Frelinghuysen Quickly Guides Harvey Disaster Bill Through House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed House Resolution 502, legislation introduced by Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) to provide emergency funding to address rescue, response and recovery needs for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. 

“Harvey caused catastrophic damage across Texas and Louisiana with tens of thousands of people now in shelters. Hundreds of thousands of homes damaged. Businesses destroyed,” said Frelinghuysen.  “The funds in this bill will be used to continue life-saving recovery missions, help start housing repair, and provide timely low-interest loans to businesses and homeowners to start the rebuilding process.  The needs of the struggling people along the Gulf Coast are immediate and our response has been rapid.” 

House passage came just five days after the Committee received a detailed request from the Trump Administration.  H.Res. 502 contains the full amount requested by the Administration – totaling $7.85 billion in emergency funding, including $7.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). This will ensure FEMA can meet all current needs for response and recovery efforts, while also being prepared for any additional disasters that may arise.

The measure also includes $450 million to support the Small Business Administration's disaster loan program to assist small businesses and homeowners begin to rebuild.

“It is clear that this recovery will be a long haul – and I want to assure Harvey’s victims that we will be there for them every step of the way. My committee will continue to keep close watch and will remain in contact with the Administration to ensure that funding is available for recovery today and months down the road.

"Of course, our thoughts and prayers today go out to the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Florida and other southeastern states that will soon deal with the effects of Hurricane Irma.  In their time of greatest need, we will come through for them as well."

H. Con. Res. 502, passed by the House 419-3, must now be approved by the U.S. Senate.