On October 4, the White House submitted a request to Congress for over $29 billion in emergency appropriations to help communities devastated by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
The White House request would direct $12.77 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to replenish the Disaster Relief Fund, $576.5 million to combat wildfires, and $16 billion to help reduce the current $24.6 billion debt carried by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to ensure the program can continue to pay claims to individuals impacted by the most recent round of storms. NFIP offers crucial support for counties responding to disastrous flooding, including flood risk maps and flood mitigation grants, and counties work closely with FEMA as front-line responders to natural disasters.
Congressional negotiations on an aid package are expected to progress quickly in both chambers with broad bipartisan support, but could be delayed due to the House’s week-long recess beginning October 16. Lawmakers must now draft spending legislation, which may differ from the White House’s request if lawmakers include budgetary offsets or add additional provisions.
NACo is closely monitoring these legislative developments and will work to ensure that county interests are represented in an emergency aid package.
For more NACo resources on emergency management, please see the following: