House Passes Disaster Relief Package

Oct 13, 2017

Members of the House of Representatives passed a disaster relief bill that provides money to Puerto Rico as well as to other states dealing with fires and hurricane cleanup. Lawmakers voted to spend $36.5 billion for food aid, flood insurance, and disaster relief. The current total of disaster relief spending since September is almost $42 billion. Some Republicans want Congress to offset the spending with cuts in other areas of the federal budget. Representative Mark Walker argued “It is only a matter of time before the U.S. faces the next catastrophe. But for some reason, the government does not budget with this in mind.” Other Republicans told their colleagues that reforms to the government’s flood insurance program need to be made. Representative David Schweikert said, “Emergency is emergency, but there are programs we’re going to have to deal [with], bite the bullet, and I think flood insurance is one of them, where you also have a moral hazard in its current design.” Puerto Rico will have to rebuild many of its roads and bridges after they were destroyed by Hurricane Maria.