House Passes $19.1 Billion Bicameral, Bipartisan Disaster Relief Package
WASHINGTON — The House today passed, on a bipartisan 354 to 58 vote, legislation to provide relief and recovery assistance for Americans affected by hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires, and other recent natural disasters.
“I am pleased that we have finally rejected the political stunts and grandstanding that have made it difficult to deliver much-needed relief to Americans struck by recent natural disasters. While it has taken far too long, this $19.1 billion bill includes a broad array of measures to help meet the urgent needs of disaster-stricken communities, from health care and nutritional assistance to social services and infrastructure repairs. The bill represents bipartisan compromise that will strengthen communities and make lives better,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey. “I am also pleased that we have prevailed against efforts to block funding for our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. This bill provides approximately $1.4 billion in assistance to help the people of Puerto Rico recover from one of the deadliest and costliest storms in American history. When disaster strikes, we shouldn’t let a zip code dictate our response.”
The legislation provides $19.1 billion in emergency relief. Among its provisions, the bill provides approximately $1.4 billion for Puerto Rico, including $600 million in nutrition assistance; assistance for farmers and rural communities; funding to repair infrastructure and stabilize health care systems; and repairs and reconstruction at damaged federal facilities.
The legislation, which passed the Senate on May 23 and then was blocked by House Republicans for more than a week, now heads to the President’s desk for signature into law.