After some procedural ju-jitsu that looks like a legislative game of ping-pong, H.R. 2266, now entitled “Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017” heads, this week, from the House to the Senate for the second time (you can see the full list of legislative actions here, it’s a doozy).
What This Does
The bill throws nearly $40 billion dollars at the recovery efforts from the hurricanes that ravaged Texas and Puerto Rico as well as wildfire recovery in California. It provides $5 billion in low interest loans to Puerto Rico, stabilizes the National Flood Insurance Program, and gives FEMA a much-needed cash injection. FEMA’s emergency funds have been nearly drained by the events of the last few months and the agency could run out of money as early as October 23rd unless Congress takes action.
Why This Matters
H.R 2266 and the bi-partisan support it enjoys are a direct congressional reaction to President Trump’s October 12th tweet threatening/calling for the withdrawal of FEMA support from Puerto Rico.
...We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
Without support from the federal government, Puerto Rico’s already horrifying humanitarian disaster risks deepening and the mounting costs of cleanup in Texas and California threaten the overall function of FEMA as a federal agency going into the winter. Despite President Trump’s characterization of his management of the response to Hurricane Maria as “a 10,” most of the island is still without clean water and more than 90% is without power.
This is what POTUS calls a 10! Surgery performed with cellphones as flashlights in Puerto Rico today. pic.twitter.com/5pnK5dkkE6— Alejandro (@agarciapadilla) October 21, 2017
Tell Congress what you think!
There is not much time for Congress to continue to debate this measure. Text RESIST to 50409 or click here to tell your representatives or Senators what you think about this or any other issue before Congress.