House Passes $19.1 Billion Bicameral, Bipartisan Disaster Relief Package
Congresswoman Stacey E. Plasektt released the following statement on the passing of legislation to provide relief and recovery assistance for Americans affected by hurricanes and other recent natural disasters:
"I am pleased that we have finally rejected the political stunts and grandstanding that have made it difficult to deliver much-needed relief to Americans struck by natural disasters. While it has taken far too long, this $19.1 billion bill includes a broad array of measures to help meet the urgent needs of disaster-stricken communities, like the Virgin Islands, from health care and nutritional assistance to social services and infrastructure repairs. The bill represents bipartisan compromise that will strengthen communities and make lives better. For the Virgin Islands the measure provides the following:
* $27,059,085 in additional community development block grant - disaster recovery (CDBG-DR) funding.
* Requires FEMA to take into account pre-disaster conditions and other considerations when determining if a hurricane-damaged structure or facility in the Virgin Islands is repairable or must be replaced, thus promoting resiliency as the islands rebuild.
* Requires HUD to publish regulatory guidance governing CDBG-DR action plans for the mitigation funding appropriated under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 within 90 days of enactment. This will allow the process for dispersal of the mitigation funding that was allocated to the Virgin Islands ($774,188,000) to begin.
"The passing of this Disaster Relief Bill is yet another step in helping Virgin Islanders recover from the back-to-back devastation from two of the largest hurricanes this country has ever seen. As a country we have a commitment to our fellow citizens that are in the midst of major rebuilding efforts, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The Territories deserve the continued support from the federal government and it must provide the necessary resources for the Territories to recover from these emergencies."