Pelosi: This Is Not Time to Balance Budget on Backs of Those Affected by Natural Disasters

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks this afternoon at a press conference with Senate Democrats on efforts to fully fund FEMA and avert a government shutdown.  Below are the Leader’s remarks: 

“Thank you very much, Leader Reid, for the invitation to be with you today and for your great leadership in trying to address this challenge which is…we haven’t seen this before where we’ve come to a place where in time of natural disaster one party or the other in the Congress has said that it must be paid for.

“But let me say that I associate myself with all of your remarks that you have made and just add that as you were speaking I was thinking of the families that I have met, that many of our colleagues have met along the way who have been affected by these natural disasters, by the fact that on Wednesday FEMA may be running dry of its funds, in addition to the fact that we are facing a September 30th deadline.  This is really not the time to try to say we are going to balance the budget on the backs of those who have been affected by natural disasters.

“You never know where the next one is.  We have fires that have been out of control in Texas.  We have Joplin, Missouri.  We have earthquake, hurricane, floods, tornadoes along the East Coast.  You don’t know what is next.  We need more.

“Now, I fully supported what you proposed in the Senate bill.  I think it’s a good compromise to where you are now, which is to support the funding that is in the House bill but on the other side of that to remove the need for a payfor.  That seems to be a very excellent compromise, especially when the payfor is a job-killing payfor, one that increases the deficit by destroying, destroying existing prospects for good-paying jobs.

“So I salute what you are doing.  Again, we all stand ready to meet whenever, to come together to find agreement.  The American people expect no less, and they deserve much more.”