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house Bill H.R. 268

Should Congress Approve $12 Billion in Emergency Disaster Relief & Reopen Gov't Thru February 8th?

Argument in favor

Congress needs to act quickly to approve this $12 billion disaster relief package that will help federal agencies, states, and individual Americans rebuild from 2018’s natural disasters. The partial shutdown should be brought to an end by reopening affected agencies temporarily through February 8th.

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
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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, $12 billion is too much at a time when other priorities go underfunded. Attaching a short-term continuing resolution to reopen government that has no chance of becoming law means this disaster relief funding also won't advance.

Vanessa's Opinion
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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 1/15/19): This bill would provide $12.14 billion in emergency disaster relief funding for Americans affected by recent hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires, and other natural disasters. It would also reopen agencies affected by the partial government shutdown through February 8th, after the bill was amended by the House Rules Committee. Disaster relief would be provided through a variety of agencies, a summary of which can be found below.

Agriculture

A total of $1.1 billion in funding would be made available for crop and livestock losses due to hurricanes, typhoons, volcanic activities, or wildfires in 2018.

Other agricultural disaster relief would be provided as follows:

  • $600 million to the Nutrition Assistance Program for Puerto Rico to aid in the recovery from Hurricane Maria.

  • $480 million to the Emergency Forest Restoration Program to help owners of private forests damaged by disasters.

  • $150 million to the Rural Community Facilities Program to provide healthcare, education, public safety, and public services to rural communities.

  • $125 million for watershed and flood prevention operations, which would include providing financial and technical assistance to state and local entities with watersheds up to 250,000 acres.

  • $10.2 million to the Nutrition Assistance Program for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands following typhoons in September and October.

Additionally, trade mitigation assistance would be made available through the Market Facilitation Program to producers who derive at least 75% of their adjusted gross income from farming, ranching, or forestry activities.

Commerce, Justice, Science

Economic Development Administration and Economic Development Assistance programs would receive $600 million to aid flood mitigation, disaster relief, long-term recovery, and restoration of infrastructure in disaster-affected areas.

Other disaster relief funding provided under this section would be distributed as follows:

  • $150 million in fisheries disaster assistance to mitigate the effect of commercial fishery failures and fishery resource disasters, including those caused by recent hurricanes and typhoons.

  • $50 million in competitive grants to help enhance coastal resilience, through the restoration of coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster and coral reefs, and barrier islands.

  • $31.57 million to NOAA mapping, charting, and geographic services in areas affected by recent hurricanes, typhoons, and wildfires.

  • $28.4 million to repair federal prison buildings and facilities damaged by recent hurricanes and typhoons.

  • $25 million to help the National Weather Service improve its forecasting and prediction of hurricane intensity, floods, and wildfires.

Defense & Military Construction

To address the impact of Hurricanes Florence and Michael on military bases in affected states the Air Force would receive $400 million and the Marine Corps $200 million for operations and maintenance activities.

Planning and design and construction activities related to the impact of Hurricane Michael on Tyndall Air Force Base would total $700 million, including planning and design for relocation of the F-22 mission, beddown of F-35s, and facility construction as necessary.

Construction project planning and design related to the impact of Hurricanes Florence and Michael on Marine Corps bases in North Carolina (New River, Cherry Point, and Lejuene) would total $115 million, including consolidation activities.

The Army National Guard would receive $42.4 million to rebuild and Army Readiness Center and Operations facility damaged by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

Energy & Water

The Army Corps of Engineers would receive $715 million to speed up construction of flood and storm damage reduction projects to reduce flooding from future floods and hurricanes, and $470 million to repair damage to Corps projects. An additional $35 million would go to studies of potential projects to reduce risk from future floods and hurricanes.

The Bureau of Reclamation would receive $15.5 million to carry out fire remediation activities and for firefighting costs. The Dept. of Energy would receive $15.5 million in funding to provide technical assistance related to electric grids in areas impacted by hurricanes and typhoons.

Homeland Security

The Coast Guard would receive $476.8 million for the construction, recapitalization, or rebuilding of facilities, piers, and other infrastructure damaged or destroyed by the storms. Of that, $307 million would go to improving their resiliency against future storm damage.

The Coast Guard would also receive $47 million in immediate response costs related to the storms and to restore its operations to a pre-hurricane status by rebuilding, repairing, or replacing infrastructure, navigational aids, mission assets, or other property that was destroyed or damaged. This funding would cover costs for site assessments, surveys, dredging, design work, and project oversight.

Additionally, the federal cost share would be 100% for debris removal and temporary fixes to power, water, sewer, and other infrastructure in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would be allowed to waive its requirement that public assistance grant amounts not exceed the federal share of what is required to restore public facilities to their pre-disaster condition for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Interior & Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would receive $849 million to disburse in grants for improving the resiliency of drinking and waste water systems against future storms, of which $74.6 million is for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Another $62.5 million would be provided in state and tribal assistance grants to assess post-disaster water quality conditions, replace damaged or destroyed monitoring equipment, and for states to inspect and clean up hazardous waste facilities affected by disasters.

The U.S. Forest Service would receive $720 million to repay non-fire accounts that were used to fund firefighting activities during fiscal year 2018 (a practice known as ‘fire borrowing). It’d receive an additional $103 million for forest inventory analysis including hazardous fuels and capital improvement and maintenance activities.

The U.S. Geological Survey would receive $99 million for equipment & facility repair and replacement, debris and hazardous waste removal, and data collection in areas affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael, 2018 wildfires and volcanic eruptions, and damage from the Alaska earthquake.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would receive $82 million for the repair and restoration of roads, facilities, bridges, and assets associated with Hurricanes Florence, Lane, and Michael, flooding associated with Hawaii mudslides, and 2018 earthquakes. Of the total, $50 million would be for coastal resiliency grants.

The National Park Service would receive $78 million for the repair and replacement of assets in the National Park system that were damaged by Hurricanes Florence and Michael, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkut, and 2018 wildfires. It’d receive a further $50 million in historic preservation grants to repair historic sites and properties damaged by Hurricanes Florence and Michael and Typhoon Yutu.

Labor, HHS, Education

A block grant totaling $250 million would be made available o support a range of social services activities, including counseling, case management, health services, and construction or repairing social services facilities.

To meet the educational needs of students in disaster-affected areas, $165 million would be available in temporary assistance for schools receiving displaced students, providing education services for homeless children and youth, mental health services to students and staff, and other uses.

A further $60 million would be available to rebuild and reopen Head Start centers whose

services were disrupted.

The Dislocated Worker National Reserve fund would receive $50 million to serve individuals who are temporarily or permanently laid off as a consequence of disasters and self-employed individuals who become unemployed or underemployed.

Legislative Branch

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) would receive $10 million for oversight of disaster relief spending.

Transportation, Housing & Urban Development

The Federal Highway Administration would receive $1.65 billion to reimburse states and territories for damage from natural disasters to roads and bridges in the National Highway System.

An additional $1.16 billion would be provided in community development block grants for disaster recovery to help communities rebuild housing, businesses, and public infrastructure in the most impacted and distressed areas affected by major natural disasters.

Impact

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

Cost of House Bill H.R. 268

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable,

More Information

In-Depth: House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) offered the following statement on the introduction of this disaster relief package:

“House Democrats are committed to ensuring that American families and communities have the resources they need to recover from recent natural disasters. This legislation is the first step to meeting these urgent needs and helping our fellow Americans get back on their feet after these recent tragedies. I am also pleased that includes important funding to strengthen resiliency against future disasters, especially those that are being made more frequent by climate change.”

The House Rules Committee added a continuing resolution to reopen affected government agencies through February 8th. President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have said that no funding bills will become law unless the $5.7 billion border security funding request is included, but this bill contains no border security funding.

Of Note: The House passed a continuing resolution that also would’ve provided $7.8 billion in disaster relief and $5.7 billion in border security funding in December 2018 when it was still under Republican control, but the bill wasn’t passed by the Senate, sparking the partial government shutdown.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Jodi Jacobson)

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 (293)
    Follow
    Share
    Build that wall! Fund the wall, $5 Billion is NOTHING to Congressional spending, then open government.
    Like (75)
    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 (239)
    Follow
    Share
    They should reopen the government today. Why can McConnell hold everything up. Time for a revolt in the Senate
    Like (199)
    Follow
    Share
    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 (88)
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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 (72)
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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 (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 (60)
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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 (58)
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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.
    Like (46)
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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 (37)
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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?
    Like (35)
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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 (32)
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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
    Like (32)
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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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    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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    Enough of the McConnell/Trump shutdown. Putin is getting exactly what he wants.
    Like (26)
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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 (26)
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    Yes, w/ or w/o POTUS! Over-ride his veto😀
    Like (25)
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    Disaster relief is necessary. Fix flint and PR. Think of this Pennsylvania is a common wealth such as Puerto Rico. If what happened their happened in Philadelphia, the city would be up and running. Flint, filthy water flowing and causing all kinds of illness. We need to overhaul their grids, upgrade water systems. Invest in renewable energy
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