SUMMARY: Disaster Supplemental Appropriations

The United States has had a higher-than-average year of costly hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters.  As a result, funding to address these disasters has run low and must be augmented with supplemental appropriations.  The disaster relief supplemental, which passed the House 353-69, mirrors the Trump administration’s request to Congress.

It contains $36.5 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster response and relief efforts from recent hurricanes and wildfires. 

Of this funding, $18.7 billion is for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund.  The Disaster Relief Fund is the primary federal program for providing individual and public assistance to victims of major storms.  This funding is necessary to ensure continuation of FEMA recovery operations, including such as search and rescue, debris removal, infrastructure repair, and assistance to individuals. 

The bill provides $16 billion for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) debt forgiveness, without which the program will be unable to pay new claims from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate. 

An additional $576.5 million is available to combat wildfires, which have caused fatalities and significant property damage primarily in the western United States. 

In addition, it includes a provision for the Disaster Nutrition Assistance Program (DNAP) to allow low-income residents in Puerto Rico to receive the same emergency nutrition assistance that other hurricane-affected states already receive.

Bill text is available online here: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20171009/HR____SUPP.pdf