Senators request additional spending measures for Haitian earthquake relief

January 13, 2010

The Honorable Harry Reid                             The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader                                              Minority Leader
522 Hart Senate Office Building                    361-A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510                                  Washington, DC 20510

 The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye                    The Honorable Thad Cochran
Chairman                                                         Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Appropriations             Senate Committee on Appropriations
The Capitol, S-128                                          The Capitol, S-128    
Washington, DC 20510                                  Washington, DC 20510

 Dear Majority Leader Reid, Minority Leader McConnell, Chairman Inouye, and Ranking Member Cochran:

 In the aftermath of yesterday’s devastating earthquake, we are writing to request that you include robust emergency funds to assist Haiti in the next legislative vehicle before the Senate.

 The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12 was centered just ten miles from the capital of Port-au-Prince, leaving thousands of Haitians dead and millions in dire need of basic food, shelter, and medical attention.  As communication and infrastructure networks have been severely disrupted, we may not know the full extent of the damage for several weeks.  It is already clear, however, that the relief and reconstruction needs of the Haitian people will be substantial and long-term.

The United States and the international community must act quickly to address the immediate needs of the Haitian people and to support the Government of Haiti.  Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and lacks the capacity to respond to and recover from a disaster of such scale and scope.

Robust and immediate U.S. assistance to Haiti in the wake of this catastrophe is vital to support stability in that fragile country, and is in our own national security interest.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

 
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Bill Nelson                                                                  Tom Harkin

          

 

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Robert Menendez                                                       John F. Kerry

 

 

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Roland W. Burris                                                        Ron Wyden

 

 

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Michael F. Bennet                                                       Charles E. Schumer

 

 

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Frank R. Lautenberg                                                   Al Franken

 

 

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Sherrod Brown                                                           Kirsten E. Gillibrand

 

 

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Jeff Merkley                                                                George LeMieux