WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 4667, which includes $81 billion to aid in the recovery from a string of natural disasters, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria as well as the California wildfires.
The measure was approved in a bipartisan vote of 251-169.
U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, voted in favor of the legislation and was able to secure major reforms in the bill to improve how America approaches and recovers from future disasters. Language from his bill, H.R. 4460, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, was incorporated into the package that ultimately passed the House. The language marks one of the largest overhauls to disaster mitigation in generations.
In 2017, more than 4.7 million Americans registered for disaster aid, requiring over $50 billion in additional federal disaster recovery funding. Barletta’s bill seeks to find a new structure to the disaster relief system by ensuring dollars go toward mitigation investment before and immediately after disaster strikes. The congressman believes that will save taxpayer dollars and lives.
Barletta’s language makes critical reforms to FEMA programs that will help communities better prepare for, respond to, and mitigate disasters of all kinds.