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Chairman Price Issues Statement on House Passage of $12 Billion Disaster Relief Appropriations Bill

January 16, 2019
Press Release
The legislation will address urgent housing, infrastructure, agriculture, and public health needs resulting from recent storms

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Wednesday, January 16, 2019, Congressman David Price (D-NC), Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement regarding House passage of a disaster relief bill that will provide $12 billion for communities struggling to rebuild from recent natural disasters. Rep. Price helped author provisions to boost funding for transportation and housing programs that will assist North Carolina and other states and territories recover from recent hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires, and volcano eruptions.

“I’m pleased to work with my colleagues in the House and with Governor Cooper to secure this disaster relief funding to help North Carolinians rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Florence.  These resources will address critical unmet needs in our state, and I remain hopeful the Senate will consider the package as soon as possible.”

A summary of the legislation can be found here.  

 

Rep. Price’s remarks on the House floor are below:

 

 

Congressman David Price

General Debate Remarks

H.R. 268, Disaster Supplemental

January 16, 2019

 

Remarks as prepared for delivery.

 

I rise in support of this legislation to provide $12 billion in critical disaster relief for North Carolina and other states recovering from devasting natural disasters.

 

Last year, Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas with powerful storm surge, intense rainfall, and massive flooding.  It displaced thousands of individuals, many of whom still have not returned to their damaged homes.

 

Major interstates were closed for days and the City of Wilmington was completely cut off from the rest of the state.  Dozens of communities in Eastern North Carolina—some also hit in 2016 by Hurricane Matthew—were entirely inundated for the second time in as many years.

 

Meanwhile, other states like Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and California have been hit by terrible hurricanes and wildfires.  Puerto Rico and other territories continue to recover from powerful storms and typhoons.

 

This legislation will ensure that the federal government remains an active partner in the recovery effort.

 

It provides more than $1 billion in flexible funding for the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program, including resources for mitigation and resiliency projects.

 

The bill would clear out a $1.5 billion backlog of emergency highway and bridge repair projects, and it provides additional supplemental funds for:

  • Army Corps construction projects along our coasts and rivers
  • Economic Development Administration grants for small businesses
  • Crop and livestock assistance for farmers
  • Nutrition assistance for the people of Puerto Rico
  • Repairs at damaged military installations
  • Grants to states to support health and education in disaster zones
  • And other critical recovery activities.

 

This legislation contains nearly all of the provisions that House Republicans put forward in their supplemental package late last year.

 

It reflects bipartisan priorities and ensures that all American citizens, regardless of where they live, get the assistance they need to recover.

 

Unfortunately, disaster assistance—including funding that has already been appropriated—will not be distributed to communities if the government remains closed.

 

The Trump Shutdown has real consequences.  The people of North Carolina and other states who have suffered from natural disasters cannot wait any longer.

 

I urge my colleagues to support the disaster supplemental AND the Lowey amendment to temporarily re-open government that will be considered later this afternoon.  You cannot have one without the other. 

 

It’s time for Congress—both Democrats and Republicans—to come together to end this shutdown.

 

Thank you, and I yield back.

 

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