Letter from Senator Feinstein
Dr. Anaida Colon-Muniz has been very active in her letter writing campaign to public officials. As a result, Senator Feinstein has responded, and the letter is included here. Please follow Anaida's example by sharing this with others and reaching out to your representatives.
Dear Ms. Colon-Muniz:
Thank you for contacting me regarding hurricane disaster relief. I appreciate the time you took to write, and I welcome the opportunity to share my views.
Let me begin my saying that my heart goes out to all those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and more this year. We are only at the beginning of the 2017 hurricane season, and four major hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic so far. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma alone have killed over 100 Americans, left millions without power, and may have caused over $150 billion in damage. I am committed to ensuring that the federal government meets its obligations to those affected by natural disasters.
I believe that Congress has a fundamental responsibility to care for our fellow citizens after natural disasters strike. That is why I voted in favor of a short-term Federal government funding law (H.R. 601) that included a total of $15 billion for initial Hurricane Harvey relief. The Senate passed H.R. 601 on September 7, 2017, and President Trump signed it into law on September 8, 2017.
I also strongly support Federal aid for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which are struggling to cope with the devastation wrought by this year’s hurricanes. At least 3 million Puerto Ricans—our fellow Americans—are without power, and dozens have died. The Virgin Islands have also suffered catastrophic damage, and need help to recover. That is why I joined 28 fellow Senators in sending a letter to President Trump on September 27, 2017, urging a more comprehensive Federal response and the deployment of U.S. military assets to support hurricane relief. While I am pleased President Trump waived Jones Act restrictions for Puerto Rico on September 28, 2017, I am dismayed that he did not do so earlier.
You may be interested to know that Congress is currently working on additional hurricane relief funding for the areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as the Senate debates the specifics of this aid package.
Once again, thank you for writing. Should you have any other questions or comments, please call my Washington, D.C., office at (202) 224-3841 or visit my website at feinstein.senate.gov.
Sincerely yours, Dianne Feinstein United States Senator