In the wake of the Dec. 26 tsunami, Senators Herb Kohl (D-Wis) and
Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn) are pushing the administration to add money to the federal budget to finance food for the victims and warning systems for the future.
Kohl, the ranking Democrat on the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee, said the reason why he and a bipartisan group of 42 other senators want an additional appropriation for food relief is because funds otherwise would have to be shifted around, perhaps causing hardship for people in other parts of the world.
"As part of the supplemental appropriations bill you are planning to submit
within the next several weeks, we urge you to include a request for food aid programs to help the
tsunami victims in South Asia as well as to address the food aid shortfall generated by
pre-existing emergency assistance needs in Africa and elsewhere in the world," the bipartisan group of senators wrote to Presdient George W. Bush.
Lieberman earlier this year had called for the expenditure of approximately $30 million to implant earthquake sensing devices on unmonitored areas of the ocean floors in order to predict tsunamis.
(see previous story)
After hearing that the Bush Administration has decided to expand the warning system in the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Carribean, he issued a news release on Friday, Jan.
14, welcoming this as a step in the right direction.
"The legislation I plan to introduce when Congress reconvenes will take the next step by expanding it further and enlisting the cooperation
of other nations to ensure we have the best defense possible against future natural disasters of
this magnitude,” Lieberman said.