March 23, 2013

Sen. Warren and Sen. Murkowski Pass Bipartisan Budget Amendment to Help Fund Fishing Disaster Relief

The amendment's passage is a positive step towards providing critical disaster assistance for the Massachusetts fishing industry.


WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Senate today passed a bipartisan amendment introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to help provide critical disaster relief funds for fishermen. The amendment was the first introduced and passed by Senator Warren since she took office in January.

Co-sponsors include Senators William "Mo" Cowan (D-MA), Mark Begich (D-AK), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Angus King (I-ME), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

Senator Warren and Senator Murkowski merged two separate amendments to reach a bipartisan agreement that allows appropriations in the FY14 budget to be allocated to provide disaster assistance for fishermen. The funding would help support a response to the commercial fisheries failures declared by the Secretary of Commerce in 2012.

"I'm pleased that the Senate passed this bipartisan amendment to help support fishermen in Massachusetts and across the country who are struggling to make ends meet during this difficult time," said Senator Warren. "The fishing industry is an important part of our local economy, and we need to work to make sure these hardworking fishing families have access to the critical disaster assistance they deserve."

In September 2012, the Secretary of Commerce issued disaster declarations for several fisheries, including the Northeast Groundfish fishery, which faces significant reductions in catch allocation for key fish stocks such as cod for the next several years.