June 5, 2019
(Washington) — After several weeks of wrangling, a comprehensive disaster relief bill is finally making its way to President Trump’s desk.
By a 354-to-58 vote earlier this week, the U.S. House approved the $19.1 billion relief package. Among other things, the bill includes funding to assist KMAland residents impacted by the flooding of 2019. Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne expressed relief over the bill’s passage in an interview on KMA’s “Morning Line” program Wednesday morning.
“We have been working on this for weeks, months, obviously,” said Axne, “to make sure that we can make Iowans whole. After having got $3 billion of funding in, just specifically for our disaster in the Midwest, along with statutory language to grain and bins that are uninsured, as well as additional funding for federal highway administration, and the Emergency Watershed Program, I was so excited to finally see this come to fruition, so that we can make sure the folks in Iowa who are suffering are finally getting the resources that we need.”
Axne says she was frustrated when three GOP congressmen upheld attempts to pass the bill by unanimous consent–despite the president’s indication that he would sign it.
“We should all want to help people who are suffering, who are in disaster-prone areas, and who have undergone such extreme stress,” she said. “To see three individuals be able to literally usurp the system, and turn down work that I’ve done, work that the folks in the House have done, work that our senators have done, and the Senate has done, and the president has said he would agree on.”
The West Des Moines Democrat says the delay demonstrates problems with Congress.
“I’m learning as I sit in this seat, and take the background I bring to the table–which is holding government accountable,” said Axne, “that we’ve got a lot of processes that I’m shocked by that can really hurt our democratic process. In addition to policy, I’m determine to look at those issues, and to see if there’s a way we can start functioning better out here, because that type of behavior is inexcusable.”
Anxe says it’s unknown how soon the aid will flow into the region, once its signed by the president.
“I don’t have an exact date on when that’s going to happen,” said the congresswoman. “Obviously, we’ve been moving forward with resources already in multiple areas. So, those different departments are already on track. They know what the issue is. So, I’m hoping that expedites things.”
You can hear the full interview with Cindy Axne on our “Morning Line” page at kmaland.com.