Winter storm Elliott, strategic reserves, Iran, and reacting to the death of Tyre Nichols
By Andrew Harris
The freshman Congressman from the “new” 26th US Congressional District has had a very busy week.
While still getting settled into life in Washington D.C, Nick Langworthy tackled issues foreign and domestic this week. From helping his home district recover from the recent blizzard to standing behind the people of Iran, the Congressman has touted several bi-partisan efforts.
On January 25th, Congressman Nick Langworthy cosponsored a bipartisan bill showing the support for the Iranian people who are bravely fighting back on their government’s human rights abuses and demanding freedom.
“The men and women of Iran have bravely stood up to a murderous regime who sponsors global terrorism and wants to wipe Israel from the Earth,” said Congressman Langworthy. “This bipartisan bill shows America’s unwavering support for the exploration of freedom and democracy across the world and the continued condemnation of countries who harm their citizens for speaking out.”
This Thursday January 26th, Congressman Nick Langworthy cosponsored and voted for the Strategic Production Response Act, a bill to prohibit the Secretary of Energy from tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for non-emergency reasons until establishing a plan to increase oil and gas production on federal lands and waters.
“President Biden’s war on American energy is what sent gas prices skyrocketing, but instead of reversing course, he put our nation’s security at risk by draining and selling our emergency reserves to artificially lower prices to get him through the midterm election. Energy security is national security and these reserves must be protected. We have a lot of work to do to get back toward American energy independence, but this bill is essential to ensuring we have an energy supply for emergencies. I’m proud to be an original co-sponsor of this bill and applaud its passage,” said Congressman Langworthy.
Read more about the Strategic Production Response Act here.
On Friday, Langworthy pivoted to bi-partisanship with fellow WNY Congressman Brian Higgins, a Democrat from Erie County. The pair jointly asked FEMA to give communities impacted Winter Storm Elliott more time to apply for federal relief:
Congressmembers Langworthy and Higgins Support 30-Day Extension for Disaster Assessment Following Winter Storm Elliott
Leaders Seek to Give Communities More Time to Apply for Presidential Major Disaster Declaration
In a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Congressman Nick Langworthy (NY-23) and Brian Higgins (NY-26) urged the agency to grant a 30-day extension for the ongoing preliminary damage assessment in the aftermath of Winter Storm Elliott.
New York State intends to request a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for the deadly blizzard that took place over Christmas, but the process of assessing all the costs associated with a storm of this magnitude is still underway. Higgins and Langworthy, who both serve communities in Western New York impacted by the storm write,“The regions we represent are very familiar with extreme weather events, but Winter Storm Elliott presented new levels of strain to our emergency management systems. Our community leaders, first responders, health care providers, and safety net operators customarily prepare for winter storms, yet the intensity and duration of Winter Storm Elliott was unprecedented in scope and presented acute stresses. Due to this extreme event and prolonged white out conditions, first responders were unable to deploy for 12-18 hours to deliver essential functions. This made it extremely difficult to respond to medical emergencies caused by the blizzard. We continue to mourn for those lives lost today.”
Winter Storm Elliott brought unprecedented blizzard conditions and sub-zero temperatures to Western New York on December 23, 2022, continuing for 37 hours straight. Two thirds of all emergency vehicles, including plows and ambulances, became stuck in deadly conditions. There were wide-spread power outages and hundreds of people were stranded. As a result, the record-breaking storm claimed the lives of more than 40 people.
On December 27, 2022, New York State received an Emergency Disaster Declaration from President Biden allowing the state to seek reimbursements for emergency response measures. Western New York is in the recovery process and the Preliminary Disaster Assessment is underway. A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration would allow the state and its municipalities to seek reimbursements for work done in response to the blizzard, as well as permanent recovery funding.
Late Friday, January 27th the Congressman reacted in chorus with the entire nation over the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee. Nichols was beaten to death by a gang of five rogue police officers, Langworthy expressed outrage:
“The death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police officers is deeply disturbing and a gross violation of their oath. I applaud the Memphis Police Chief’s and prosecutor’s actions to terminate and prosecute those responsible. The inhumane actions of these officers is a disservice to the millions of men and women in law enforcement who serve their communities with integrity. I condemn any form of violence in the strongest terms possible and pray Tyre’s family gets the justice they deserve,” said Congressman Langworthy.