“My bill would cut through the red tape to get funds to communities more quickly,” Merkley said.

Oregon and other West Coast states are frequently hit with storm debris after tsunamis in Asia.

“With debris from Japan’s tsunami washing up on Oregon beaches regularly, it’s clear we need an urgent response to extraordinary events like these,” Merkley said. “While some initial funds have been allocated, much more is needed.”

Merkley said the current NOAA grant system is too slow and doesn’t account for emergencies. His bill aims to fix that.

Rep. Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciReporter beats lawmakers to win charity spelling bee Gore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere Dems to Mattis: Don't delay transgender enlistment policy MORE (D-Ore.) has introduced a companion measure in the House.