Frelinghuysen, Granger announce $7.85B Hurricane Harvey emergency funding bill

The House will vote on legislation on Wednesday that would designate $7.85 billion for disaster response and immediate recovery efforts to begin tackling damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and related flooding in Texas.

U.S. Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Kay Granger (R-TX), the chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Defense, called for swift passage of the legislation, which was introduced on Sunday. The bill’s $7.85 billion total spending includes $7.4 billion for Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) and $450 million for the Small Business Administration disaster loan program.

“Hurricane Harvey has caused massive damage across Texas and Louisiana and has been devastating to the hundreds of thousands of victims of catastrophic flooding and other storm-related destruction,” Frelinghuysen said. “It is time to come together as a country to help one another and assist the individuals, families, and communities who have suffered so greatly.”

Granger said appropriators introduced the bill in response Hurricane Harvey’s unprecedented devastation. The storm that ravaged the region resulted in at least 60 deaths and billions of dollars in damages, officials say.

“This is the initial assistance package needed to address the massive destruction,” Granger said. “Congress will act swiftly to ensure this assistance gets to those in need. It is vital that those affected by this extraordinary disaster receive the federal resources required to begin to recover and rebuild. I have been awed by the response of the state of Texas, first responders and volunteers over the past week.”

Frelinghuysen said the emergency response funds would support ongoing recovery missions, initial housing repairs, and low-interest loans that help businesses and homeowners begin the rebuilding process.

“These funds are needed, and they are needed now,” Frelinghuysen added. “I expect the House to move rapidly to approve this assistance. It is clear that this recovery will be a long haul — and additional assistance will be necessary in the near future. My committee will continue to keep close watch and will remain in contact with the administration to ensure that funding is available for recovery both now and down the road.”