House Dems say GOP cuts would have hindered response to tsunami

"Luckily, since we had ample warning because we still do have NOAA and we still do have buoys before these Republican cuts go into effect, there were no people on the docks," DeFazio said. "At this point we're not aware that anyone has been injured."

Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) said many federal programs help to save lives, and said the government needs to continue funding the placement of sensing devices on the bottom of the ocean.

Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said her state was also coping with the effects of the earthquake on Friday. "I'm just grateful that all of our first responders had everything they needed in order to take the appropriate action," she said.

More in Senate

Dems slam GOP over Amtrak cuts

Read more »