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Disaster Relief Package Contains Poison Pill Riders That Must Be Removed

Disaster victims California, Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are waiting for help from Congress, but instead of providing it, Republican lawmakers are playing partisan political games with the relief package. The relief package passed by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives contains a number of poison pill policy riders that must be removed from the package.

These include a revision to the Robert T. Stafford Act that would allow houses of worship to receive relief funding, violating the U.S. Constitution’s wall of separation between church and state, as well as the expansion of a pilot program to address possible duplicate enrollments in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that could impede access to food stamps for struggling families.

The disaster supplemental is just the latest example of congressional Republicans inserting ideological poison pills into must-pass spending legislation. Republicans needs to stop playing political games with appropriations process and remove these inappropriate measures from the package.

Public Citizen strongly supports disaster relief, but the disaster relief package should not be used to advance ideological poison pills.