House Passes Supplemental Aid Measure

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On Thursday, the House passed a $36.5 billion aid package for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The measure focuses on funding for FEMA disaster loan programs ($18.67 billion); the National Flood Insurance Program ($16 billion); Forest Service wildfire suppression programs ($576.5 million), and up to $1.27 billion in aid for Puerto Rico food assistance under the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The FEMA funding is divided among three programs:  community public assistance, individual assistance, and hazard mitigation.

The measure now moves to the Senate where it could be considered as early as next week. A future increase to the aid level for hurricane relief is a strong possibility, even with ongoing concerns with the impacts to the federal budget, as well as potential aid for areas in California affected by the ongoing wildfires. Senators from both Florida and Texas would like to see additional funds directed toward their states.