September 15, 2005  


Congresswoman Granger Introduces Legislation to Aid Military Families hit with higher energy, gas prices as a result of Hurricane Katrina


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) today introduced legislation entitled, the “Military Family Assistance Act of 2005,” that would give the Secretary of Defense the authority to temporarily adjust the monthly housing and cost of living allowance for military personnel affected by sudden increases in energy and gasoline prices. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a number of areas in the Gulf Coast and other regions across the country will likely be hit with increased energy prices in the coming months. Most of the country is already experiencing above-average gasoline prices.


“Our military men and women are sacrificing their lives for this country. Their families are experiencing financial and emotional stress. So when a natural disaster like Katrina hits, it can make things even harder on them,” said Congresswoman Kay Granger. “This bill says, ‘We recognize your sacrifice. We appreciate it. We know gas prices are hitting you hard right now and this natural disaster is likely to increase your heating costs this winter. Here’s a little extra money to help you with the increased energy costs for the next few months.” 


The bill specifies the rate adjustment would be altered only for a temporary period of time to be determined by the Secretary and could not exceed six months. The Secretary also would have to provide written notice to Congress of any rate adjustment(s) made and the reasons for the adjustment(s).


U.S. consumers have been faced with higher-than-normal gasoline prices in recent months. Hurricane Katrina does not help. USA Today reported this week that experts are saying Americans will feel the economic effects of Katrina for months, noting that “natural gas prices will be a big challenge this winter.” Reports from the Energy Department indicate that natural gas prices could rise up to 71 percent in some parts of the country this fall, which will increase the possibility of higher heating costs this winter.


“Hurricane Katrina has been devastating to individuals, families and businesses across the Gulf Coast region, including military families. We’re now seeing its damaging ripple effect across the country,” said Congresswoman Kay Granger.


Granger’s bill is part of a multi-pronged effort by the Bush Administration, Members of Congress and Americans across the country to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.


“Many of the men and women sent to help clean up Katrina have just come back from Iraq. They are tired and want to see their families, many of whom haven’t seen them in six months or longer. The families feel that strain,” said Granger. “A disaster like Katrina is going to hit an already-strained military family, and this bill will give them some relief.”


Granger serves on the Appropriations Committee and the powerful Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. She also serves as a Majority Whip. Granger is the first and only female Republican to serve in the Texas House delegation. Granger represents the 12th District of Texas and is currently serving in her fifth term in Congress.