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house Bill H.R. 268

Should Congress Approve $13 Billion in Disaster Relief?

Argument in favor

Congress needs to act quickly to approve this $13 billion disaster relief package that will help federal agencies, states and territories, and individual Americans rebuild from natural disasters in 2018 and 2019.

Lori's Opinion
···
01/16/2019
I call my representatives everyday. The government needs to be reopened immediately. People are hurting. My son is in the Coast Guard and not getting paid. This is ridiculous. The wall should not be tied to people getting paid.
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Ken's Opinion
···
01/16/2019
These workers aren't furloughed because of a lack of work. It is because Mr. Trump is punishing these workers in order to force congress to bow down and build his wall. It looks as if we the people are the only adults in the room. It's time for congress to do the will of the people rather than bow down to the presidents spoiled brat tantrums.
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Linda's Opinion
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01/16/2019
They should reopen the government today. Why can McConnell hold everything up. Time for a revolt in the Senate
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Argument opposed

While the federal government should provide disaster relief, $13 billion is too much at a time when other priorities go underfunded. Alternatively, the federal government should get out of the disaster relief business except for repairing federal properties.

Vanessa's Opinion
···
01/16/2019
Build that wall! Fund the wall, $5 Billion is NOTHING to Congressional spending, then open government.
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David's Opinion
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01/13/2019
If you allow Americans just to keep their own money they earn, there would be no need for federal government charity. Allow states to provide help where needed. It’s their job. This is not a federal government issue.
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Peanut's Opinion
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01/16/2019
Border Security FIRST. Then fund the government. The failing Democrats are loosing this fake shutdown. Democrats can’t negotiate or legislate. This party is imploding as I type this. The fake Russian narrative peddled by the Dims and their boot lickers in the MSM is soon to implode on them. 2020 Is already lost. LMAO.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed January 16th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 237 Yea / 187 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 268?

(Updated 3/27/19) This bill has been amended from its original form by the Senate to serve as the legislative vehicle for emergency supplemental appropriations legislation that would aim to help Americans recover and rebuild from recent natural disasters with $13.45 billion in funding. In its original form, the bill aimed to end the partial government shutdown in early 2019 in addition to providing disaster relief. A breakdown of the current bill’s disaster relief provisions can be found below.

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

This section of the bill would provide disaster relief through agriculture and rural development programs, in addition to the Food and Drug Administration, including:

  • $3.005 billion for farm disaster assistance to cover producers’ exposure to losses from 2018 and 2019 natural disasters. Assistance would also be provided to cover blueberry and peach crop losses resulting from freezes and Tropical Storm Cindy.

  • $480 million would be provided for the Emergency Forest Restoration Program.for non-industrial timber restoration.

  • $125 million would be provided for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program for rural watershed recovery.

  • $150 million would be provided for Rural Development Community Facilities grants for small rural communities impacted by natural disasters in 2018.

  • $600 million would be provided to supplement disaster nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico stemming from 2017 hurricanes.

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

This section would provide a total of $940 million to recoup disaster related expenditures and make necessary repairs to federal facilities and equipment damaged by recent hurricanes and typhoons, including federal law enforcement facilities, scientific infrastructure, and weather forecasting equipment.

Economic Development Assistance programs would receive $600 million to provide grants to communities directly impacted by natural disasters in 2018 and by tornadoes and floods in 2019.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would receive funding for the following:

  • $11 million for assessments and removal of marine debris;

  • $32 million for mapping and charting affected coastlines and navigation channels;

  • $50 million for improving disaster forecasting capabilities;

  • $50 million for Title IX Fund grants;

  • $150 million for fishery disasters causing severe economic harm to coastal communities.

The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) would receive $28 million to repair or replace damaged buildings and facilities, and $1.3 million for necessary prisoner transfer costs and to repair and replace equipment.

Defense & Homeland Security

This section would provide $200 million to repair damage caused by Hurricane Florence to Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. It’d also provide $400 million to the Air Force for damages caused by Hurricane Michael to repair facilities and begin the process of rebuilding Tyndall Air Force Base.

The Dept. of Homeland Security would receive $526 milllion for the Coast Guard to repair and upgrade facilities damaged by recent disasters and to cover the cost of response and recovery operations.

Energy & Water Development

The Army Corps of Engineers would receive $740 million for construction and $35 million for investigations to study and build high-priority flood and storm damage reduction projects in states affected by Hurricanes Florce and Michael, Typhoon Mangkhut, Super Typhoon Yutu, and Tropical Storm Gita.

Another $225 million would be provided to the Corps of Engineers’ Mississippi River & Tributaries account, while $245 million would go to the Corps’ Operation and Maintenance account to repair damages to Corps’ projects from natural disasters.

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies

The Dept. of the Interior would receive $311.9 million for the repair and reconstruction of critical infrastructure and immediate conservation needs following recent disasters. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the National Park Service (NPS) would receive funding to replace and repair damaged equipment and facilities. An additional $15.5 million would be provided to assist the Bureau of Reclamation with fire remediation and suppression.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would receive $414 million to address impacts of natural disasters and to provide resources for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure resiliency projects, waste disposal needs, issues with underground storage tanks, and technical assistance.

The U.S. Forest Service would receive $720 million to repay funds borrowed from non-fire accounts to cover the cost of FY2018 wildfire suppression activities. It’d also receive $134 million to repair national forest visitor and administrative facilities along with roads and trails that were severely damaged by natural disasters, in addition to reducing hazardous fuels on federal and non-federal lands to prevent an increased risk of significant wildfires.

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

This section of the bill would provide $536 million for the Depts. of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education in response to natural disasters in 2018 and 2019.

The Dept. of Labor would receive $50 million, of which $49.5 million would go to disaster response economic recovery through the Dislocated National Reserve fund. The remainder would go to the agency’s inspector general for oversight of relief efforts.

The Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) would receive a total of $321 million that would be broken down as follows:

  • $80 million for Community Health Centers to support construction, equipment purchase, operational support, and other projects as necessary.

  • $100 million to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to increase access to mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention for those impacted by covered disasters.

  • $55 million for Head Start, including for repairs to damaged Head Start centers.

  • $30 million for the Child Care and Development Block grant, including funds to repair damaged child care centers.

  • $20 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess and mitigate environmental hazards associated with the covered disasters.

  • $25 million for the Community Services Block Grant, flexible funding to local organizations to provide a variety of services for vulnerable populations.

The Dept. of Education would receive $165 million, which would be allocated as follows:

  • $162 million to help restart operations at schools and colleges in areas damaged by natural disasters, support schools and colleges receiving displaced students, and to otherwise provide services to students affected by disasters.

  • $3 million for federal administration and oversight of activities.

Legislative Branch

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) would receive $10 million to conduct audits and investigations related to federal spending on disasters in 2018 and other disasters as declared.

Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies

This section would provide funding for military construction projects related to disasters, including:

  • The Navy and Marine Corps would receive $115 million for planning and design of projects to replace facilities damaged by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

  • The Air Force would receive $700 million for planning and design and construction of projects to replace facilities damaged by Hurricane Michael.

  • The Army National Guard would receive $42.4 million to replace facilities damaged by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

The Dept. of Veterans Affairs would receive $3 million to repair Veterans Health Administration facilities damaged by covered natural disasters.

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

The Dept. of Transportation would receive $1.6 billion for the federal-aid highways emergency relief program and $10.5 million for the Federal Transit Administration’s emergency relief program. The bill would also include language giving the Federal Aviation Administration with access to unusued 2017 emergency funds for 2018 disasters.

The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development would recieve $1.06 billion for Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Grants for 2018 disasters. States that received funding for Hurricane Matthew to use the funds interchangeably with funds for Hurricane Florence.

Impact

Americans affected by 2018 and 2019 natural disasters; federal agencies; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 268

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable,

More Information

In-Depth: Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) introduced this disaster relief package to help Americans recover from recent natural disasters:

“Millions of Americans are hurting as a result of natural disasters that occurred last year and are currently ongoing. This legislation is the product of months of bipartisan discussions and contains important input from both sides of the aisle and both chambers of Congress. It now also includes critical relief for states like Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas that are experiencing ongoing, catastrophic flooding. I hope my Democratic colleagues will join use in providing the relief these people need and not stand in the way just because it does not include every single provision they wanted.”


AKA

Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019

Official Title

Making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes.

    I call my representatives everyday. The government needs to be reopened immediately. People are hurting. My son is in the Coast Guard and not getting paid. This is ridiculous. The wall should not be tied to people getting paid.
    Like (304)
    Follow
    Share
    Build that wall! Fund the wall, $5 Billion is NOTHING to Congressional spending, then open government.
    Like (90)
    Follow
    Share
    These workers aren't furloughed because of a lack of work. It is because Mr. Trump is punishing these workers in order to force congress to bow down and build his wall. It looks as if we the people are the only adults in the room. It's time for congress to do the will of the people rather than bow down to the presidents spoiled brat tantrums.
    Like (253)
    Follow
    Share
    They should reopen the government today. Why can McConnell hold everything up. Time for a revolt in the Senate
    Like (207)
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    The government should be reopened IMMEDIATELY and INDEFINITELY. You have put government employees and their families through hell for a childish tantrum by this inept administration. This is shameful on the part of Congress I.e., the Republican Senators under McConnell’s thumb.
    Like (92)
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    If you allow Americans just to keep their own money they earn, there would be no need for federal government charity. Allow states to provide help where needed. It’s their job. This is not a federal government issue.
    Like (78)
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    They should pass any and all bills funding the reopening of the government agencies shut down due to don’s temper tantrum
    Like (69)
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    Border Security FIRST. Then fund the government. The failing Democrats are loosing this fake shutdown. Democrats can’t negotiate or legislate. This party is imploding as I type this. The fake Russian narrative peddled by the Dims and their boot lickers in the MSM is soon to implode on them. 2020 Is already lost. LMAO.
    Like (66)
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    Put govt back to work quit using 800000 families as a political football. If the Republicans wanted a wall they would have done it in the last two years.
    Like (63)
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    We need the money to rebuild for the present and future impacts of climate change. And that money should not be available for theft by the Trump administration in a phony emergency declaration. This is exactly the kind of expenditure that is justified as opposed to an ineffective vanity wall.
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    This is less than a third of the cost of an F-35 jet that still can't do what it is supposed to!!!!!!!
    Like (40)
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    Natural disasters are woefully underfunded at this point. Taking Puerto Rico into an example...they are part of the United States of America, though not a state. To this point they are still just beginning to try to put their lives together again. How many who died would have lived had their been better aid (and provided?) How soon would power have been restored, clean water, basic needs of survival?
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    Government shutdowns need to stop. There needs to be a bill put forward that makes the budget continue at a day by day budget based on the previously established budget until an agreement is made. That or all congressional payments need to also be frozen. Work without pay alongside your government or put an end to your ability to do this. Does anybody disagree? Seems Bi partisan to me.
    Like (33)
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    It’s important that aid be given to those still cleaning up after natural disasters, and it’s even more important that the government be reopened
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    There is no emergency at the southern border, there is no need for a wall. Donald J Trump is a criminal at best and a traitor to the Republic and a Russian agent at worst. He is cornered, and desperate. How the GOP does not see the writing on the wall, and how they don’t defend country over party I will never understand. It is time for the impeachment and prosecution of Mr. Trump and his family run criminal enterprise.
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    The Republican Party has just redefined reprehensible. Donald Trump and unsurpassed stupidity are now forever in history as synonymous. Putin’s agenda must not be allowed to continue to be enforced by this pathetic golden shower boy in the White House. Impeach Donald Trump or Putin wins without a shot being fired.
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    Enough of the McConnell/Trump shutdown. Putin is getting exactly what he wants.
    Like (27)
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    No. Let Democrats own the misery caused by their abject failure and refusal to protect their own citizens in favor of foreign nationals to whom they owe *nothing*.
    Like (27)
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    Yes, w/ or w/o POTUS! Over-ride his veto😀
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    I don’t know what Representative Jim Banks from Indiana was thinking when he voted against this bill. I guess he is against disaster relief and opening the government. What other conclusion is there?
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