The Politics of Poverty

Ideas and analysis from Oxfam America's policy experts

Senate passes Gulf Coast restoration amendment

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the RESTORE Act possibly coming for a vote in the Senate. Good news! Yesterday the Senate voted for its strong bipartisan approval of an amendment to dedicate 80 percent of the civil fines from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster to restoring Gulf communities, ecosystems and the […]

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the RESTORE Act possibly coming for a vote in the Senate. Good news! Yesterday the Senate voted for its strong bipartisan approval of an amendment to dedicate 80 percent of the civil fines from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster to restoring Gulf communities, ecosystems and the economy. The amendment to the Senate transportation bill, introduced by Senators Mary Landrieu, Bill Nelson, and Richard Shelby was based on the RESTORE the Gulf Coast States Act, sponsored by the three members and six other Gulf State Senators. Out of 76 votes in favor of RESTORE, 23 were Republican and 53 were Democrat.

Oxfam has been advocating for workforce development and training funds within the RESTORE Act as a way to decrease the social vulnerability of impacted communities living on the coast. We worked with faith groups and with private sector companies to let Senators know why RESTORE has such great potential for creating much needed jobs. Oxfam supporters have been weighing in all week with calls to their Senators which really helped push the bill forward.

Now, the House will need to vote on a similar measure. If they do, they will be supporting Gulf coast communities and the many people there that rely on a healthy environment for both their lives and their livelihoods like fishing and tourism.

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