Tulsi Gabbard Update on Federal Disaster Relief

The Senate finally voted this week to pass a $36.5 billion disaster relief package to help communities recover from hurricanes and wildfires. While this federal aid is a start, our work is far from finished. Nearly three-quarters of Puerto Rico residents still lack electricity, and about one-quarter don't have access to clean water. The situation in the U.S. Virgin Islands is just as dire. There are massive needs to restore housing, infrastructure, electricity, and local economies. We have to take an active role in helping our fellow citizens rebuild in a way that is sustainable and resilient to future disasters.

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are dealing with humanitarian crises. The total collapse of their infrastructure has isolated rural communities, keeping aid from being delivered to many of the places and people who need it the most. Healthcare workers are struggling to care for patients despite inadequate conditions and the ongoing closure of hospitals and neighborhood clinics. Children are missing weeks of school, and many jobs have been totally wiped out. A full recovery has to include not only rebuilding infrastructure; it is about improving the conditions that led to the current crises in the first place.

We cannot ignore the impact that climate change has had on our country and around the world. More extreme weather means that more public resources will have to be dedicated to buttress communities from their effects. The question is whether we will be proactive or reactive in addressing climate change. We can continue with reactionary policies that only pour in resources following storms, or we take the more fiscally responsible and proactive course of investing on the front end to mitigate or prevent them in the first place. The Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act takes the proactive route by ensuring we reach 100% renewable energy by 2035 and reaching 80% renewable energy in the critical ten year period from now until 2027.

As Senate passes disaster relief package, lawmakers call for more to be done

Hawaiʻi Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard fought to get a 36.5 billion dollar disaster relief package passed in the House aiding victims of recent hurricanes and devastating wildfires. Tuesday the Senate passed it sending it directly to President Trump's desk.