U.S. Rep. McSally Votes for Disaster Relief Funding
WASHINGTON, DC–U.S. Representative Martha McSally today voted to provide an additional $36.5 billion in emergency funding for hurricane and wildfire relief. H.R. 2266, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act of 2017, passed the House with a vote of 353-69. This measure includes $576.5 million for urgent and immediate life-saving wildfire suppression activities to combat the fires blazing across western states, in direct response to Rep. McSally’s request to the Administration.
“This year’s natural disaster destruction has been unprecedented. Catastrophic wildfires have and continue to ravage communities across our western states, including Arizona,” said Rep. McSally. “The measure the House passed today with my initiative and support will direct vital emergency funds to the agencies responsible for bringing relief and getting communities back on their feet. I commend the Administration for quickly responding to our appeal for action and requesting the appropriation of this disaster relief. To all the displaced families in our country: we stand with you. Help is on the way.”
On October 4 Congresswoman McSally and other members of the Congressional Western Caucus sent this letter urging OMB to address the funding crisis at the United States Forest Service in order to provide necessary wildfire relief—and to prevent future wildfires with adequate forest management. Within hours OMB responded to her letter by formally requesting additional relief funding, initiating the process for the House to take action to appropriate more disaster funding.
The funding bill passed by the House closely matches the funding request the Administration submitted to Congress, in response to the Western Caucus’ appeal. The $36.5 billion in emergency funding includes:
- $576.5 million for the Departments of Agriculture and Interior to continue wildfire suppression efforts
- $18.7 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF)
- $16 billion for debt relief for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to make necessary insurance claims payments to individuals.
- A provision revising the Disaster Nutrition Assistance Program (DNAP) so low-income residents in Puerto Rico can receive the same emergency nutrition assistance that other hurricane-affected states already receive.
Rep. McSally’s leadership on this disaster relief builds upon her previous efforts this year to support western states battling wildfires. She authored two amendments that were successfully included in the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act which passed the House on September 14 to increase funding to mitigate wildfire hazards and prevent them in the future. Her first amendment increases funding for the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Forest Management Program. Her second amendment increases the Forest Service’s National Forest System Hazardous Fuels account by $3 million to mitigate wildfire hazards and lessen the damage of catastrophic fires.
Click HERE to view the disaster relief legislation passed by the House today.