Rep Cmte Appropriations

Emergency Disaster Aid Package Introduced

Washington, Dec 18 -

House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen today introduced a bill to provide additional emergency assistance for recent hurricanes, wildfires in California, and related agriculture losses. The bill, H.R. 4667, totals $81 billion, and targets funds to programs to continue relief and recovery efforts in all of the affected communities, including in Texas, Florida, California, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the legislation:

“This legislation is the next step in helping our fellow Americans recover from multiple, back-to-back, devastating disasters, including some of the largest major hurricanes, wildfires, and agriculture losses this country has ever seen.

“We have a commitment to our fellow citizens that are in the midst of major rebuilding efforts in all areas, including Texas, Florida, California, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They deserve our continued support, and we must provide the necessary resources for them to recover from these emergencies. This funding is critical to victims devastated by these disasters.

“As we move forward, we will continue to monitor recovery efforts and will stand side-by-side those victims to ensure that they have what is required to regain their livelihoods and rebuild their communities.”

Bill Highlights

Total: $81 billion in emergency spending for programs and activities to respond to recent hurricanes, wildfires, and other designated disasters. This includes funding such as:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): $27.6 billion for FEMA for disaster response and recovery efforts. This includes:

Community Development Block Grants-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR): $26.1 billion for CDBG-DR for housing, business, infrastructure, and mitigation needs for communities devastated by disasters in 2017 and prior years. This includes:

Army Corps of Engineers - $12.1 billion for the Corps of Engineers for repairs needed due to natural disasters, and to expedite studies and projects to reduce damages in future disasters in areas affected by recent hurricanes. This includes:

Agriculture Assistance: $3.8 billion for the Department of Agriculture for disaster recovery from hurricanes, wildfires, and crop loss. This includes:

Education: $2.9 billion for hurricane education recovery. This funding will help restart operations in schools in affected areas, including school rebuilding and refurbishment and replacement of educational material.

This funding will also provide support to states and localities that accommodate displaced students from K-12, college and technical schools from affected areas, including disabled and homeless students. This funding can be used for both public and private schools.

Small Business Disaster Loans: $1.6 billion for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) disaster loan program.  This will allow SBA to make up to $12.2 billion in disaster loans to small businesses and homeowners in all affected areas for recovery and rebuilding.

Defense Facilities - $1.5 billion to repair Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Reserve, National Guard, Coast Guard, and medical military facilities, and to repair or replace equipment damaged by the hurricanes in all affected areas.

Federal Transportation Emergency Relief: $1.4 billion to address all current damages to federal highways caused by designated disasters. These funds are provided directly to states and localities for repairs. The bill also includes $269 million to help communities restore hurricane-damaged mass transit systems.

Economic Development Grants: $600 million to states and localities for economic development grants. These projects can include technical assistance, planning, and infrastructure projects to aid economic recovery in hurricane and wildfire disaster areas.