Lowey Introduces Expanded Emergency Disaster Appropriations Bill

April 9, 2019
Press Release
Comprehensive $17.2 billion emergency supplemental supports Puerto Rico and adds $3 billion to address urgent needs following Midwest floods

WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY-17) today introduced new legislation to provide relief and recovery assistance for Americans affected by recent natural disasters.

The $17.2 billion emergency supplemental builds on legislation the House passed in January. It includes an additional $3 billion to address urgent needs following flooding in the Midwest and tornadoes in the South that have occurred while the House-passed bill has languished in the Senate.

“Senate Republicans have bent to the will of President Trump and torpedoed relief for all disasters because of the President’s bizarre vendetta against Puerto Rico,” said Chairwoman Lowey. “This legislation provides robust, comprehensive assistance that will help all Americans affected by natural disasters recover and rebuild. I urge my Republican colleagues to come to their senses and join Democrats in advancing this bill and delivering prompt relief.”

The legislation is similar to an emergency disaster appropriations bill – H.R. 268 – that passed the Democratic-led House on January 16, prior to the Midwest floods and Southern tornadoes, and then stalled in the Senate over Republican opposition to additional assistance for Puerto Rico.

In addition to the funding provided in H.R. 268, the bill makes three critical additions:

  • $1.5 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for repairs to Corps projects damaged by flooding and natural disasters; 
  • $1 billion for Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery, with language ensuring it is spent quickly to help communities rebuild housing, businesses, and public infrastructure in the most impacted and distressed areas affected by major natural disasters; and
  • $500 million for the Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Conservation Program, providing emergency funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters.

The full text of the bill – H.R. 2157 – is here. A division-by-division summary of the bill is here.

116th Congress