Press Releases

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s Bipartisan HELP Act Passes Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

  • HELP Act Committee Passage

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s (TX-07) bipartisan legislation, H.R. 1917, the Hazard Eligibility and Local Projects (HELP) Act has passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  The HELP Act eliminates unnecessary bureaucratic delays to beginning recovery projects by allowing certain eligible disaster mitigation projects to begin without the risk of losing potential federal funds.  The legislation is now one step closer to final passage in the House of Representatives.

“As this year’s winter storm reminds us, the ability to respond quickly after a disaster is vitally important for communities,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “The bipartisan HELP Act is common-sense legislation that was born out of our community’s experience following Hurricane Harvey.  By allowing certain disaster mitigation and recovery projects to begin more quickly without jeopardizing potential federal funding, the HELP Act provides a straightforward solution to a real problem that will have a meaningful impact at home and across the country after disasters.  I am glad the legislation is quickly moving forward in the House of Representatives and that it is one step closer to passage.” 

Under current law, local and state agencies applying for federal funds to begin recovery projects must wait until they receive approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) before purchasing land or starting construction on a project.  Purchasing land or starting construction without approval disqualifies the project from receiving federal assistance.  The HELP Act allows certain eligible disaster mitigation projects to begin without the risk of losing potential federal funds.  It represents a change to the one-size-fits-all approach to reviewing projects that frequently delays mitigation work.

Congressman Michael McCaul is an original co-sponsor of the legislation.  The HELP Act is the first original bill Congresswoman Fletcher filed as a member of Congress.  In the 116th Congress, the HELP Act passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support, 409 to 7, and it was introduced in the Senate by a bipartisan group of Senators.