McCaul Introduces Legislation Calling for Release of Disaster Funds
Yesterday, I, the Lead Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Chairman Emeritus on the House Homeland Security Committee (TX-10), joined Reps. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Randy Weber (TX-14), Brian Babin (TX-36), Kevin Brady (TX-08), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), John Carter (TX-31), Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Joe Cunningham (SC-01), Bill Flores (TX-17), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Jeniffer Gonzalez-Colon (PR-AL), Garret Graves (LA-06), Al Green, (TX-09), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Pete Olson (TX-22), Tom Rice (SC-07), David Rouzer (NC-07), and Ted Yoho (FL-03) to introduce the Bipartisan Disaster Recovery Funding Act.
The bill directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to release $16 billion in long-awaited disaster relief funding within 60 days to nine states and two U.S. territories – including Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Puerto Rico. I released the following statement:
After Harvey hit, I fought alongside the Texas delegation to secure additional funds for Harvey survivors. Unfortunately, the agencies tasked with distributing these funds did not respond with the same urgency. We are just two weeks away from hurricane season. My district needs these resources now. That’s why I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Bipartisan Disaster Recovery Funding Act to direct the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to release the long-awaited disaster relief funding within 60 days. These funds will help the many families and communities in my district that are continuing to rebuild their lives after Harvey.
Congress appropriated funds for mitigation and resiliency on February 9, 2018 through the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2018. These funds and activities would be determined by Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) programs run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Congress is still waiting on the final rule from HUD 15 months later. Last month, during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, Secretary Ben Carson testified the rules would be published by May 1, 2019, and funds distributed shortly thereafter.
Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Senate version of this bill on May 9.