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Sinema says Harvey relief should be top of Congress’ post-recess to-do list

Mariko Shimmi, right, helps carry items out of the home of Ken Tani in a neighborhood still flooded from Harvey on Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, in Houston. Some neighborhoods around Houston remain flooded and thousands of people have been displaced by torrential rains and catastrophic flooding since Harvey slammed into Southeast Texas last week. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said relief for the victims of Hurricane Harvey should be the first item atop Congress’ to-do list when it returns Tuesday.

She said the legislative body has to set aside the political rhetoric and do what it can to send help to thousands who were displaced in coastal Texas.

“This is a time to step up and do what’s right,” she said. “It’s time to put down the partisan fight and focus on taking care of our country.”

Sinema said a bipartisan relief bill for Harvey could be the springboard Congress needs to start working together to pass a budget. Should a budget or continuing resolution not be passed, the federal government will run out of money at the end of the month.

“The spending deadline is Sept. 30 and we must pass a continuing resolution and the debt ceiling also happens in September,” she said. “Congress has to do both in a bipartisan way.”

The congresswoman said she hoped to see a bipartisan health care bill come out of the legislative body as well.

“Arizonans know that health care reform can work better for our state,” she said. “Good coverage is still unaffordable for too many hardworking families, and gridlock in Congress has prevented commonsense solutions from moving forward.”

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