Nebraska lawmakers urge Trump to approve disaster funding

Nebraska lawmakers urge Trump to approve disaster funding
© Greg Nash

Nebraska’s congressional delegation sent a letter to President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE Tuesday urging him to accept Gov. Pete Ricketts’s (R-Neb.) request for an expedited presidential disaster declaration to deal with severe flooding in the Cornhusker State. 

“We write in strong support of Governor Pete Ricketts’s request for an expedited presidential disaster declaration for what the governor has called ‘the most widespread disaster we’ve had in our state’s history.’ We are grateful for the responsiveness and assistance FEMA has already provided to Nebraskans in need and look forward to continued partnership on behalf of our state,” Sens. Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerLoeffler works to gain traction with conservatives amid Collins primary bid Bolton upends Trump impeachment trial  The Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment unknowns await returning lawmakers MORE (R) and Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseOvernight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills Behind the scenes of McConnell's impeachment drama MORE (R), and Reps. Jeff FortenberryJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FortenberryWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death House Appropriations passes defense bill that would limit funds for border wall, pull US support from Yemen war MORE (R), Don Bacon (R) and Adrian SmithAdrian Michael SmithRural broadband in jeopardy unless Congress fixes taxing problem Statue of Chief Standing Bear to be unveiled in Capitol Democrats struggle with repeal of key Trump tax provision MORE (R) wrote.

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“The resilience and resourcefulness of Nebraskans in recent days has impressed the nation. As losses mount, the people of our great state hope the federal government will join in these restoration efforts. We are eager to assist in any way possible to ensure expedited evaluation of this request. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices with any questions.” 

Rickets submitted the expedited request Tuesday during a meeting with Federal Emergency Management Agency Regional Director Paul Taylor. Vice President Pence also traveled to Omaha Tuesday at Trump’s request to meet with Rickets and Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) and survey the flood damage.

Recent flooding has already killed at least three people in Nebraska and Iowa and has impacted residents in Missouri, South Dakota and Michigan, among other Midwest states. Heavy rains raised the water level high enough to breach at least a dozen levees across Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.

Sixty-five of Nebraska’s 93 counties have already declared states of emergency. Preliminary estimates say the state is facing a $400 million loss over lost livestock and fields and a cost of $200 million to repair state infrastructure, according to the congressional delegation. 

Trump said he spoke with Rickets last week and praised the efforts of Nebraska’s first responders. 

“Just spoke w/ @GovRicketts. The people of Nebraska & across the Midwest, especially the Farmers & Ranchers, are feeling the impacts from severe weather. The first responders & emergency response teams have done a great job dealing w/ record flooding, high winds, & road closures,” he tweeted last week.