully supported when they require Federal assistance. This bill does so without increasing the rate of spending and in a manner entirely consistent with the text of the noncontroversial H.J. Res. 59.

In short, this bill before us today is all about getting our priorities right. It's my hope that passage of this bill will not only support our Nation's emergency preparedness but also lead to a reopening of the entire Federal Government.

In closing, I urge my friends on the other side of the aisle to lower their partisan blinders, come to the table, and work out our current impasses so that we can get on with the business of fixing our Nation's budgetary mess.

Mr. Speaker, with that, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. CARTER. Mr. Speaker, I don't believe we ever took a vote to shut down the government. If we did, I certainly missed it. I don't believe anybody ever took a vote recently to sustain the government.

But it's an interesting comment, and I thank my friend for making it.

I reserve the balance of my time.


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