Disaster Funding and Flood Insurance


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Recent Developments in Disaster Relief
National Flood Insurance Program
Background: FEMA and Disaster Relief
Disaster Assistance Websites

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Recent Developments in Disaster Relief

  •  Jan. 2018:  NOAA reports that Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, combined with western wildfires and other natural disasters to cause $306 billion in U.S. damage — the most expensive year on record, as scientists fear climate change could increase extreme weather.
  • Dec. 21:  House passed an $81 billion aid package (HR 4667), nearly double the Administration’s request.  CBO cost estimate   Senate did not take up the measure due to concerns that it didn’t do enough to help California, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • November 17, 2017:  Administration on Nov. 17 requested $44 billion in disaster aid for Texas and Florida but the request has been met with bipartisan rebuke.  “We find the proposal insufficient and unacceptable….While damages are still being determined, estimates currently sit at approximately $190 billion or more,” Rep. Ted Poe and six other GOP members from the Houston area said in a statement.  “This request by the administration doesn’t come close to providing what is needed,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida.  The request provides no funding for California wildfires (only recommended tax breaks) or for Puerto Rico (claiming more analysis is required).  Texas Republican John Culberson, a senior Member of the Appropriations Committee, said, “Luckily, OMB does not fund the government. Congress writes the checks and we will fix this. Texans, Floridians, and Puerto Ricans deserve better.”  In addition to funding levels, the White House aid request will trigger a political fight by suggesting the emergency assistance should be offset by cuts in domestic programs.
  • October 4, 2017:  Administration $29.3 billion request for emergency aid for hurricane disaster relief, flood relief, and wildfires
  • Sept. 8, 2017: President Trump signed HR 601, an emergency measure negotiated with congressional Democratic leaders, and passed by the Senate 80-17 and by the House 316-90 (all the “no” votes being Republican). The bill has four components:   1.  Provides $15.25 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations for Hurricane Harvey and other disasters, including $7.4 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund (passed a day before FEMA’s disaster funds would have been exhausted), $450 million for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program, and $7.4 billion in Community Development Block Grant funding for areas most affected by the 2017 disasters;  2.  Extends the National Flood Insurance program, which was due to expire September 30, to December 8, 2017;  3.  Suspends the debt ceiling through December 8, 2017, temporarily avoiding a Treasury default on U.S. obligations; and  4. Provides continuing appropriations (effectively, a “continuing resolution”) to fund the federal government at current FY 2017 levels through December 8, 2017, avoiding a federal shutdown when the new fiscal year begins October 1.


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National Flood Insurance Program


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Background: FEMA and Disaster Relief

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Disaster Assistance Websites

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