McConnell praises Biden for Kentucky disaster response

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Actor John Krasinski films outside White House Biden's Supreme Court choice: A political promise, but also a matter of justice Let's 'reimagine' political corruption MORE (R) on Monday applauded President BidenJoe BidenFormer chairman of Wisconsin GOP party signals he will comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena Romney tests positive for coronavirus Pelosi sidesteps progressives' March 1 deadline for Build Back Better MORE for his response to the deadly tornadoes that ripped across a number of states this weekend, including his home state of Kentucky, after the president approved a major disaster declaration.

"Thank you @POTUS for your rapid approval of Kentucky’s Major Disaster Declaration,” McConnell said in a tweet. 

“I appreciate the Administration’s quick work to speed resources to help deal with this crisis," he added.

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McConnell, along with Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul praises removal of Neil Young songs from Spotify: 'Seeya' YouTube permanently bans Dan Bongino Conservative pundit says YouTube blocked interview with Rand Paul MORE (R-Ky.) and members of the House from Kentucky, wrote to Biden on Sunday to support Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) request for a major disaster declaration for the state.

Biden approved a disaster declaration, ordering federal aid to supplement recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, winds, flooding and tornadoes, the White House announced late Sunday.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, for low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, for eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to use on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and for hazard mitigation measures for all for Kentucky.

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Tornadoes ravaged Kentucky and five other states over the weekend, killing at least 80 people. Officials predict the death toll will climb, along with estimates of property damage and business losses.

McConnell said later Monday on the Senate floor that he worked closely with Biden and Beshear on the federal response in Kentucky and that he was “especially grateful” for the administration’s work.

“Kentucky’s congressional delegation came together to send multiple letters to the president in support of disaster relief. In response, President Biden cut through the red tape to approve our request at an accelerated pace, providing the rapid support we need to recover,” McConnell said.

“I’m especially grateful for the work of DHS Secretary Mayorkas and FEMA Administrator Criswell, who visited Kentucky yesterday to survey damage and help relief efforts.”

Biden received a briefing from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasSenate Republicans press federal authorities for information on Texas synagogue hostage-taker Hillicon Valley — Biden celebrates 'right to repair' wins DHS warns electrical infrastructure an 'attractive target' for domestic extremists MORE, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell and others on the federal response to the tornadoes on Monday.

The White House announced on Monday that Biden will visit Kentucky on Wednesday. 

--Updated at 3:54 p.m.