What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : Victims of Natural Disasters : (H. J. Res. 66) On an amendment that would provide $7 billion for disaster relief for areas of the country that had suffered damage from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene
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(H. J. Res. 66) On an amendment that would provide $7 billion for disaster relief for areas of the country that had suffered damage from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene
senate Roll Call 135     Sep 15, 2011
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was a vote on an amendment by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid that would provide $7 billion for disaster relief for areas of the country that had suffered damage from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene. This amendment was offered to legislation reimposing sanctions on Myanmar that had expired in July, 2011. (By combining the Myanmar sanctions and disaster relief measures into one bill, Reid was able to expedite Senate consideration of both measures.)

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) urged support for disaster relief and reimposing sanctions on Myanmar: “…We soon will vote on a measure that includes two significant pieces of legislation. I support passage of both--one that upholds our duty to assist Americans coping with natural disasters, and one that upholds our duty as Americans to speak out against oppression and abuse around the world….I urge my colleagues to approve this important measure as a reaffirmation of our concern for those here at home who are struck by disaster, and for those abroad who suffer under oppression.”

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) opposed the disaster relief measure: “…The debate we are having today is whether we are going to appropriate $6.9 billion, around $7 billion for disaster relief. I don't think we have a full grasp yet of what some of these damages are. The assessments are still coming in. But I think it is important that we be responsible in how we distribute disaster relief, that we know as much as possible about the full scale and the dimensions of the problem and what those damages are and then, secondly, that we do everything we can to find areas in the budget in which we can offset [the cost of] that disaster relief.”

The Senate agreed to Reid’s amendment by a vote of 62-37. All 52 Democrats present and 10 Republicans voted “yea.” 37 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the Senate agreed to an amendment that would provide $7 billion for disaster relief for areas of the country that had suffered damage from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene. Thus, the underlying Myanmar sanctions bill became the vehicle for passing disaster relief legislation in the Senate.

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