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Disaster aid package finally passed by Congress; goes to President’s desk

This news story was published on June 4, 2019.
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U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON, DC– The U.S. House on Monday passed – on the fourth attempt – legislation to provide relief and recovery assistance for Americans affected by hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires, and other recent natural disasters. The vote was 354 to 58.

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed a $19.1 billion disaster aid package.

Abby Finkenaue

“This is a critical bill to help Iowa communities recover and rebuild, including on the Mississippi River” said Congresswoman Finkenauer. “Folks aren’t asking for a handout- they just want a government that will have their backs. Recent flooding throughout Iowa and across the Midwest has devastated communities that now desperately need help from the federal government.”

Finkenauer presided over the House floor for the initial passage of the bill. After a delay, the bill then passed the Senate and was sent back to the House, where Republican members blocked the bill three times. Today, it was again brought before the House for final passage and passed.

The bill is critical for Iowa communities recovering from flooding, including on the Mississippi River. It builds on legislation passed by the House in January 2019 and includes $3 billion in Agriculture Department funding to assist farmers with crop losses, in addition to $558 million for the Emergency Conservation Program and $600 million to assist with flood mitigation, long-term recovery, and infrastructure restoration. $1.65 billion would go to the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program to repair damaged roads.

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