Rep. Terri Sewell Votes for Bipartisan Disaster Relief Funding
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bipartisan disaster relief funding bill today, following months of negotiations and delays, due to disagreements about funding for Puerto Rico hurricane recovery efforts, and the President’s request for additional funds for border operations.
“This disaster relief bill is long overdue,” said Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07). “This funding will go a long way toward helping Alabamians who lost their homes due to tornadoes in Lee County, and farmers who saw devastating crop losses as a result of Hurricane Michael. I am glad that my Republican colleagues finally put partisan politics aside to help Americans affected by natural disasters.”
The disaster aid package passed today includes $19.1 billion for disaster relief around the country, including:
- Agricultural Programs — $3.005 billion. Payments for crop and livestock losses due to hurricanes, typhoons, volcanic activities, tornados, floods, snowstorms or wildfires during 2018 and 2019.
- Emergency Forest Restoration Program — $480 million. Assistance to owners of private forests to restore disaster-damaged forests.
- Emergency Conservation Program — $558 million. Provides emergency funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters.
- Rural Community Facilities Program — $150 million. Grants for facilities to provide health care, education, public safety, and public services to rural communities.
Earlier this year, the House passed two different versions of the disaster relief package, but they stalled in the Republican-led Senate. The legislation passed today now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.