Speaker Ryan on California Wildfires, Disaster Funding | Speaker.gov

Summary: Today at a press conference with House leaders, Speaker Ryan offered his thoughts and prayers to those in California suffering from catastrophic wildfires, and discussed the disaster funding supplemental bill.

Opening Statement:

“I want to thank [Puerto Rico Congresswoman] Jenniffer [González-Colón] for what she’s been doing and dealing with. I want to echo what [Majority Leader] Kevin [McCarthy] has said. Our thoughts and prayers go to the people in Puerto Rico. We’re going to be doing that directly and expressing that concern on Friday. But right now it’s with the people of California who are suffering from nightmarish wildfires at this moment.

“These are some of the deadliest wildfires in their history. More than 122,000 acres are burning. You’ve seen the scenes on TV. It’s haunting. Farms, businesses, livelihoods being destroyed. People have lost their homes. Seventeen people have lost their lives right now. Many, many more people are missing at this moment.

“So I just want to commend the firefighters and first responders who are risking their lives to help people fight these fires and to save people. You see what they’re doing. It makes you proud of your country that we’ve got these men and women who are rushing into harm’s way to save people. It just makes you thankful for who they are and what they do.

“Now we need to act. We’ve got the disaster supplemental that the Trump administration requested last week. We’ve got that supplemental coming to the floor tomorrow. We posted the bill yesterday.

“We think it’s critical that we pass this legislation this week to give the people in California the support they need to fight these fires, to help the victims, and also to help the communities still recovering and dealing with the humanitarian problems with the hurricanes. Harvey, Irma, Maria have been devastating for Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico.

“This is a time when our country needs to respond. This is a time when all levels and units of government need to respond. And this is a time when we here in Congress will respond because that is our responsibility.”