Monday | September 25, 2017
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Quick action on Hurricane Harvey relief itself a relief

Congress’ quick agreement on a bill providing $15.25 billion in aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey — which was promptly signed into law by President Donald Trump — is a welcome sign that dysfunction in Washington isn’t going to get in the way of helping the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives were turned upside-down by the giant storm.

Early last week, a relief measure seemed likely to get caught up in never-ending fights about raising the government debt ceiling and approving a short-term federal budget.

Many Republicans objected to Democrats using the needs of Harvey’s victims to win concessions on these issues, but when the tactic didn’t faze Trump, the path was clear for quick action. The Senate passed the relief measure with an 80-17 vote Thursday and the House followed suit with a 316-90 vote Friday. Congress should be poised to provide similar relief to the areas affected by Hurricane Irma.

Meanwhile, private fundraising to help Harvey’s victims continues. On Friday, all five living former presidents — Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — released a video asking for Americans to help all they can. Houston Texans star J.J. Watts’ Houston Flood Relief Fund was at $29.6 million and counting Friday afternoon. The American Red Cross and many other groups also are collecting donations.

This shows America at its finest.

Our nation has many problems and many critics. But as reflected in the response to Harvey, Hurricane Katrina and other disasters, we remain resilient, compassionate and eager to help those in need.

— The San Diego Union-Tribune

 

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