Bill introduced to increase funding for disaster assistance to $81B |

Bill introduced to increase funding for disaster assistance to $81B

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., late Dec. 18 introduced a bill to provide additional emergency assistance for recent hurricanes, wildfires in California, and related agriculture losses.

The bill, H.R. 4667, totals $81 billion — almost twice the $44 billion the White House proposed — and targets funds to programs to continue relief and recovery efforts in all the affected communities.

"We have a commitment to our fellow citizens that are in the midst of major rebuilding efforts in all areas, including Texas, Florida, California, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands," Frelinghuysen said. "They deserve our continued support, and we must provide the necessary resources for them to recover from these emergencies. This funding is critical to victims devastated by these disasters."

The bill provides $3.8 billion for the Agriculture Department for disaster recovery from hurricanes, wildfires, and crop loss. This includes:

» $2.6 billion for agriculture disaster assistance, including those related crop and livestock losses in disaster designated zones;

» $541 million for watershed and flood prevention efforts;

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» $400 million for emergency conservation efforts to mitigate future disaster risks; and

» $165 million for repairs and mitigation for rural water and waste disposal systems.