House OKs $36.5 billion disaster relief bill
by Evan Wilt
Posted 10/12/17, 04:18 pm
WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives easily passed a bill Thursday to send $36.5 billion in aid to the many U.S. communities recovering from natural disasters. The spending package passed 353-69, with all “no” votes coming from Republicans concerned about running up a tab for disaster aid without carving out offsets. The funds include $18.7 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, $16 billion to pay down the National Flood Insurance Program’s debt, and $1.27 billion for disaster food assistance for Puerto Rico. “People are really hurting in these disaster areas, whether it’s victims of the wildfires in California that we’re seeing on the news today, or people rebuilding from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said. “This legislation gives additional, needed resources to communities suffering from the natural disasters that we’ve experienced over the past couple of months.” The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration as wildfires continue to ravage California. The fires are on pace to be the costliest in the state’s history, and the bill provides $576.5 million to help California recover. Conservatives who voted against the bill complained Congress continues to approve emergency dollars without cutting spending in other areas.
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.