House Republicans blocked Democrats’ effort to quickly pass a long-delayed disaster relief package, which would have provided aid to communities reeling from national disasters, including to victims of deadly wildfires in California. In response, Congressman Harley Rouda (CA-48) issued the following statement:
Said Rouda, “This aid bill is already overdue– Republicans’ effort to further delay its passage is a callous political exercise. Making Californians who have suffered repeated catastrophes wait for help until Republicans extract some concession should not sit well with anyone who came here to serve real people.”
The bipartisan, bicameral disaster compromise includes $19.1 billion to help all American citizens recover from 2017-2019 natural disasters. The bill includes:
- $3.25 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers to repair damaged infrastructure and reduce the risk of future floods and hurricanes;
- $3.17 billion to rebuild our military bases and coast guard facilities;
- $3.005 billion to support our farmers as they recover from crop and livestock losses;
- $2.431 billion for Community Development Block Grants to help our communities rebuild and mitigate future disaster;
- $1.65 billion to rebuild disaster damaged highways;
- $720 million for the U.S. Forest Service for wildland fire activities;
- $600 million in Economic Development Assistance Programs to help communities rebuild and revamp their economy;
- $349.4 million for State Revolving Funds to help rebuild damaged water systems; and
- $128 million for the National Park Service to repair damaged public lands.
- $605 million for the Nutrition Assistance Program;
- $304 million from Community Development Block Grants to help it meet FEMA match requirements;
- A provision requiring the Administration to make available $8.9 billion in previously withheld aid to Puerto Rico in 90 days (and billions for other disaster-impacted states); and
A provision ensuring more damaged facilities in Puerto Rico will be repaired or replaced, and built with better standards and more resilient than before.
This article was released by Congressman Harley Rouda.
Editor’s note: Rep. Rouda misleads in his characterization of what happened. The bill was expected to pass under “fast track” procedures — with bipartisan support. A single Republican representative, NOT “Republicans” generally, objected to the procedures. Because a lot of members had already left for a long weekend, the bill will probably be delayed until late June.