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 TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 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 FischerSenate approves stopgap bill to prevent shutdown Eleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid Female lawmakers make bipartisan push for more women in politics at All In Together gala MORE (R) and Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseLive coverage: DOJ inspector general testifies on Capitol Hill FCC votes to bar use of its funds to purchase Huawei, ZTE equipment Senate approves stopgap bill to prevent shutdown MORE (R), and Reps. Jeff FortenberryJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FortenberryHouse 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 Thirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill 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.