SUMMARY: Disaster Supplemental Appropriations
In response to recent natural disasters that have depleted emergency resources, the Disaster Supplemental contains $36.5 billion in emergency appropriations to support relief efforts from the recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters. The supplemental previously passed the House by a vote of 353-69.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said: “I support this bill and urge my colleagues to do the same. If we do not act, the Disaster Relief Fund and the Flood Insurance Program will run out of resources in a matter of days. This money will allow FEMA, the Department of Defense, the Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies to continue their work in all of the devastated communities, and families to begin rebuilding their homes.”
The supplemental contains $18.7 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). The DRF is the primary federal program for providing individual and public assistance to victims of major storms and supports recovery operations. Of the $18.7 billion, $4.9 billion is available to ensure the Puerto Rican government has the resources it needs to continue providing critical government services during this difficult time.
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 resulted in loss of life and significant property damage across the western United States.
The bill also includes $1.27 billion to provide much-needed disaster nutrition assistance in Puerto Rico through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The administration has committed to putting forward a third comprehensive supplemental request in the coming weeks.
Bill text is available online here:
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