At the moment, FEMA should have enough in its disaster fund for immediate relief for Hurricane Harvey. But there is now a possibility that Hurricane Irma will hit the US mainland by this weekend (it pummeled the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico yesterday). In addition, there are massive wildfires on the West Coast, the smoke from which is affecting air quality all the way out to the East Coast.
As we all know, areas affected by natural disasters need more than just immediate relief. They need long-term investment spending to rebuild and recover. Congress has fast-tracked a relief aid package for Harvey, which will likely be included in the temporary spending bill it will pass to prevent a government shutdown on October 1.
Prior to the start of hurricane season, the Trump administration proposed an 11% cut to FEMA, which was rejected by Congress fortunately. However, Trump has now suggested that he would veto any spending package that does not include $1.6 billion to begin construction of his ridiculous border wall.
Congress needs to hear what we want prioritized in the budget, so that they will allocate the necessary funding to recover from the present natural disasters instead of wasting money on a border wall.
WHO TO CALL:
Senators Kennedy and Cassidy; Representative Scalise OR Representative Richmond
Senator Bill Cassidy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-5824 and METAIRIE OFFICE: (504) 838-0130 (NOTE: If you can't get through to Metairie, try one of the other offices, such as Monroe: (318) 324-2111, Lake Charles: (337) 493-5398, or Alexandria: Phone: (318) 448-7176)
Senator. John Kennedy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-4623 and NEW ORLEANS OFFICE (504) 581-6190
Because of how Congressional districts are drawn, New Orleans residents have either Richmond or Scalise as their representative. If you don't know who your representative is, you can look it up by entering your home address on the U.S. House of Representatives website.
Representative Scalise: 202-225-3015; Representative Richmond: 202-225-6636
Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent. Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way. Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy. If you get a voicemail, then leave a message. And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!
Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling today because I want the Congressman to ask that the $1.6 billion Trump wants allocated for his border wall instead be used to help people recover from Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and other natural disasters. I oppose any spending on this US-Mexico border wall, and I find it unconscionable to prioritize funding for unnecessary construction when that money could be better spent providing hurricane and wildfire relief for hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.