U.S. House Representatives donate $ 28.6 billion in disaster relief for recovery from hurricanes, forest fires, and floods


WASHINGTON – The Democrats in Congress on Tuesday unveiled a short-term spending measure that would keep the federal government up and running through December 3 and provide $ 28.6 billion in costs related to recent natural disasters.

The statement was passed by the House of Representatives in a party vote on Tuesday evening at 220: 211. But it faces a battle in the evenly divided Senate in which Republicans oppose a provision to raise the debt ceiling.

The money for disaster relief is a little more than the $ 24 billion that the Biden administration has asked Congress to approve for extreme weather events during the past 18 months, including hurricanes, floods and forest fires.

A summary of the new legislation states that it would include assistance to states related to Hurricanes Ida, Delta, Zeta and Laura, forest fires, severe droughts and winter storms, and other natural and major disasters occurring in 2021 and earlier years were declared.

“Relief is being given to virtually every corner of the nation because every corner of the nation has suffered,” said House Budget Committee chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) During a rules committee meeting Tuesday morning.

“It helps rebuild after these disasters and provides a lifeline to families struggling to get back on their feet.”

The Expenditures Act would also lift the federal borrowing limit by the end of 2022, which would prevent federal debt defaults that would otherwise occur in the coming weeks.

“Especially if we recover from the damage caused by the pandemic, a shutdown of the government would be more than reckless,” said US MP Abigail Spanberger, D-Henrico. “While I continue to speak out against Groundhog Day, short-term government funding processes, keeping our government open, and preventing our nation from defaulting are the responsible course of action for Central Virginia and the country. Otherwise our fundamental duty as legislators would be violated.

The short-term funding action is required because Congress is not expected to complete its work of approving expense accounts for the full year before the end of the current fiscal year on September 30th.

However, the fate of the measure is complicated by the many urgent components packed into a single piece of legislation. Republicans have said they will not support raising the debt ceiling, even though it has significant fiscal implications.

The Democrats had sought to overcome this opposition by providing the money needed to avoid a government shutdown and billions in disaster relief that would help a number of states with Republican lawmakers in Congress.

Disaster relief funds would be distributed across a wide range of agencies. It contains:

  • $ 10 billion for crop losses due to devastating storms in 2020 and 2021;
  • $ 2.6 billion to reimburse states for road and bridge repairs;
  • $ 1.2 billion in soft loans to businesses, homes and renters; and
  • $ 5 billion in community development bloc grants for housing and infrastructure restoration or economic revitalization.

It also includes funding for drought and disaster relief-related forest fires in the west, including fire restoration and a lifting of the annual salary cap for emergency fire-fighting workers at the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service.

Additional funds from the bill are intended to reduce the impact of future extreme weather events through research to predict hurricanes and detect forest fires, as well as building projects to reduce flood and storm damage.

The Biden administration granted a declaration of support On Tuesday evening, the move said “keeping the federal government open, providing disaster relief and avoiding a catastrophic default, so that the government can continue to serve the American people uninterruptedly as we continue to face, recover from, and respond to a pandemic.” “. , and fuel an economic recovery. “

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