More funding for disaster relief

Dec 3, 2018

With the number of disasters nationwide this year—hurricanes Florence and Michael, wildfires in the west, the Marianas typhoons—it is likely that Congress will take action to supply assistance above and beyond what the Federal Emergency Management Agency can do. In response to 2017 disasters Congress included special supplemental aid in four separate laws, most recently last month in the FAA Reauthorization Act. Even before leaving Saipan I spoke with the incoming Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Nita Lowey, about what the needs would be for the Marianas and received her assurance of help. I have been working since my return to Washington to develop more detailed assessments. I am particularly concerned that federal programs, like food stamps, that are block granted to the Marianas be made whole again after spending unbudgeted money for disaster relief. And I want to make sure that infrastructure, like the power and water systems that are repeatedly put out of commission by typhoons, are hardened against future storms.