October 12, 2017
The U.S. House today passed legislation to provide $36.5 billion in emergency funding for hurricane and wildfire relief and recovery (H.Res. 569) on a vote of 353-69. The bill will now move to the Senate for approval.
The legislation fully funds the requests submitted to Congress from the Administration. It includes $18.7 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), $576.5 million for wildfire-fighting efforts, and $16 billion for debt relief for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which now needs additional funds to make necessary insurance claims payments to individuals. In addition, it includes a provision for the Disaster Nutrition Assistance Program (DNAP) that enables low-income residents in Puerto Rico to receive the same emergency nutrition assistance that other hurricane-affected states already receive.
Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the bill:
“Millions of Americans have had their lives forever altered by destructive hurricanes and by raging wildfires in the West. We support those victimized, and will continue to be with them every step of the way with the federal support they will need throughout this recovery process.
“There is clearly massive, unprecedented damage, and more funding is necessary to continue response and recovery efforts and to help rebuild communities rebuild. These emergency funds will address urgent, short-term, immediate priorities and provide assistance that will help our fellow Americans in their time of greatest need.
“We know this will be a long process, and this second package of federal support will certainly not be all that is required over the long term. But this Congress will work with the White House and state and local governments to ensure that more assistance will be available.
“I now urge my Senate colleagues to approve this legislation as soon as possible, so these funds can be used immediately for those families and communities that need it most."
The text of the legislation can be found here: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20171009/HR____SUPP.pdf