The U.S. House of Representatives today passed $15.25 billion in emergency funding to address those impacted by hurricanes. The bill includes $7.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief Fund, $7.4 billion for Community Development Block grants to be used in the wake of hurricanes and $450 million for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program.
“With FEMA set to run out of money today, this emergency funding is a strong and necessary step in the right direction,” Rep. Mast said. “Although I’m returning to Florida to be with our community during Hurricane Irma, I will not stop fighting for the resources we need to address this devastating storm.”
According to FEMA’s Administrator Long, the agency is currently spending between $150 to $200 million per day, and had a Disaster Relief Fund balance of $917 million, with $461 million in the Majors account and $456 million in the Base account (as of Thursday, September 7, 2017). Even with the addition of the Congress-passed $7.85 billion, FEMA estimates that it will only be able to continue providing support and relief efforts through September 30, 2017.
Members of the Florida Congressional Delegation will today be sending a letter to leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives calling on them to vote on additional resources for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund.
“With a full legislative agenda pending this month, it is imperative that the House can reassure our constituents and our local governments that there will be adequate funding to address their critical needs during and after this devastating natural disaster,” the letter reads. “Once again, we urge your immediate consideration of additional emergency funding for FEMA to continue servicing disaster events.”
Rep. Mast also addressed the broader package, which includes a 3-month debt ceiling extension and a 3-month continuing resolution:
“It was wrong to attach must-pass funding for FEMA to the debt ceiling and continuing resolution. I do not support raising the debt ceiling without reforming the broken system that has led to out-of-control spending, but this FEMA funding is too critical for Florida to allow this bill to fail, which is why I stayed to vote on it.”
The bill has already been passed by the Senate and now heads to the President’s desk for a signature.