Congress Sends a Hurricane Relief Package to the President


Earlier today the House approved an amended version of H.R. 601, which is the hurricane relief package passed yesterday by the Senate. The House voted 316-90 to immediately provide $15.25 billion in emergency supplemental funding in response to damage caused by federally declared disasters, including Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.  The legislation will now be sent to President Trump for his signature. 

Of the approved funding, $7.4 billion is allocated to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund; while an additional $7.4 billion is allocated for the Community Development Block Grant program to aid disaster recovery. An additional $450 million will go to the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Program to assist small businesses in recovery.

H.R. 601 also suspends the statutory debt limit until December 8, 2017, at which point it will be reset to whatever level it is on that day. Currently the nation’s debt stands at $19.8 trillion. Additionally, the measure extends the National Flood Insurance Program, and provides a Continuing Resolution to fund all federal government agencies at current Fiscal Year 2017 levels through December 8, 2017. This allows Congress and the Administration to avert a government shutdown at the beginning of the new fiscal year which begins on October 1. The President is expected to sign the measure.