Senator Harkin spoke to the Iowa Democratic State Convention this weekend, rallying the 1,100 delegates in attendance and promoting party unity moving forward to November. He also spoke again to the tragic circumstances surrounding the flooding that has hit so many Iowans over the past several weeks.
Senator Harkin today said that half of Iowa’s counties are now eligible to participate in the Disaster Food Assistance Program. He encouraged Iowans affected by the disaster to seek help in putting food on their tables. The Disaster Food Assistance Program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Harkin is Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a senior appropriator on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds USDA programs.
Senator Harkin and several of his colleagues have filed an amendment to the housing legislation that’s pending in the Senate. The amendment is a tax relief measure designed to help people and communities in Midwestern states hard hit over the last month by floods and tornados.
While traveling on Air Force One today with the President, Senator Tom Harkin was able to negotiate a last minute change in the supplemental appropriations spending bill now before the House of Representatives, moving funds to programs that can soon benefit disaster areas.
Senator Tom Harkin was on the CBS Early Show today to discuss the storm and flood damage in Iowa. Click "read more" to view the video.
Iowa Delegation joins Harkin in urging President to grant 60-day waiver for state matching funds for emergency protective measures and debris removal
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) was joined by Iowa’s Congressional Delegation in urging the President to waive for 60 days the percentage of matching funds the state must contribute to qualify for federal disaster assistance concerning emergency protective measures and debris removal. The current White House took similar action to aid Louisiana and Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina to lower the in-kind matching requirement for the period immediately following the hurricane.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the tens of thousands of Iowans around the state who have had to evacuate their homes and businesses due to the severe weather damage and record flooding in communities and neighborhoods across our state. In addition, my heart and my sincere sympathies go out to the victims, families and friends of the boy scouts who were affected by the tornado that swept through the Little Sioux Scout Ranch near Turin.
The news that we lost four young boy scouts was both shocking and heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who are grieving for their children. The teamwork and the swift disaster preparedness skills deployed by the boy scouts and local officials responding to the incident helped lessen the impact of that disaster, and for that I am grateful.
Since the tornado hit Little Sioux Scout Ranch, large parts of Iowa have experienced immense flooding that has forced communities in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines to evacuate. My thoughts and prayers are also with these Iowans and I hope that their displacement is not prolonged and that they are able to return with their homes and businesses largely intact.
Senator Tom Harkin announced the federal disaster declaration of 13 Iowa counties - Adam, Boone, Cerro Gordo, Crawford, Dallas, Dubuque, Floyd, Franklin, Marion, Page, Story, Tama and Union. Now that the counties have been declared, residents and businesses can begin applying for federal disaster assistance. Black Hawk, Buchanan, Butler and Delaware counties have already been given their federal disaster declarations. Harkin visited Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City today and plans on touring the damage done in Mason City, Charles City, Nashua and Waverly tomorrow.
Senator Tom Harkin conveyed his sympathies to victims, families and friends of those affected by last night’s tornado that swept through the Little Sioux Scout Ranch near Turin, Iowa. News reports indicate that four boys - including 14-year old Aaron Eilerts from Eagle Grove, Iowa – died in the disaster and many more are injured.
After two rounds of voting and several thousands of votes cast, I am proud to announce the top 5 House and top 5 Senate candidates that you voted for to receive $2,000 and advance to the final round.
Senator Tom Harkin released the following statement after the Supreme Court ruled today that detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have rights under the U.S. Constitution to challenge their detention in civilian courts. Harkin introduced legislation in this Congress to close the detention center.