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Rep. Brat Statement on Disaster Appropriations Bill and Need for NFIP Reforms

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Washington, October 13, 2017 | Juliana Heerschap (2022252815) | comments

WASHINGTON - Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) issued the following statement regarding H.R. 2266, the Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act. The bill includes $36.5 billion for hurricane response aid and a $16 billion bailout of the National Flood Insurance Program. Rep. Brat opposed the legislation which passed the House by a vote of 353-69.

“There was no way way to anticipate or plan for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Nate. These storms created devastation for millions of Americans, and I agree that Congress must provide emergency relief to get these communities back on their feet again. I voted to support initial Harvey Aid in the House, but I did not support the final package that failed to include spending reforms in September. Once again, a hastily-drafted emergency hurricane relief package was given to Congress this week, and I could not support it. While there is a time and place for emergency spending, our country has finite financial resources and zero effort was made to responsiblypay for the relief spending in the bill. Conservatives have offered up multiple options, yet all of them were resoundingly ignored.

“This legislation included massive federal spending without a single long-term reform to better prepare our country for natural disasters in the future. Congress must stop governing from crisis to crisis. $36.5 billion is not extra pocket change that is lying around in our federal budget. The American taxpayer will have to pick up this bill, and our national debt is already at $20 trillion.

“The bill also included a massive bailout of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to the tune of $16 billion. Legitimate proposals to reform the NFIP were never even considered. I believe when we look at the heartbreaking fatalities and economic havoc caused by these hurricanes, Congress has a responsibility to step up and work towards real solutions to ensure financial stability for the country; we should not simply punt on enacting reforms to a bankrupt federal program like NFIP.”

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