Harkin to Seek More Bills for Disaster Assistance

JULY 10TH, 2008 | Harkin for Senate


Read the original story at the Des Moines Register

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia., said today that he will seek two more disaster assistance bills to help Iowa and the Midwest bounce back from this spring’s devastating floods and tornadoes.

“Iowa is still in the early stages of recovery,” Harkin told Iowa reporters in a conference call.

He said he is pushing Iowa Gov. Chet Culver and local officials to come up with more precise assessments of damage so that a dollar amount can be determined for a flood aid bill that Harkin said he plans to introduce around July 22.

Harkin also said he would like to see that bill include full funding for construction of a new federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids that would replace the current courthouse, which has been damaged by flooding.

It will be many months, though, before there’s a full understanding of the extent of the problems caused by the storms, he said. For example, he said many communities he has visited didn’t necessarily have a lot of flooding but found water backed up into sewer systems that then caused damage.

Congress already has approved and President Bush signed into law a war spending bill that included $2.65 billion for flood aid. Members of the Iowa delegation have said they regarded that bill as just a first step in federal assistance.

A third disaster bill likely would not be acted upon until early next year, Harkin said.

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