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Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s Bipartisan Language to Fund Harvey Recovery Signed Into Law

(Houston, TX) – Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s (TX-07) bipartisan efforts to fund disaster recovery became law, as H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, was signed into law with language requiring rules governing the release of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program (CDBG-DR) funds for mitigation projects in Texas, North Carolina, Florida, and Puerto Rico be published in the Federal Register. The final language mirrors H.R. 2761, the Bipartisan Disaster Recovery Funding Act of 2019, which Congresswoman Fletcher introduced with Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) and a bipartisan coalition in May, and is a close variation on the language in Fletcher’s prior bipartisan amendment to the House’s original version of the bill, which passed the House in early May.

In 2018, Congress appropriated $28 billion in CDBG-DR funds to rebuild after disasters and mitigate against future storms. $4.383 billion of those funds were allocated to Texas as it recovered from Hurricane Harvey. More than a year later, Texas does not have the funds Congress appropriated because HUD has not published the rules governing their use in the Federal Register. This new law sets a 90-day deadline for publication to ensure that the rules are promulgated quickly and CDBG-DR funds can reach those they are intended to help as soon as possible.

“Since I arrived in Washington in January, I have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to end these delays in funding,” Congresswoman Fletcher said. “Where Congress has worked together to solve problems—as our constituents want us to do—administrative delays in the implementation are incredibly frustrating. That’s why I was glad to see the President sign this bill into law today.”

The Supplemental Appropriations Act passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support. It was blocked last week in multiple attempts to pass it by unanimous consent. The bill funds a broad range of disaster recovery activities, including infrastructure and community development, assistance for farmers and rural communities, repairs to damaged federal facilities, nutrition, health care, and social services, and resiliency to mitigate damage from future disasters.