tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House Debates 36.5 Billion Emergency... CSPAN October 13, 2017 1:30am-2:24am EDT
was devastating for him at the end, he was really in some ways isolated and alone. >> sunday night on q&a, author and professor emeritus at >> the trust of the soviet people, he trusted them to follow him where there had never gone before. that is, to democratize their country in a few short years. astrusted them to follow him he moves the country -- move the country to a market economy from a command economy. because dust trusted them to , he may peace against the cold war. at 8:00ay night eastern, on c-span's "duende." -- "q&a." >> u.s. house approves $3.6 billion for aid on the
hurricanes, and firefighters in the west. -- thesure passed 303 measure passed by a significant margin. here is some of the debate. gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution h.res. 569 providing for the concurrence by the house in the senate amendment to h.r. 2266 with an amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 569, resolution providing for the concurrence by the house in the senate amendment to h.r. 2266 with an amendment. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. frelinghuysen and the gentlewoman from new york, mrs. lowey will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material in the consideration of
h.res. 569. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. frelinghuysen: i rise today to present house resolution 569, a bill making additional supplemental appropriations for disaster relief requirements for the current fiscal year to help respond to recent devastating natural disasters. over the past two months, millions of americans have had their lives forever altered by destructive hurricanes in texas, florida, puerto rico, and the virgin islands. by raging -- and by raging and tedly wildfires in the west. we all support those who were victimized, particularly those who lost lives, lost their lives or lost lowed ones and will continue to be with them every step of the way with the federal support they need as they recover and rebuild. our thanks go to the first responders, volunteers and states, who have saved countless lives, protected communities and demonstrated the best of human
tainity. that includes fema, the army corps of engineers, the department of defense, the coast guard, and many other federal agencies. for getting the first installment of relief to those in need. however, with such massive unprecedented damage, more help is needed. clearly needed to continue to respond to these recovery efforts to rebuild communities with dollars, with resources, with manpower and with our support. this emergency funding legislation, the second installment, addresses urgent short-term immediate priorities. replenishing fema's it's aer relief fund, supporting ongoing federal wildlife suppression effort, providing debt relief for the federal flood insurance program, and other assistance that will help our fellow americans in their time of greatest need. to summarize, $36.5 billion
provided in this bill, in total $18.7 billion is provided for the disaster relief fund. this includes $13.77 billion for the most immediate response needs. life-saving missions, emergency protection, repair and restoration of public infrastructure like communications, power, transportation, and yes, shelter. and financial assistance to individuals and families affected as they rebuild their lives. this package also includes $4.9 billion for community disaster loans which will ensure local governments are able to provide basic municipal service such as police and fire protection and public education. throughout this trying time. in addition to these disaster relief funds, this bill provides a one-time payment of $1.27 billion to allow puerto rico and our fellow citizens to receive the same access to emergency
disaster nutrition program benefits that other states receive. the bill also ensures that the national flood insurance program is able to meet its existing claim obligations as americans cope with the tremendous flood damage to their homes and communities. for wildlife suppression, the as contains $576.5 million we see in the situation out west has grown even more desperate and deadly. we must ensure that those heroic firefighters can continue to save lives and protect property. as we know, the needs of each disaster area are ever-changing. consequently, our appropriations committee and all of our members continue to monitor the progress of recovery efforts as well as anticipate emerging needs. this will be a long process, mr. speaker. this second package -- package or installment of federal
support will certainly in the be all that is needed over the long term. mr. speaker, i urge support of the -- of this bill, it's important for the nation, for the communities affected, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i yield myself two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. lowey: since hurricane harvey wrought historic flooding in texas, 12 major disasters have been declared. from a hurricane that damaged large swaths of florida, storms that annihilated puerto rico and the virgin islands, and wildfires burning in the west, americans deserve certainty the federal government will stand by them in their time of need. this is particularly important after the president threatened to abandon puerto rico in his latest twitter this morning. congress cannot turn its back on
recovery, no matter how reckless the president's outbursts may be. as americans, the suffering and simply trying -- as americans are suffering and simply trying to survive. this package provides critical disaster relief, flood insurance aid, and help for communities devastatedy wildfires. puerto rico would be aided by provisions to address its liquidity pry sis, by facilitating recovery, not paying creditors and provide additional nutrition assistance. additionally, the bill would continue aid to puerto rico and the virgin islands from the department of defense. however, more must be done to provide medium and long-term investments, including rebuilding ports, coastlines, airports, roads, bridges, repairing the electrical grid and other infrastructure and ensuring the health needs of
american citizens are met. i urge your support for this bill and your continued focus on ensuring the full recovery of american communities devastated by natural disasters. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, the distinguished ranking member of the commerce, justice, science subcommittee, mr. serrano. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. without objection, so ordered. mr. serrano: i thank the ranking member. this bill is a first step in helping puerto rico and the virgin islands recover from the devastation of hurricane maria. it will provide fema and the government of the islands with the funds needed to address immediate relief needs.
and begin the recovery process. i do want to thank the chairman and ranking member for their commitment to this issue. and for taking my phone calls at all different times, on weekends, you've been very helpful and very supportive. both will be visiting the island tomorrow and will be able to see firsthand the dramatic and comprehensive needs that puerto rico is facing. right now, 85% of the island still lacks electricity, more than three weeks after the hurricane hit. one third of the island doesn't have access to clean drinking water. most of the island still lacks cellular service. hampering vital information to deliver assistance in the area. federal employees on the island now are doing important work and vital work but we need more boots on the ground. this funding provides them. with the resources needed to do that in the short term. but to succeed, there needs to be a commitment from the highest
levels of government to ensure the recovery of all areas that are part of our nation, including its territories. unfortunately, given the president's latest twitter rant, this morning, it seems unlikely that we have that focus and commitment. so it is up to us in congress to make sure that the federal government doesn't forget about puerto rico and that is what i intend to do in the days and months ahead. to both of you and to our membership here, i thank you for not forgetting puerto rico and this is an ongoing battle and ongoing issue. thank you. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i am pleased to yield to mr. ken calvert from california for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. calvert: more than enough, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise in support
of the supplemental appropriations bill. i want to commend chairman frelinghuysen and the committee staff for their quick and thorough work to put this supplemental package together and thank the leadership for its swift action in scheduling this for house consideration. in fiscal year 2017, the forest service had a shortfall of nearly $577 million in firefighting funds. to cover its immediate firefighting costs, the forest service borrowed from the nonfire programs as well as the department of the interior. the bill will replace and repay those borrowed funds and closes the books on fiscal year 2017. specifically, it provides $526 million for the forest service and $50 million for the department of interior. the cost of fighting fires on the -- our national forests and public lands have increased dramatically over the last 15
years and yet these fires and costs remain highly unpredictable. right now in the west, the west is on fire. my home state of california, firefighters are battling 22 large wildfires have have burned nearly 170,000 acres. the bill gives the government the tools it needs to assist local officials to get those fires under control as soon as possible. we, the congress, need to fix the way we budget for wildland fire so forest service and department of the interior can focus on managing our federal lands appropriately. we also need to give them the necessary legal authorities and tools to improve the condition and management of our national forest. mr. speaker, i encourage my colleagues to support this bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california, the ranking member of the homeland security subcommittee,
ms. roybal-allard. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. ms. roybal-allard: mr. speaker, the past few months have witnessed one of the most devastating series of natural disasters ever endured by our country. they include hurricanes, raging wildfires in my home state of california that have killed at least 23 people, required mass evacuations and burned more than 170,000 acres and thousands of homes and businesses. by acting quickly on this emergency supplemental, we are sending the strong message that we are here for disaster victims, including our fellow citizens in puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands. but this is just a down payment. we still don't have the final damage estimates from many of the affected areas. in the coming weeks and months, we will need to once again support fema's continued recovery efforts, including in puerto rico, despite the president's threats to abandon the people there. and there will be more to do to address funding unmet needs to
the community development block grant program and other disaster relief programs. i encourage support for this bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i am pleased to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from minnesota, the ranking member of the interior subcommittee, ms. mccollum. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from minnesota is recognized. ms. mccollum: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. mccollum: i rise in support of this funding package. this bill is a down payment on the recovery from the recent fires and hurricanes. i am pleased it contains $176.5 million to fully repay the funds that the u.s. forest service borrowed last fiscal year to pay for wildfire suppression. we've all seen the devastation and the tragic loss of life from large fires burning across our
country. fiscal year 2017 was the most expensive year on record for wildfire suppression, costing $2.4 billion. the duration, the severity of wildfires grows, the costs will continue to rise. unfortunately, once again we've missed the opportunity to fix the way the federal government funds wildfire suppression. let me be clear. the next supplemental must include a legislative fix for wildfire strength and we must adequately -- spending and we must adequately support the department of the interior to help our country rebuild from the recent fires and hurricanes. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield six minutes to the gentlewoman from puerto -- miss jembings nni
jenniffer gonzalez. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. miss gonzalez-colon: i want to thank the appropriations committee -- allow the federal government to help us in this dire situation. on behalf of the 3.4 million american citizens that lives in puerto rico, nearly the 5.5 puerto ricans that lives in the mainland, i rise today in strong support of this disaster supplemental appropriations bill. they have been focused on puerto rico since before the arrival of hurricane irma, and then during hurricane maria. i want to thank all my colleagues from both sides of the aisle who has reached out during these past three weeks to express their encouragement and actually offer their assistance during this process. for that and my constituents we will always be grateful for all
members of this house. as you may know right now, puerto rico was hit by two major hurricanes irma, which cost significant damage in the eastern part of the island, that was on september 6. then on september 20, a few days later, we got hit by hurricane maria. that caused unprecedented destruction throughout the whole island and which many people considered that hurricane to be the most catastrophic natural disaster ever in u.s. soil. today, 22 days after the storm hit, nearly 85% of our population remains without power. 44% without running water. and almost 58% without access to communications. to this date, we still have towns like las marias, many others in the central part of the island that remain uncommunicated and can only be accessed by air since most of
the roads and bridges were washed away. we are talking about more than 18 major roads and bridges that were just washed away. he death toll has reached 48 fatalities. and it's certain that number will increase during the coming days and weeks. this unplus dented humanitarian crisis in our own nation has begun what is likely to evolve in a mass exodus of puerto ricans to the u.s. mainland. jeopardizing the island's long-term recovery. mr. speaker, i stand here today telling you that the american citizens that lives in puerto rico still are suffering in different ways. this is not the time to focus on how and when the resources will
how we will rebuild the island. today, 85% of our island is without electricity. yet, 3.4 million american citizens living there just got less than 15,000 people working to recover the power grid. i just want to remind you that florida got more than 61,000 people helping to recover their power grid in just power days. that is not acceptable in our case. and we are still american citizens. i know a lot of problems persist. it's too difficult to address the issue when you are not part of the mainland. you are not part of the power grid. it's different when you get access and resources to texas, louisiana or florida because you can even drive or you can have helicopters. in our case, everything is by ship or air. that means it's more difficult to the federal government to
assist directly. that's the reason we got more than 15,000 personnel from the coast guard, national guard, army corps of engineers, fema, navy and the assistance of all national guards, virginia, new york, just to name a few. the puerto rican communities in the states and on the island are showing their way, along with the private companies, the n.g.o.'s, countless volunteers for the whole nation. there's still a lot to do and much needs to be done as we begin the reconstruction. that's the reason this supplemental is so important for us. allowing the people of puerto rico to access programs that we never have before, like the snap program, that will provide 1.3 billion dollars to receive the same emergency disaster nutrition assistance benefits as a state, this is the first time this congress allowed this to
happen to puerto rico. thank you for the members for the cooperation and leadership of the house for allowing this money. this is the bill that provides for $18.7 billion to fema, to have disaster relief fund to help in lifesaving missions across the island, emergency protection, remove debris. we continue to have a lot of debris on the island and the repair and restoration of infrastructure. that is going to be a matter of discussion at another date because we can rebuild or have -- redo the infrastructure we did before from the 1950's or 1960's. we need to redo a lot of things in our power grid. it will provide also -- and this $7.4very important area -- billion to have liquidity to local government of puerto rico just to match federal funds that are needed to this recovery actions. for that, i mean, this is the
second step this house is taking in terms of helping the people of puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands. people that are american citizens. this is the second step. the first one was the first supplemental. that it was approved in the last -- ms. frelinghuysen: i yield the gentlewoman another minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for an additional one minute. miss gonzalez-colon: this is the second step. this is not going to be the last one. we will need a lot of more help in the incoming months and i know we can help this to make it happen. the american people are resilient and they will continue to choose the way to recover. it will take a lot of time. it will take a lot of resores, a lot of money and a lot of commitment as u.s. citizens like we are. thank you, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield 1.5 minutes to the gentlewoman from
florida, the ranking member of the military, construction, v.a. subcommittee, ms. wasserman schultz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, mr. speaker. let me just start by saying to the people of puerto rico, despite president trump's indifference and soft bigotry, we will be there for the people of puerto rico until the last american's life returns to normal. while i rise to support this critical emergency appropriations bill, this supplemental leaves much to be desired. this legislation provides vital recovery funds to my home state of florida as well as texas, the u.s. virgin islands, puerto rico and california where wildfires remain ablaze. however, it neglects to include s.b.a. loans for small businesses and homeowners as well as making smart investments in our ports, coastlines, water systems and electrical grids. this bill also neglects to address the devastating agricultural losses, especially to florida's $10 billion citrus industry. it is also important to note that in florida this vital funding will not be able to address the public health hazard
of debris strewn across our lawns and trees as our governor scott shapefully won't allow our cities to access fema funds. while the majority had said these and other issues can be part of future negotiations, residents will wait longer to get the services they so desperately need. they should not have to wait. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: members are remaineded from refrain in engaging in personalities towards the president. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from new york, the ranking member of the small business committee, ms. velazquez. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized for two minutes. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. ms. velazquez: i want to thank the gentlewoman from -- the gentleman from new jersey, and the ranking member from new
york. the people of puerto rico, 3.5 million of our fellow citizens, are suffering. the mayor of my hometown, where maria made landfall is predicting that as many as 5,000 residents potentially facing starvation. more than 85% of the island is without electricity. one third of puerto ricans lack access to drink bling water which will surge the number of bacterial infections and mosquito-borne illnesses. of the the president united states is tweeting threats to withdraw assistance. that is an outrage. it is an insult. it is an abdication of the president's solemn duty to protect the safety and security of the american people.
american citizens, everywhere, deserve better. where the president is failing to lead, congress must act. and act now. the legislation we are debating today is far from sufficient. it's not enough. but it is a start. it's a down payment in helping the response process. it will keep fema operate, removing debris and distributing food and water. it also helps puerto rico's government address a looming cash shortfall with. the government running out of money by the first of november, vital services could be suspended. when residents can least afford it. this bill will provide a short-term cost inclusion -- cash infusion for the government to keep going and the way this is structured under the law, these funds will likely not be
paid back which is reasonable given the challenges puerto rico faces and some of those challenges have been created by the lack of action of the congress when it comes to medicaid. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one additional minute. ms. velazquez: thank you. let's be clear. there's going to need to be much more assistance in the future. puerto rico will need help rebuilding its energy grid, repairing telecommunications networks, and putting its bridges and roads back together. we cannot forget shoring up the island's medicaid system, something that was critical before maria but is even more important now. this problem is of congress making and we must fix it. make no mistake, those priorities will require more money and we will need to come back andity address them in a few weeks this epeople of puerto
rico are american citizens and you know what, even when so many of my brothers and cysters are suffering in puerto rico, are fatesing a humanitarian crisis, at least, at last 50% of the people in this country who didn't know puerto ricans are american citizens are learning that fact. es, american citizens. puerto ricans were invaded and taken over by the u.s. government so now it is our responsibility to make puerto rico whole. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: members are once again reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: i'm pleased to yield to the gentleman from florida, mr. mario diaz-balart, chairman of the appropriations subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. diaz-balart: i want to recognize one of our own who has
been a superb representative of puerto rico in this time, you rarely see someone with the talent and energy here in congress, jenniffer has been great, she's made us all understand the situation and tone so with great dignity, passion, and brilliance, i had to say that. let me first thank the chairman for being incredibly accessible and engaged. florida has gotten hit rather hard, as you know. this bill toe that thes $36.5 billion. $18.6 billion of that goes directly to fema's disaster relief fund and ensures that our national flood insurance program has the resources that it needs to pay the claims. also an important grant food and aid loan to puerto rico which is crucial. so far, mr. speaker, florida has received $740 million for assistance through individual -- individual assistance through fema sand working through over
$608,000 applicants. as we continue to recover, i look forward to continuing to work with the chairman who has been phenomenal. specifically, we're going to have to deal with the agriculture impact of this storm and again, particularly on the citrus industry that's been devastated by this storm. but this is an important bill. it's an important bill. i want to thank che chairman for bringing it up so quickly. we must pass it and i look forward to working with chairman frelinghuysen with all our colleagues through this process because we're going to need nor assistance as the days and months go. this is an important bill, i urge you support and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. ms. le wie: i'm please t.d. yield three minutes to the gentleman from maryland, the democratic whip, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. i rise in support of this legislation.
mr. speaker, millions of our fellow americans in texas, puerto rico, florida, and the virgin islands are looking to congress and the administration to work together to provide aid and assistance in recovery and rebuilding. i disagree with the president of the united states that we're going to leave puerto rico or the virgin islands or any other american precipitously before we have done the job we need to do. the recent hurricanes have left 3.6 million americans in puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands still without power, fuel, clean water, food, electricity and access to medical facilities. that is unacceptable. i say to the administration. we are witnessing a humanitarian disaster of historic proportions and it will get worse if we do not come together as a nation and bring to bear the full force of the federal government to assist.
i thank the chairman for bringing this bill to the floor. to effect that end. that's why i called on president trump to muster every federal resource, every federal resource to muster and ensure that aid and supplies can reach those who need them and to work on restoring power, water and communications. because are still out of reach, we do not yet know the full extent of the damage and loss of life. today's "washington post" has a front page story chronicling the tragedy that continues as of now to unfold in puerto rico. where nightfall brings complete darkness and diseases are spreading by way of contaminated water. the island has been plunged into the 19th century. the virgin islands shares that status. this supplemental must be followed in the weeks and months ahead by additional measures to provide disaster relief funding
and financial assistance to bring the infrastructure of puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands up to 21st century standards in order to prevent a repeat of what has occurred. according to a letter sent to the congressional leadership on onth 7 by the governor of puerto rico, pedro ros -- robert rosello, the damage on that island is expected to cost as much as $95 billion, 150% of puerto rico's gross national product. 24 funding package is an important step, though it fails -- though it fails to provide urgently needed medicaid funding to help the $1.6 million many puerto rico and the u.s. -- the 1.6 million in puerto rico and the virgin islands who rely on medicaid for their health care. congress must do its part and ensure that the resources are available. it's up to the administration to make certain that the resources we provide get to those who need
them. so i ask my colleagues to join e in passing this bill and i president again to take every necessary measure to address this humanitarian crisis affecting our fellow americans. mr. president, do not send a message to any american that we will turn our backs on them. that is not fair. it's not right. and you ought to correct the statement you made. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for one minute.
ms. jackson lee: puerto rico has no power. the u.s. virgin islands has no power. st. johns is completely collapsed in the u.s. virgin islands. the people are dying from contaminated water. mr. president, how can you abandon the american people? this bill is going to provide fema assistance to keep giving so they can have it, it's going to give $16 billion to the senior citizens in my district who have paid their flood insurance, who are desperate to get their houses repaired, to get the mold out. after being impacted by hurricane harvey and yes, i woke up this morning to the outrage of the fires and people dying in california, that's what is in this bill. but i can't imagine that a president would make this comment of walking away. i am here to fight for those who have been impacted by hurricane harvey. we are still suffering. senior citizens are out of their homes. we have been evicting people in
public housing. we need community development block grants, the army corps of engineers is greatly needed, the funding that we ask for is not in here. block grants is not in here. and as well the restoration that we need. we will fight but i will not turn my back on puerto rico or the virgin islands and vote no, i will vote yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is out of order. ms. jackson lee: hurricane harvey has to be in the next ill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to heed the gavel. the gentlewoman from new jersey -- from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to thele gentlewoman from the virgin islands who i believe just returned, we thank you for being here today, ms. plaskett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from the virgin islands is recognized for three
minutes. ms. plaskett: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you to chairman frelinghuysen and ranking member lowey for bringing more it's aer relief to the floor today. i'm pleased to see a much-needed support for ongoing disaster response efforts in the virgin islands, puerto rico, and other hurricane affected areas. including direct assistance to families, debris removal operations, and emergency protective measures carried out by fema and additional activities of numerous other federal agencies that are on the ground working around the clock to help us to recover and rebuild. i cannot thank enough all of our federal and local personnel helping us through this. i have been on the ground after irma, after maria, and just recently, and i tell you, their support is invaluable. i'm particularly pleased to see the subdivision of $5 billion for disaster direct loan programs to assist local governments and with measures multiple account
loans will be available based on different losses and unanticipated spending needs and waivers of amount limits are helpful. additional loans to pay for local matching requirements is an important support. however, i'm concerned about the important relief that was left out of this bill and the administration's disaster relief request last week. this does not incorporate the medium and long-term assistance that played a critical role in the recovery following previous it's aers like katrina and sandy and the virgin islands cannot afford to wait for this to be a higher priority of the federal government. the package does not include community development and social service block grant funding. economic development administration funds. supplemental housing assistance. nor additional funds for repair of our water infrastructure, community facile tirks airport, roads, parks, wetlands, and fisheries. damage sustained in all of these
areas has been catastrophic and waiting around until another end of the year for auxiliary funding for these pressing needs is not acceptable. perhaps most concerning is the lack of medicaid program assistance to the territory. even before two consecutive category 5 hurricanes that decimated our hospitals and medical infrastructure the virgin islands was forced to operate in a medicaid program that's capped at an amount that has no relationship to local needs and our rate of federal michiganning funds is limited to an arbitrarily low 55% federal to 45% local contributions. thousands of our citizens go without adequate care due to this treatment every year. in addition to the impacts on our providers and hospitals, due to uncompensated care. but after these back-to-back storm, there's no revenue being generated in the injury vin -- in the virgin islands and proke at this time. our tourism economy is gone, we'll miss this entire year at
least. with our needs bound to get worse we are in dire need of supplemental medicaid support including a temporary 100% federal contribution just like what was provided to americans living in louisiana and texas following katrina. i was pleased to -- pleased to see ranking member pallone's proposal to provide this 100% temporary federal share with the substantial plus up to our allotment so the american citizens, yes, american citizens, in the virgin islands an puerto rico, can have the benefit of medicaid in this time of greatest need. -- virgin t been a islanders cannot wait until christmas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. mr. frelinghuysen: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the entlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california, the ranking member of the
committee on financial services, ms. waters. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. waters: mr. speaker, in the wake of the destruction that this historic hurricane season has wrought on texas, florida, the virgin islands, puerto rico, and the gulf coast i'm very pleased that in addition to the emergency relief funds for wildfires that are burning on both ends of california, the bill also includes liquidity and emergency nutritional assistance for puerto rico where they are facing particularly difficult challenges in their recovery efforts. this bill also provides for partial debt forgiveness of $16 billion for the national flood insurance program. i'm encouraged to see the administration finally understands that what we have been saying for a long time. we need to forgive the debt of the nfip, which fema has repeatedly stated it will never be able to repay. following the losses that will be incurred as a result of the recent hurricanes, the nfip needs debt forgiveness more than ever.
let's be clear. the partial debt forgiveness will leave the nfip with a crushing level of debt. although this is a step in the right direction, we should forgive all of the debt that the nfip has incurred -- accrued from catastrophic storms like katrina and sandy instead of burdening the nfip policyholders with hundreds of millions of dollars in interest payments every year. before this hurricane season nfip policyholders were already paying more in interest and the nfip spends -- the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has nfip the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. ms. waters: for mage back the flood maps. i yield back the balance of my time. mr. frelinghuysen: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california, a senior member of the appropriations committee, lee. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady is recognized for one minute. lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. lee: i want to thank our ranking member for yielding and for your tireless leadership. as a representative from northern california, let me just say that my thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors in the north bay. remember, though, i and sented oakland berkeley, california, just as many of us and berkeley, california, just as many of us helped then we'll help now. i'm deeply grateful to our firefighters and responders who have been working around the clock to distinguish these fires. i also rise in strong support of this emergency supplemental. our neighbors in the north bay, gulf coast, puerto rico, the u.s. virgin islands, texas they need our help and need it now. communities are devastated and many are still without power and water. this is a life and death situation for so many. make no mistake, the recovery process is just beginning and we cannot forget our caribbean neighbors who are also suffering. i tell you the supplemental, mr. speaker, it's a good first step. it's a good first step in a very long process, but we must
provide more long-term assistance to help communities to help recover very quickly. and we to help recover very quickly. and we must leave no one behind. thank you. i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. from new york. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to be here with my partner, our chairman, mr. frelinghuysen. wenow that he understands as f. all do, this is not a republican or democratic issue. this is an issue, this is our responsibility to face the tremendous challenge that we see. people are suffering. schools are closed. more than 3/4 of the island does not have any energy. no clean water.
need for food, need for basic services. so i'm very pleased to work with the chairman of the committee, mr. frelinghuysen, and i know that we will both be going to the island of puerto rico to actually see firsthand what has to be done. and it's clear it has to be done now. hank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady yields back? mrs. lowey: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: an additional speaker would like to make some remarks. i'm pleased to recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. smucker: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. i had the opportunity to travel to puerto rico this past saturday with a bipartisan group of legislators. traveled there with congresswoman gonzalez, who has been an absolutely outstanding
advocate for puerto rico during this difficult time. a few take aways from that. one, it's a sobering experience to see how widespread the devastation was on the island. every single aspect of the island of puerto rico was affected. secondly, the full commitment of the department of defense, of fema, of every government agency, federal government agency, and the effort to recovery that is being conducted in conjunction with the governor and folks on the ground in puerto rico is great to see. it's an effective initial recovery effort that has saved and sustained lives. in conjunction many millions of meals and millions of bottles of water distributed. third take away, this will be -- will require a sustained,
active, and effective effort. i want to thank the chairman for introducing this bill today, which is absolutely necessary to bringing back the economy on the island of puerto rico. the top priority now is to rebuild the grid, which is absolutely essential to getting the economy in puerto rico moving. we need we need this aid package. it's an important step along the long road to recovery for our fellow citizens in puerto rico, as well as for all of those impacted by hurricanes in the south and those out west battling wildfires. one thing i saw as well. the american people come to the assistance of other citizens in need. that's true whether it's in houston, florida, or in puerto rico. so again i'd like to thank the chair for introducing this package and i urge my colleagues to support it. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: i'd like to
associate my remarks with mr. smucker of pennsylvania, as well as my colleague, mrs. lowey, from new york. on our committee we try to get the work of the nation done. at this point in history we've had some incredible tragedies and natural disasters. as a group, as this house, we must act quickly to ensure that the federal government fulfills its duty to millions of americans in need, whether they are from texas or whether they are from florida or whether they are from puerto rico or the virgin islands, they are all citizens. whether they are from the west that have been fighting these deadly fires. they deserve our support. this will be the second installment of emergency funding. there will be others. i know people are concerned that not every state's need is met, but this is, i think, a good step in the right direction. i urge all my colleagues to support this legislation.
so we can get this money out the door as >> the house when on to approve $36.5 billion for recovery efforts. you can watch this and other house floor debates on our website, c-span.org. live friday in discussion about renewing portions of the foreign intelligence surveillance act with the director of national intelligence. the director of national security agency, michael rodgers and fbi director, christopher wray. they will discuss gathering intelligence on foreigners live in 8:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. live on c-span, house democrats will discuss traumatic brain injuries caused by contact sports. >> c-span's washington journal
live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up, and author discusses the first amendment. president trump's relationship with the republican party, william kristol will join us. a conversation about the health care executive order signed by president trump. a reporter will be on to talk about the future of health care. be sure to watch washington morning.ive on friday join the discussion. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, morning. join the saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on the civil war, the author of "for their own cause." >> one might assume that is why they chose these black troops because in the mid-19th century, most people that believe that
black men were not counted enough to fight. >> at 8:00 on lectures in history, middle tennessee state university professor on native americans and trade. in 19th-century california. ask the indian men -- >> the indian men are just like a mariachi band. americans andthey are just real. -- they are dressed really nicely. it shows you the value that the military placed. of -- theyhe kind kind of dressed ready nice >> on oral history, we continue our series on photojournalists with david valdez, former director of the white house photo office under president george h.w. bush. ask if i say something about his hair, and i take his photo and his hair is nice, no one will ever believe this wasn't set up.
i just took the photo and it wound up running two full pages in life magazine. over the next 20 years or so, it .as in the best of life in 2011, it was selected in the issue, one of the best photos in life magazine for the past 75 years. >> american history tv all weekend and weekend only in c-span3. >> everything was devastating at the end. he was isolated and alone. >> sunday night on q1 day, author and professor at amherst auto bike -- his bike fee, gorbachev. >> he will wanted them to trust him to take him -- to take them
where they had never gone them tohe trusted follow him and trust him as he may peace the cold war against enemy, the united states. he trusted them too much it turned out. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q and a. developmenturban secretary ben carson says the administration has no intention of abandoning puerto rico. after the recent hurricane. andnd take carson testified was asked about some of the residents recent tweets and proposed hud budget cuts.