Axne Applauds Senate Passage of Disaster Supplemental Bill

May 23, 2019
Press Release
Senate passes disaster supplemental with Axne provisions to increase funding by almost a billion dollars for crucial programs Iowa needs to recover

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) praised Senate passage of the much-needed bipartisan disaster supplemental bill that will provide Iowa with crucial funding to rebuild and recover following devastating flooding that hit Southwest Iowa in March. The legislation now heads back to House for final passage before heading to the President’s desk. Rep. Axne has fought tirelessly to include Iowa and the Midwest in disaster funding since March.

Earlier this month, the House passed the emergency disaster supplemental bill with two Axne amendments that increased funding for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program and the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program.

The Senate-passed bill included the funding increases for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program and the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program. This bill builds on legislation that passed the House in January and failed to pass the Senate – with an additional $3 billion for Midwest flooding, thanks to the leadership of Rep. Axne.

“I’ve been down to flood zones multiple times to speak with families, business owners and farmers who have lost everything. Their resilience is inspiring but the damage is heartbreaking,” said Rep. Axne. “These communities need our help. I’m glad the Senate put politics aside and passed this crucial bill with funding for programs that Iowans need to rebuild and recover. It’s time to pass this bill in the House and send this legislation to the President’s desk immediately.”

Congresswoman Axne has worked tirelessly to ensure that Iowans receive the federal assistance they need following this devastating flood. In addition to fighting for Iowans in Washington, Rep. Axne even rolled up her sleeves and helped a family in Pacific Junction muck out their home.

A timeline of Congresswoman Axne’s work to protect Iowa is available below:

  • On March 22, Rep. Axne urged President Trump to support Governor Kim Reynolds’ request for a major disaster declaration. On March 23, President Trump issued a disaster declaration, ensuring the full availability of federal resources to support Iowa’s efforts to guarantee public safety and rapid recovery. 
  • On March 26, Rep. Axne requested House and Senate appropriators increase funding for federal disaster aid to ensure that programs, which are vital to rebuilding Iowa communities, do not lapse or expire. Given the ongoing effects of climate change and severe weather that is affecting communities in Iowa and across the country, Rep. Axne urged House and Senate appropriators to provide sufficient funding to ensure Iowa’s rural communities receive the aid they need.
  • On March 28, Rep. Axne invited the Secretaries of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to join her on April 6th to tour the flood damage in Southwest Iowa. As the Secretaries of two vital agencies that handle disaster recovery, Rep. Axne believes it is critical for them to survey the damage in order to fully understand the scope of federal assistance needed to rebuild these rural communities.
  • On March 29, Rep. Axne sent a letter requesting USDA immediately authorize emergency relief programs to assist Iowa farmers impacted by the severe flood. President Trump’s disaster declaration allowed for the USDA to authorize specific recovery programs which were authorized in Nebraska, including Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program and the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), which are vital to helping Iowa farmers recover and rebuild.
  • On April 5, Rep. Axne urged House and Senate leadership to immediately pass a disaster relief bill that fully funds recovery programs for all affected areas, including Iowa. Rep. Axne expressed disappointment in the Senate for failing to pass a disaster supplemental funding bill and called on both chambers to immediately pass a bill to ensure Iowa communities receive the federal assistance they need to rebuild and recover.
  • On April 5, Rep. Axne requested funding for specific programs to be included in any new supplemental emergency disaster bill.
  • On April 8, Rep. Axne introduced legislation to ensure Iowa is included in any new emergency disaster supplemental funding legislation following the Senate’s failure to move forward a $13 billion appropriations bill last week. Specifically, the bill would ensure that the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) is amended to include Iowa flooding.
  • On April 10, Rep. Axne’s request for Iowa relief funding was successfully included in the new House appropriations emergency disaster supplemental bill which was introduced by House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY). The new emergency appropriations bill includes an additional $3 billion to address urgent needs following flooding in the Midwest and tornadoes in the South. In addition to the $3 billion, the new bill also includes funding for specific recovery programs Rep. Axne requested in a letter to House appropriators last Friday.
  • On April 11, following Rep. Axne’s request, USDA authorized emergency relief programs in Iowa.  
  • On April 23, Rep. Axne was appointed to sit on Governor Kim Reynolds’ Flood Advisory Board. Axne joined the board’s first meeting on April 24.  
  • On May 10, the House passed the disaster supplemental bill that U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) successfully amended to increase funding for crucial programs vital to Iowa recovery efforts. Following the adoption of the Axne amendments, the House passed the robust emergency disaster supplemental bill to help disaster-stricken communities across the country. It builds on legislation that passed the House in January – with an additional $3 billion for Midwest flooding, thanks to the leadership of Rep. Axne.