Washington, D.C. — (RealEstateRama) — The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure advanced a slate of bills today, including a bipartisan disaster relief bill authored by Reps. Garret Graves (LA-6) and Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.). The legislation, H.R. 1311 is designed to help communities recover from disasters and increase disaster program transparency and oversight.
The Graves bill amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to ensure that unmet needs after a major disaster are met. This bipartisan bill consolidates resources for unmet needs within FEMA, providing more accountability and giving communities impacted by disaster a more streamlined process for such assistance. This will improve accountability, speed up needed disaster funding, and streamline the process for recovering communities.
Subcommittee on Aviation Ranking Member Garret Graves (R-LA), who sponsored the bill, said, “There’s no question that Restore Louisiana, Road Home and similar federally-funded, state-administered disaster relief grant programs take too long and waste too much money paying contractors and administrators. When disaster strikes, disruptive changes happen to people fast – the federal response needs to match the urgency that victims feel after having their lives turned upside down. This bill starts to fix the slow, unnecessary federal processes that often re-victimize people and jeopardize recovery for entire communities.”
Rep. Plaskett added: “I am pleased that the Transportation and Infrastructure committee today successfully passed HR 1311 – a bill to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to ensure that unmet needs after a major disaster are met. I am grateful to work across the aisle with my colleague Representative Garret Graves toward solutions for families and communities in need after disaster strikes. After the experiences of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Virgin Islands and the other disaster-impacted areas need the support of the federal government as quickly as possible to rebuild lives, businesses, and communities. This bill cuts out some of the unnecessary federal process that, while well intentioned, burdens communities who have just been destroyed by disaster, while giving states and territories flexibility in spending, without taking away oversight of taxpayer dollars. I look forward to this bill passing in the Senate and ultimately being signed into law.”
Read the full committee press release here.