WASHINGTON — Legislation that would promise flood recovery assistance to northwest Missouri is hung up in Congress. Yet, Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt does expect Congress to approve it, eventually.
“There will be a disaster aid bill and hopefully we get all the politics wrung out of this and get down to the real need that people expect the government to be able to respond to,” Blunt tells Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph.
Blunt says he’s frustrated, but likely not as frustrated as others in Congress.
“We’re probably not in as difficult of position as states that had a disaster late last year or even earlier this year,” he says. “We’re going to get in the disaster package when there is one. I wish we were in already but there’s a chance by the time we get in that package we’ll have a greater sense of actual damage done.”
Blunt says damage assessments in Missouri lag behind assessments completed in Nebraska and Iowa. He and other farm state senators are working to amend the package to cover the loss of stored grain.
“That’s not really covered under any package,” says Blunt. “You have all tens of thousands of dollars worth of grain lost sometimes in just one bin.”
A partisan fight in the Senate has stalled progress on the bill. Blunt, a Republican, claims Senate Democrats have held up approval, because they argue the federal government hasn’t done enough to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria in 2017.