There’s also funds set aside for Frederick & Washington Counties.
Washington DC (KM) Federal assistance to help with road repairs following last year’s flooding is coming to Maryland. Senator Chris Van Hollen says the State Highway Administration will be getting $4.5-million to help pay for road repairs following the flooding in May and June, 2018.
“Of that amount, at least–it’s a floor,not a ceiling–at least $950,000 will go to Frederick and Washington Counties,” Van Hollen. He notes roads in both jurisdictions were particularly hard hit.
The federal funds will also be used to pay for damages done by flooding in Ellicott City in June of last year.
“We were able to persuade the Administration to put forward these monies as part of the emergency declaration that was signed by the President,” says Van Hollen. He calls this funding “an important investment.”
Van Hollen On Possible Shutdown
The question on everyone’s mind is will the federal government shut down again. Funding for some of the agencies expires on Friday. “We cannot allow another government shutdown,” says Van Hollen. “The good news is on Capitol Hill is you’ve got Republicans and Democrats in both the House and the Senate that have been working very diligently to get an agreement, to get a compromise.”
Some federal agencies had to shut down in December, prior to Christmas, because Democrats in the House and President Trump couldn’t come to an agreement on border security. The President wanted $5-billion for a wall along the Mexican border. Democrats said they supported border security, but not a wall. For 35 days extending in January, both sides refused to budge.
In January, the President agreed to sign a funding bill which allowed the federal government agencies that shut down to reopen. A group of legislators got together to come up with a plan for border security.
But the funding bill signed last month runs out on Friday, February 15th. As of Wednesday evening, the House of Representatives was working on a new funding bill. A vote by the House is expected on Thursday evening, and the Senate is expected to follow suit.
“This agreement includes provisions to strengthen our border security by using a whole array of tools and resources,” says Van Hollen.
The agreement contains $1.3-billion for border security, which is much less than the President’s request for more than $5-billion.
The President has not said whether he will sign or veto this bill. But he has also said if he doesn’t get money for the wall, he will declare a national emergency and get the military to construct the wall. “Calling for a national emergency just because the President could not get the exact level of funding for a wall that he wanted out of Congress through the normal Constitutional process, then trying to end run that process through an emergency declaration would be an abuse of power,” says Van Hollen.
He hopes there will be no government shutdown. “We have an agreement that was reached between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill,” says Van Hollen.
By Kevin McManus