Congress Sends Disaster Bill to the President with Amata’s Provision for $18 Million and Medicaid Help for American Samoa
Washington, DC – Monday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed final passage in Congress of a major disaster relief bill containing Amata’s $18 million provision for Storm Gita-based nutrition assistance in American Samoa, and her request for a 100 percent match for Medicaid providing significant savings to the Territory. The legislation is final, after passing with a large bipartisan majority, and has been sent to President Trump to be signed into law.
“These additional federal funds will be a big help for American Samoa and our people,” said Aumua Amata. “This important compromise took time, but it shows that bipartisan achievements are possible, and right now, finding a bipartisan path forward is the only way to make a difference and get things done in Washington.”
“This legislation includes the amendment I wrote for $18 million in food assistance, along with the 100 percent Medicaid coverage for ASG that we also requested,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “These measures will help directly with food and healthcare, while benefiting the Territory’s finances.”
Congresswoman Amata urged her $18 million amendment before the House of Representatives last month.
In May, the Congresswoman introduced the Radewagen Amendment for $18 million total nutrition assistance (a $13 million increase to the $5 million she had already secured in the bill through an earlier amendment) in the House bill. In late May, the Senate picked up Amata’s provision as they worked to align the House and Senate versions and forge a bipartisan and bicameral agreement that the President would sign.
The final bill also includes Amata’s previous request for a 100 percent Medicaid match, and applies that assistance to nine months of 2019.
Congresswoman Amata spoke publicly to Congress multiple times regarding Storm Gita funds for American Samoa, successfully offering amendments twice in the process that were voted for by the House, an effort that included testimony before the House Rules Committee, and her speech on the floor of the House.