tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN January 16, 2019 1:59pm-4:00pm EST
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 230. the nays are 192. the resolution is adopted. without objection, a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentlelady from new york, ms. velazquez, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 190 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title. the clerk: h.r. 190, a bill to amend the small business act to eliminate the inclusion of option years and the award price for sole source contracts, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives.
mrs. lowey: madam speaker, i don't think the house is in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. embers will clear the aisles. members to the rear of the chamber will please clear the isles. he house will be in order. the gentlelady from -- does the gentlelady from new york rise? mrs. lowey: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all
members may have five legislative days to revise and and their remarks include extraneous material on h.r. 268. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the house will come to order. members will clear the aisles. pursuant to house resolution 43 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 268. the chair appoints the gentlelady from the district of columbia, ms. norton, to proside over the committee of the whole.
the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 268 webbing the clerk -- which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: appropriations for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2019, and for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentlewoman from new york, mrs. lowey, and the the gentlewoman from texas, ms. granger, each will have 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new york. mrs. lowey: madam chair, i i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. lowey: madam chair, while president trump continues to
keep our government shut down, house democrats have committed to working for the american people. i'm pleased to present legislation today that helps meet the urgent needs of our fellow americans affected by recent national disasters. across the country, we have watched as hurricanes have pummeled florida, georgia, and the carolinas, wildfires have burned large swaths of the west. volcanoes have erupted in hawaii. and typhoons have struck territories in the pacific. in addition to the tragic loss of life, families have lost everything. businesses have been upended. communities have been ripped apart. this legislation attempts to meet these needs with $12.14 billion in emergency spending.
it includes $2.96 billion to rebuild damaged infrastructure, to help communities rebuild, and to bring local economies back to life. the legislation embraces the unique needs of farmers and rural communities, providing $1.86 billion to help them recover. it enhances our national security and cares for our veterans and their families by funding $1.46 billion for repairs and rebuilding a damaged department of defense and department of veterans affairs facilities. the bill before us meets the complex needs of disaster victims with $5.5 million for social services, mental health care, education, and activities
that improve the prospects of dislocated workers. importantly and unlike republican legislation that we brought up in december, the bill meets the urgent health care and nutrition needs of americans of the northern marianas, guam, and american samoa, and yes, puerto rico. president trump grossly mismanaged the response to hurricane maria in puerto rico, -- ince then he has added the chair: the gentlewoman will suspend. the committee will be in order. the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. lowey: president trump grossly mismanaged the response to hurricane maria and puerto rico and since then he has added insult to injury by repeatedly trying to shortchange our fellow u.s. citizens in puerto rico p.
this bill rights that injustice. finally, this legislation recognizes scientific reality and the simple fact that climate change is increasing the number and severity of natural disasters. t includes $.54 billion in resiliency funding to -- $2.54 billion in resiliency funding to mitigate damage from future disasters, spreenting loss of life and damage to property. we all want to ensure that american families and communities have the resources they need to recover from ecent natural disasters. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. s to the gentlewoman reserve? mrs. lowey: reserve. the chair: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. granger: madam chair, i rise on h.r. 268, supplemental
appropriations act of 2019. on december 20 of last year, the house considered a a bill that included continuing resolution to keep the government opened, more than $5 billion to secure our southern borders, and supplemental appropriation to help disaster affected areas. that bill passed the house but it was not taken up by the senate. as it did in december, the bill before us today also includes funding for disaster relief. in fact, it includes $4.3 billion more for communities recovering from national disasters, including storms and other events, that incurred in 2017 and 2018. this would help the american people get back on their feet after these devastating events. the bill also includes help for farmers and ranchers for crop and commodity loss, assistance for flood and storm damage, and allow our military and federal
agencies to repair facilities and assets. like it did in december, the bill we're considering today also includes continuing resolution to fund the government, ensure our hardworking federal employees are paid. what this bill does not include is funding for border security needs identified by the agents and officers on the frontlines. therefore the bill before us today will not resolve the government shut down. it will not reopen the government and ensure that our t.s.a. screeners, our coast guard defenders, our border patrol agents, and our air traffic controllers are paid. we must stop wasting time building on bills that have no chance of becoming law. we should instead work with urgency to get our government back and running. in order to do that we must address border security and funding for the remaining appropriations bills.
i thank chairman lowey for her work and i'm hopeful in the coming days together we can come to an a aa agreement with all of our partners in the senate, the house, and the white house to address the remaining funding issues in 2019. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: madam speaker, i yield two minutes to my friend from ohio, ms. kaptur, the chair designate of the energy nd water subcommittee. the chair: the gentlewoman from ohio is recognized. ms. kaptur: i thank my dear friend, chair of the appropriations committee, for yielding me this time. madam speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 268, the emergency disaster recovery package. natural disasters across our nation devastated the lives of millions of americans this past year. a few ranked as the worst and
most severe incidents around the world. it is a top responsibility of congress to provide these hard hit communities with the strength, hope, and support to recover. this supplemental will provide necessary aid to these ailing communities. this nation needs a better strategy to mitigate damage in future disasters, especially if year after year we see accelerated numbers and severity of natural disasters due to climate change. this bill also includes funds for future milt gation. -- mitigation. from our accounts we have seen recent hurricanes and storms devastate existing infrastructure included in this supplemental is $470 million to repair damages and army corps of engineer projects across our nation. given the corps' important role to help protect communities nationwide and in the territories against natural disasters, we also included $750 million for the army corps to accelerate construction on
flood, risk mitigation projects. americans should not have to worry whether their community can provide adequate power to their homes and businesses, but across our nation fire and flood where ravaged communities need funds to repair extensive damage and strengthen electric grids. this bill ensures the department of interior and department of energy have the resources needed for this assistance. let me be clear, this administration has considered reprogramming funds appropriated for disaster recovery projects. these funds are intended --appropriated to rebuild and strengthen america's resiliency against future disasters. they are intended to protect american families and communities from natural disasters. i'm actually appalled that this administration would raid money for communities broken from actual disasters -- madam chair might i have an additional 15 seconds? the chair: the gentlelady's ime has expired.
ms. kaptur: would the gentlewoman yield an additional 15 seconds. mrs. lowey: i'm pleased to ield three minutes to the -- ms. kaptur: would the gentlelady yield an additional 5 seconds? the chair: the gentlewoman from ohio is recognized for 15 second of the ms. kaptur: this nation in conclusion must confront head on the reality of strengthening storms. we must help all communities recover from disasters as we never know when it will hit our own backyard. i urge my colleagues to support the disaster package. . i yield back the balance of my time. i thank chairwoman lowey for the time. the chair: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. granger: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from al a al, mr. ater hold --
aderholt. the chair: the gentlewoman from alabama is recognized. mr. aderholt: thank you, madam chair. i thank the ranking member. i originally had intended to offer my support for this disaster supplemental package. especially as it relates to agriculture development. but because of the actions of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, i can can only support the -- can't support the bill in the current form. as the former chair of the exropingses committee foring a aing a i worked with my friend and new chairman, sanford bishop, and other members who represented districts impacted by the historical weather related disasters to provide relief to the farming and rural communities. however by including the already failed c.r. in the rule, puts partisan politics above bipartisanship. i cannot support this poison bill package, especially after all we have heard from our democrat colleagues about letting the legislative process work. members from the southeast to
california to hawaii to all the communities in between represent districts with agriculture and rural constituencies that have suffered devastating losses in their livelihoods. from cotton to vegetables to livestock to losses in my home state of alabama, as well as georgia, florida, north carolina, and including south carolina means lost income now nd lost income for the future. unfortunately constituents are being used politically as human shields. everyone in democrat leadership knows the president p will veto this c.r. and it's unfortunate to house this in the rule our farmers put food on the table, clothes on the back, they put in countless hours of labor and take risks. putting the c.r. in this bill is making it 100% veto bait. madam chair, i encourage my colleagues to do the right thing and take up the c.r. and
let the bill proceed to the senate with a a chance of passage. when superstorm sandy ravaged the northeast in 2012, the house put aside partisan politics -- partisan -- and provided $70 billion. i hope our democrat colleagues would look at that and do the same. yield back the balance of my time back. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to my friend from north carolina, mr. price, the chair designate of the transportation , housing and urban development subcommittee. . the chair: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. price: i rise in support of this bill which will help those recovering from devastating natural disasters. last year hurricane florence made landfall in the carolinas with powerful storage surge,
intense rainfall and massive flooding. it displaced thousands of individuals, many of whom still have not returned to their damaged homes. dozens of communities in eastern north carolina, some also hit by hurricane matthew in 2016, were entirely inundated for the second time in as many years. meanwhile, other states like florida, georgia, south carolina, california have been hit by terrible hurricanes and wildfires. puerto rico and other territories continue to slowly recover from powerful storms and typhoons. this legislation will ensure that the federal government remains an active partner in the recovery efforts. it provides more than $1 billion for flexible funding for the community development block grant disaster recovery program, including resources for mitigation and resiliency projects. the bill would clear out a $1.5 billion backlog of emergency highway and bridge repair projects, and it provides additional supplemental funds for army corps construction
projects along our coasts and rivers, crop and livestock assistance for farmers, repairs at damaged military installations and other critical recovery activities. it reflects bipartisan priorities and ensures that american citizens, regardless of where they live, get the assistance they need to recover. unfortunately, disaster assistance, including funds that have already been appropriated, will not be distributed to communities if this government shutdown continues. i urge my colleagues to support this disaster supplemental which appropriately includes a provision to temporarily reopen government. the trump shutdown has real consequences, madam chairman. the people of north carolina and other states who have suffered from natural disasters can't wait any longer. it's time for congress, democrats and republicans alike, to come together and end this shutdown. thank you. yield back the balance of my
time. the chair: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. granger: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from nebraska, mr. fortenberry. the chair: the gentleman from nebraska is recognized. mr. fortenberry: thank you, madam speaker. first, i want to thank mrs. lowey. this is i think the first time we've had a chance to dialogue publicly for her leadership and congratulate her to -- as the new appropriations chair. congratulations and we look forward to working with you, mrs. lowey. i also want to thank the republican leader, our ranking member of the committee, ms. granger, for her steadfast leadership and help in navigating so many essential issues that are before us today. madam speaker, i want you to know that i support the underlying bill without the complicating amendments and urge its passage. i believe this is a good bipartisan piece of legislation to help those negatively affected by serious devastating
weather events that have occurred throughout the previous year, and we should be working together to provide the needed disaster assistance and unite to rebuild communities damaged by these hurricanes and typhoons and earthquakes as well as volcanos. but let's just be honest. this bill would sail through the congress, it would sail through this body if we could just get past the paralysis of this moment that's dividing democrats from republicans, the speaker from the president, the house from the senate, and on and on. let's put all of those considerations aside for just a moment and provide the needed support to our agriculture communities who are hurting and those who are in need. as the new ranking member of the agriculture appropriations subcommittee, i want to speak briefly to an important number of provisions in the underlying bill. it provides financial support for farmers from the pacific islands to california, to the
southeast states who have lost crops and trees and livestock and so much more. it provides funds for essential conservation efforts in our rural communities to rebuild the watersheds and funds to restore the land in order to prevent future flooding that is so devastating. the bill provides financial support to forest lands, for their restoration, some of which have been wiped out by the strongest storms recorded in several parts of the united states. the bill also provides nutrition assistance to those who are vulnerable among us. all reasons that we need to put momentary difficulties aside and pass the underlying piece of legislation. i would suggest we move this bill as quickly as possible and keep it separate from the amendments that will delay its implementation. madam chair, thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman from ew york is recognized.
mrs. lowey: madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. bishop. the chair: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. bishop: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. madam chair, i rise to speak on the bill before us. hurricane michael, one of the most powerful storms to make lawful in the u.s. -- landfall in the u.s., slammed into the florida panhandle. then, directly into georgia and through much of the southeast. it left a path of destruction all the way up to virginia. my district which spans middle and southwest georgia took a direct hit. across the state of georgia, small towns and rural communities were devastated, as were production agriculture and forestry. agriculture is the largest industry in georgia, driving one in seven jobs. many producers suffered nearly 100% crop loss. hurricane michael destroyed some 97 chicken houses and killed more than two million chickens. georgia ated the
cotton harvest and was on track to be the best in years. this is all too familiar for our region. it's the third straight hurricane damage that caused significant damage to the pecan, landscaping and agritourism industries. less than a month before hurricane michael, hurricane florence crashed into the carolinas, causing $22 billion in business. the agriculture losses there were also overwhelming. several lagoons responsible for containing animal waste were breached and are in drastic need of repair. last year californians witnessed yet another devastating wild season, including the deadliest fires. d in hawaii, volcanos caused damage. american samoa was hit by violent storms. the disaster bill supplemental provides the funds to begin addressing these needs. it increases payments from 85% o 90% of producers with crop
insurance. it also includes $150 million for the rural community facilities program, from debris removal to the repair of local infrastructure such as drinking water, water systems. small communities across the nation and the territories often struggle to rebuild in the aftermath of natural disasters. the legislation includes $400 million for emergency forest restoration program, $125 million nor the national resources conservation service. provides funds nor the supplemental nutrition assistance program in puerto rico and $10.2 million for the commonwealth of the northern mariana islands. from coast to coast and beyond, there's an urgent need for this disaster bill. as i said in october, after touring the damage from hurricane michael, responding to natural disasters and helping our communities recover is a responsibility we all should, regardless of geography, ideology or political affiliation. i urge all of my colleagues to support this bill and to bring
relief to our communities that continue to recover and rebuild. let's open the government and get this job done for the american people. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. granger: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. rutherford. the chair: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. rutherford: i thank the ranking member for yielding. and, madam speaker, i rise again today in opposition to the political ultimatum that's poisoned this bill. i had anticipated that i would support chairwoman lowey's proposal to provide disaster relief to american families struggling to rebuild from recent disasters like hurricane michael that devastated my own state of florida. i do thank her and her staff for the hard work that they have done in putting together this disaster relief bill. however, in the dark of night, the majority leadership slipped
into this bill another continuing resolution that they know will hold this bill back from ever becoming signed into law. some on the other side have asked why adding a c.r. would be a poison pill in this measure, and the answer is really simple. this bill will never be considered by the senate or signed by the president. leadership knows this but they continue to place politics over , tax paying orking american citizens. so what are we here to accomplish? are the majority trying to help american citizens recover or simply content to blame the president while punishing hardworking taxpayers who have been devastated by natural disasters, including those, by the way, in the speaker's home state of california? those folks that are in desperate need of relief as
they recover from devastating wildfires. instead of doing the right thing and passing a clean disaster relief bill, the other side of the aisle continues to play childish games in an effort to resist the president's call for border security. if the goal of this bill is to provide disaster relief, why on earth would the majority attach something that effectively ensures its defeat? madam speaker, this move has effectively again victimized those devastated by hurricanes and fire. it's time to accept the reality of the situation in which we ourselves. s -- compromise is the only path forward. president trump has made it clear that he's ready to negotiate and to compromise, but this bill before us today could have provided much-needed relief to florida families recovering from hurricane michael.
and it's not just those families who will suffer. it's florida farmers who had their crops decimated by the storm, and the americans who rely on them will suffer also. 26 days into this shutdown and leadership is still playing these games. madam speaker, if the majority is serious about providing disaster relief, bring a clean supplemental funding bill to the floor. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. rutherford: and stop playing game that's -- games that's hurting so many americans' lives. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: madam speaker, i appreciate the gentleman from florida's remarks, but i would like to remind the gentleman that we can't deliver this essential disaster aid with the government closed. so i would suggest you urge those who are keeping the government closed that we must deliver this aid, open the
government now and we can have some adult conversation. i yield two minutes to my friend from california, ms. lee, a senior member of the appropriations committee. the chair: the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. lee: thank you, madam chair. first of all, i want to thank our chair for yielding, for your tireless leadership and for reminding us very clearly that we need to open the government up right away. thank you, again. as a representative from northern california, let me just say that i remember vividly the oakland hills fire in 1991, which killed 25 people and destroyed more than 3,000 homes. the 1989 earthquake which killed many people and devastated many parts of my city. now, i represent oakland and berkeley, california, just as we helped them then we will help them now. disasters can impact any district. just this morning a small earthquake hit my district
again. thankfully there are no reported injuries. let me also say i am deeply grateful to our firefighters and first responders who work around the clock to help save lives in disasters which have ravaged our country, especially this past year. madam speaker, i am in strong support of this emergency supplemental which provides $12.1 billion in disaster relief to people who have been impacted by wildfires, hurricanes, typhoons, and other natural disasters. our neighbors in paradise, california, puerto rico, guam, florida, southern california, the virgin islands, the carolinas, the territories, they all need our help and they need it now. northern california's most recent wildfire, known as campfire, is the most destructive in california's history. 85 people lost their lives. 13,000 homes were destroyed. these families have lost everything, and they deserve our support now more than ever. many of these communities in
california ravaged by wildfires are only just beginning to recover, and yet just last week, president trump threatened to withhold disaster assistance to california. does this president have no shame? bullying scared families with no homes and communities to return to. real leaders help families recover -- may i have 30 seconds? thank you. as i was saying, real leaders help families recover and rebuild. they don't use suffering families as political pawns. and so, madam speaker, do i have 30 seconds? madam speaker, that's why we need to pass this bill with the $12 billion provided in this bill, our communities will be able to recover and rebuild and families will finally get some peace of mind knowing that we are with them. so i urge my colleagues to vote yes on the bill and yes to helping our communities get back on their feet. thank you and i yield. the chair: members are reminded
to refrain in engaging in personalities toward the president. ms. granger: madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentlewoman from new york. mrs. lowey: madam speaker, i yield two minutes to my friend from minnesota, ms. mccollum, the chair of the interior subcommittee. . the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. mccollum: thank you, madam chair. rise in support of the funding package and i'm pleased with the interior subcommittee's jurisdiction 245 -- that the bill provides more than $ billion for recovery from devastating natural disasters. this includes $849 million to rebuild drinking water and wastewater systems to a state of resiliency against future storms. $50 million for coastal resiliency projects to reduce ecosystems and community vulnerability. to help with sea level rise. and flooding and erosion caused
by storms. the bill provides funds to repair federal facilities that were destroyed or damaged. funds for historic preservation grants tree pair culturally significant sites, properties. fund to clean up hazardous and solid waste sites. a critical provision in this bill provides $720 million to fully repay the u.s. forest service for funds it was forced to borrow the last fiscal year to cover the cost of wildland fire suppression. an additional $103 million will help the forest service to address damage to national forests and treat hazardous fuel loads. this emergency funding is in a sharp contrast to the president's blocking of disaster response to california to people who are struggling to restore their lives and return to their homes after devastating fires last year. i just heard from a friend he's being evacuated now because of
potential mudslides because of the burnt area in the malibu part of california. americans in all of our states and territories deserve federal support so they can can can recover from natural disasters. and our government agencies have to be open in order to ensure the delivery of these important emergency funds. democrats are proud to bring this bill to the floor to help our communities who have suffered from these natural disasters and want to begin to rebuild and reheal their lives. irge my colleagues to support the bill. i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. granger: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter. the chair: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. carter: i thank the lady for yielding. madam speaker, it's no surprise many of the communities we represent are in need of disaster assistance. this past year many areas of the country experienced devastating disasters that had significant impacts on
communities and our on constituents. i have the honor and privilege of representing coastal georgia, a vibrant area that's suffered from a number these incidents in recent years. i look out for my constituents and their needs like everyone else. that includes advocating for support following these devastating events. in december the house passed a supplemental appropriation package that encompasses disasters such as hurricanes, typhoon, wildfires, and other disasters. that package would have brought about the relief we need. now democrats are holding disaster assistance hostage with this legislation. we can't afford to continue this partisanship when it comes to rebuilding our communities. whether it's wildfire or hurricane, relief is needed urgently. that includes coastal georgia. for instance, our blueberry growers have taken some devastating losses over the last few years. those growers haven't had time to properly recover and now we're dealing with parlor games
that would jeopardize their ability to receive aid. agriculture represents the heart and soul of many of our rural communities, with them not only goes those communities. now is not the time to derail this desperately needed relief. we need a clean disaster package that will allow us to take care of the communities hardest hit. hurricanes don't seek political parties. they certainly don't discriminate on damage they cause. that's why we should move a package that's devoid of any partisan efforts and bring up a clean disaster package. i say to my democrat colleagues, now is the time to stop playing games. let's move a bill that helps rather than hurts the ability of our communities to receive disaster relief. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: -- the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to my friend from
florida, ms. wasserman schultz, the chair designate of the military construction and veterans' affairs subcommittee of appropriations. the chair: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for two minutes. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentlewoman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in support of this essential emergency supplemental appropriations bill. h.r. 268 totals $12.14 billion in emergency disaster appropriations funding to provide relief and recovery assistance for americans affected by recent hurricanes, typhoon, wildfires and other natural disasters. especially in my home state of florida. the mill done va portion of the bill provides $860.4 million for department of defense military construction needs and department of veterans affairs. specifically the bill includes $115 million of ma reap corps for construction contracts related to the devastation left behind hurricanes florence and michael on marine corps facilities at north carolina.
the marine corpser corps was planning consolidation efforts as a results of this damage and this funding represents the first step in a viable rebuilding process for the marine corps. the bill also includes $700 million to begin the rebuilding of continuedle air force base. this will support the relocation of the f-22 mission and bed down of f-35's. along with the planning for construction of new facilities. this funding is a crucial first step to begin the necessary rebuilding. we will rebuild. mr. speaker, i also want to point out this funding for continuedle in north carolina is a -- tindal in north carolina is a down payment. this administration should take the time to address these real emergencies and not the ones they have manufactured. finally, this bill includes a continuing resolution to reopen our government which is now in it's 26th day of being shut down. mr. speaker, as i said yesterday, the trump shut down
is continuing to inflict serious financial pain and anxiety on families, business, and a cross the united states, opening the government is not a poison bill. it is our duty. this legislation will enable the areas affected by the hurricanes to begin to rebuild the communities and military installation that is are vital to our national defense and local economy, as well as provide relief to 800,000 federal workers and families living under a cloud of economic insecurity right now. irge all members of this body to cast a vote and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from florida -- texas. ms. granger: mr. rice. the chair: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for how long? p four minutes. mr. rice: thank you, mr. speaker. i hail from the seventh district of south carolina. and for three days in september the nation was wrapped as
hurricane florence stalled directly on top of my district. i have eight counties in my district. all eight were declared disaster areas. the inland counties were inundated a as north carolina was and all the rain that fell in north carolina and those inland counties come through five river systems out georgetown county, south carolina. so my district was overcome by slow motion rolling disaster. if that wasn't bad enough, that was the third storm in four years. hurricane matthew hit us three years ago. and hurricane matthew awarded us $95 million to rebuild $1,350 houses for indigent families. and the speed the federal government moves as of now, 2 and a half years of a the storm, about 400 of those homes have been rebuilt. so we've got about 1,000 indigent south carolinians either gone or living in substandard housing.
w in this storm 12,163 homes were quote-unquote, moderately damaged. i asked the definition, they said that means there was water in the speaker pro tempore: the house but less than two feet deep. my friends, we also incurred $200 million of agricultural damage. these last two storms our agriculture department didn't even ask for help from the federal government. the farmers are at their wit's ends. a farmer told me three years ago they used their cash. the last storm they used their equity. and now they are at the end of their rope. we will be losing south carolina farmers if we don't help these people. i was prepared to support this and house republicans pass this disa as ter bill as part of the supplemental in december. now the democrats bring it back and it is subject to opening the government up with no wall funding. they know full well that the president wouldn't sign it even if we did pass it. this is a political game and
they are playing to win. but what they are playing with, pieces they are playing with, are hurting people in south carolina. they are damaged people in something ssket they are suffering people who are on their knees. three of the counties that were hit the hardest are some of the poorest counties in south carolina. overwhelmingly african-american. these people had nothing before the storm. and what little they had has been taken awafmente we're using these people as -- away. we're using these people as pawns in the fight of the government shutdown. my friends, enough is enough. it's time to stop paying politics. as my friend across the aisle said earlier, leaders don't hold people hostage. they find solutions. it's time to find a solution. you know full well that by attaching this continuing resolution to this disaster
bill it will not pass this house. it won't get a hearing in the senate. and the president won't sign it. all this is for show. enough show. let's dwhriffer this relief to the -- deliver this relief to the people who need it. the storm that hit my area september 14, four months ago, enough show. stop using these indigent people as pawns. enough. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, before i introduce our next, i would like to say to the distinguished gentleman from south carolina, i agree with the distinguished gentleman from south carolina, let's stop this political game. let's direct our remarks, let's make clear that the president has the responsibility to open this government and to do now. mr. speaker, i'm very pleased
to yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. thompson. the chair: mr. thompson: i thank the chair woman for yielding and all she's doing to end the trump shut down and open up our government. i rise today to engage in a colloquy with the distinguished chairwoman of the homeland ecurity appropriations subcommittee, congresswoman roybal-allard, in regard to a commitment made between the two of us. my district and the state of california were once again ravaged by devastating and historic fires. in my own district, the complex fire burned a combined total of 460,000 acres, making it the largest physical fire in california history. as a result, a major disaster declaration was announced for lake county which sadly has been rocked with fires for the past several years. california also experienced the deadliest and most destructive fire in our state's history with the campfire which
tragically took the lives of more than 60 people. the town of paradise which was home to almost 27,000 people was near completely destroyed, and more than 12,000 structures were burned to the ground. in addition, our state experienced other devastating fires and while they continue, we need the continued support from the federal government because it's essential as residents seek to rebuild and california begins long-term recovery. in response to these devastating disasters i offered a bipartisan amendment with representatives la malla, calvert, and garamendi and huffman and 19 other bipartisan co-sponsors from our state. this amendment provided much needed relief to the state of california and local entities by increasing to 90% the federal cost share for debris removal emergency assistance for the 2018 wildfires. the substance of this amendment has been supported by both the
speaker, the majority leader, and consistent with the relief generously provided in the 113th congress. the distinguished chairwoman and i have discussed this amendment and the importance of congress providing this much needed relief to the state of california and all affected communities impacted by these fires. i thank her for her commitment and -- the chair: the gentleman is recognized for another two minutes -- one minute. >> i thank mike thompson. it is critical that congress ensures that every federal resource is made available to the state, local governments and all affected communities of the historic and unprecedented 2018 wildfires. ms. roybal-allard: ensuring californians get the support and resources they need is not a partisan issue.
it is particularly frustrating that the fema has the sole discretion to adjust these cost shares and often does so after catastrophic disasters or when multiple disasters strike the same state in a short period of time, as we have experienced in california. the state of california has requested the administration to adjust these cost shares. unfortunately to no avail. mr. thompson, i appreciate your diligent work on this issue. i remain committed to working with you, our leadership, and the bipartisan co-sponsors of your amendment to provide in the department of homeland security's full-year fiscal year 2019 funding bill an increased cost share of 90% for these additional categories of federal disaster funding for california communities devastated by the 2018 wildfires. the chair: the gentlelady's ime has expired.
the gentlewoman from new york. mrs. lowey: 30 seconds. the chair: another 30 seconds to the gentlelady from california. from the gentleman from california. ms. roybal-allard: in the meantime, i'll work with you and other members of the california delegation on pursuing this matter with the administration on this reasonable and much-needed adjustment within its existing authority. mr. thompson: thank you, madam chair. thanks to the bipartisan co-authors of this measure. look forwarded to working with you and appreciate your help. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman now yields his time back. the gentlelady from texas. ms. granger: i rise to yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida for the purpose of a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman from florida is recognized for purpose of a colloquy. >> i thank the gentlewoman from texas for yielding and also for the opportunity to bring up an opportunity issue to my district and state. as you all know, hurricane michael had a devastating effect on my district.
one of the most important areas in my district that was destroyed was tyndall air force base. the underlying bill before the house today contains $700 million for planning, design, and construction related to the consequences of hurricane michael at tyndall air force base. this funding would support the relocation of the f-22's, the bed down of the f-35's and planning of facility construction so that the base can continue to recover. this is a down payment for the air force, and it signals congress is committed to rebuilding tyndall air force base because tyndall will need additional funds. ms. wasserman schultz: if the gentleman will yield? >> i am happy to yield to my fellow floridian, representative wasserman schultz. ms. wasserman schultz: i thank the gentleman for yielding. as a fellow floridian, i support the need to rebuild tyndall, as i just mentioned in my opening statement. and support the air force's next generation aircraft. it is important to ensure that our airmen and their families
have state-of-the-art facilities that support the new mission, and i look forward to working with you and chairwoman granger as we begin the process to ensure future funding is available to continue this vital reconstruction of tyndall air force base and i yield back. mr. dunn: i'd like to thank chairwoman wasserman schultz for agreeing to work with me going forward to address appropriate funding levels and types of facilities that will be necessary to bring tyndall back to life. and i yield to the gentlewoman from texas. ms. granger: i thank my colleagues for the colloquy. tyndall air force base is vital to florida and the united states. i look forward to working with the gentleman as well as the gentlewoman and chairman of the military construction subcommittee to rebuild this base. the chair: does the gentleman from florida yield his time back? the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from
mississippi, the chairman of the homeland security subcommittee, mr. thompson. the chair: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for two minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady from new york for giving me the time. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of h.r. 268, a bill to help our country recover from another year of devastating natural disasters. in 2018, americans across the country faced extreme hardship due to hurricanes, wildfires, and other catastrophic events. from hurricane michael and florence in the southeast to historic wildfires in the west and volcanic activity in hawaii, no part of our nation was spared. last week, the president responded to these events by callously proclaiming on twitter that he plans to stop aid to wildfire survivors in california. this behavior is not in the spirit of our great nation.
the funding provided in this bill will show the american people that we stand with them, even if the president does not. importantly, in response to hurricane maria, it provides $600 million to puerto rico for debris removal and restoration of its elect trick grid. -- electric grid. additionally, it provides much-needed funding for head start, farmers who suffered crop losses, and americans with housing needs. i have firsthand knowledge of the challenges after a devastating hurricane. it took years and sustained commitment from the federal government to help my community recover from hurricane katrina. h.r. 268 will help put our fellow americans in puerto rico on a critical path to recovery. additionally, i support the mcgovern amendment to prevent the president from raiding the army corps of engineer's funds to build his border wall.
thank you, mr. speaker, and with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields his time back. the gentlelady from texas is recognized. ms. granger: i yield five minutes to the gentlelady from puerto rico, miss gonzalez-colon. the chair: the gentlewoman from puerto rico is recognized. miss gonzalez-colon: i rise in support of the supplemental nutrition assistance program that is included in the bill under consideration. the sole source of nutrition assistance and food security for over 1.3 million american citizens on the island. after hurricane maria, congress -- the 115th congress approved $1.2 billion increase in puerto rico n.a.p. program in addition to the grant around $1.8 billion. and that means we got a lot of people that have a lot of
necessities and the disaster relief act would allow us to have increase in benefits to the current beneficiaries as well as an increased enrollment to bring assistance close to 153,000 new participants in the program. however, this additional assistance is currently set to expended in march of this year. and the program funding will be then lowered again to the base amount associated with the block grants. that is why in may of last year i submitted an amendment to h.r. 2, known as the farm bill, to increase the amount of funding allowed to puerto rico's snap. again in december, we got a letter asking for those $600 million in addition to that funding. during the first day of congress, we did the same thing to both committees. so i want to thank the chairwoman of the committee for including that money in this
bill. we got a meeting in december with the dworchor of puerto rico -- governor of puerto rico and the chairwoman asking for this $600 million to the puerto rico n.a.p. program. we really need this money to be included and be available until fiscal year 2020. but this bill also contains an important provision for puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands as well. extending the 100% federal cost share for assistance under the stafford act for disasters in the territories to rebuild to the current standards. that was included in the last provision last -- in the last congress, so having this extension is important in order to maximize the resources. this is critical. the losts caused by these disasters left our community with no position to cover -- to have the matching funds requirement.
the -- so this bill will especially be important for my constituents. a little bit disappointed that the continuing resolution was attached to the bill. i do support the reopening of the government. however, this should not be -- the disaster supplemental was intended to help people recover and rebuild for natural disasters. i really appreciate the good faith effort of all involved here to help those struck by natural disasters, not just in puerto rico, the virgin islands and florida, but the fires in california as well. especially in puerto rico, however, it's my hope this will be a clean bill between the house and senate and can be signed by the president. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from
the u.s. virgin islands, ms. plaskett. the chair: the gentlelady from united states virgin islands is recognized for two minutes. ms. plaskett: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlewoman from new york for her and her staff as well as the members of the committee putting together this supplemental disaster appropriation, h.r. 268, which seems to address many of the issues that the territories and other areas that have been affected by disaster are continuing to face. additionally, sending a strong message to the administration about the slow walking and the additional restrictions that they have put in funding that congress had already passed both here in the house as well as on the senate side and the president himself stand. so this disaster supplemental bill contains much-needed support for ongoing disaster recovery efforts in my district, the u.s. virgin islands, as well as puerto rico and other disaster-affected states and territories.
for the virgin islands, this bill, as well as for puerto rico, addresses federal cost share for all fema public assistance grants, including for debris removal and emergency measures to protect public health and safety. if you can believe we're still dealing with debris removal. and for permanent infrastructure restoration for the duration of the work recovery from hurricanes irma and maria. additionally, of the funds provided for e.p.a. programs, while i am very pleased to see $74.6 million is set aside to the virgin islands to improve drinking water and waste water systems resiliency. this is a very positive relief package for americans in our island territories still reeling from unprecedented disaster. still reeling from a place where our hospitals are not back in operation and where our children just went back to a full day of school this october after over a year. i'm pleased that the house will
be sending a firm message to the administration that its recent decisions not to continue the waiver of cost share of public assistance to the virgin islands would severely hinder the territory's ongoing recovery. i would also like to take this opportunity to express my strong opposition to diverting disaster funds to build a border wall which would create a true national emergency. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady from texas is recognized. ms. granger: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from texas reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. mrs. lowey: i reserve. the chair: and the gentlelady from new york reserves. mrs. lowey: i reserve and i am prepared to close. the chair: the gentlelady from texas is recognized. ms. granger: sorry, mr. chairman. i urge my colleagues to vote no on this measure, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back.
the gentlelady from new york. ms. granger: mr. speaker, to allow federal agencies to begin the vital work that we have funding in this bill, we must reopen the federal government. i'm pleased that the bill before us includes a continuing resolution to immediately reopen the federal government and pay federal employees who are going through such a difficult time, taking care of their families, putting food on the table, just going through the normal, normal time that families have to endure when they don't have any money to spend. this would pay federal employees through february 8. this continuing resolution ensures the federal government is working for the american
people, provides certainty for federal employees, gives president trump and the congress time to negotiate on border security and immigration policy. mr. speaker, this legislation is a critical first step to meeting our fellow citizens' urgent needs as they recover from recent disasters. so i urge my colleagues, join me in support of this bill, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: does the gentlelady yield her time back? mrs. lowey: i yield. the chair: the gentlelady has yielded her time. all time for general debate has expired, pursuant to the rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the tects of rules committee print -- text of rules committee int 116-2 modified in part a
of 116-2 is considered as adopted, will be considered under the five-minute rule and shall be considered as read. no further amendment to the bill, as amended, is in order except those printed in part b of house report 116-2. each such further amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question. . the chair: it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in part b of house report 116-2. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. bishop: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will
designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number one printed in house report 116-2 offered by mr. bishop of georgia. the chair: the gentleman from georgia and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. bishop: i rise to speak on behalf of this amendment, which is co-sponsored by my very good friend, the gentleman from georgia, congressman austin scott and 12 other distinguished members on both sides of the aisle. as i said during general debate, hurricane michael devastated my district and left a path of destruction all the way up to virginia, across the state of georgia, many producers suffered nearly 100% crop loss. damages were experienced by the pecan, peanut, cotton, vegetables and timber industries and this is the third straight year these folks were hit. a few weeks before that, hurricane florence hit the
carolinas causing $22 billion in damage. last year, californians witnessed another devastating wildfire season while hawaii suffered from volcano damage. the northern marianas were hit y typhoons and american sa morrow by a cyclone. this provides funds to address our needs for our agricultural and rural communities. it increases payments to 90% for producers who have crop 0% urance and from 65% to 7 for farmers without crop insurance. the $1.4 billion in the bill was based on usda's assessment of needs nationwide. the state department of agriculture, those states that were devastated by these disasters submitted to the committee assessments which came
over to $7 billion. to ensure that more of these needs can be fully met, mr. scott and i put our heads together and we looked at the numbers and concluded that the original estimate by the department of agriculture of $1.1 billion in damages could very well and was most likely going to be too low. we are increasing it by $1.9 billion for a total of $3 billion. i urge a yes vote on the bishop -scott amendment. we want to do what is necessary to allow americans who were devastated by these natural disasters to have sufficient recovery. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. scott: i claim time in opposition, although it is a
technical opposition and not opposed to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. scott: throughout middle and late october and first of november, congressman bishop and i, chriscrossed paths many times and ended up in the same room trying to help our farmers. the sforms straddled our districts. i have never seen the evastation to our crops as i saw over the couple of weeks and the devastation is still there. i can't thank congressman bishop for his work on this amendment and thank his staff and the staff of both the democrat and republicans on the appropriation committee. mr. aderholt from alabama, has been a tremendous amount of help as ms. granger and chairman
lowey. mr. mcgovern has been a lot of people. a lot of people have reached out and willing to help out to thousands in the southeast. our losses were estimated at over $5.4 billion for alabama, florida, georgia and the carolinas. the underlying text of the bill is good. i think it's very good and sets a framework that will be used as we go forward in the years to handle disaster relief for agriculture. the primary problem is that the request of $1.1 billion included in the base text does not fund the formula for the losses. with congressman bishop's help, increase that amount to a total of $3 billion which along with mr. bishop more accurately reflects the need to fund the formula. with that, i hope my colleagues will support the amendment.
i want to thank congressman bishop and many others who have worked with us on this and i would like to yield as much time as he would like to consume to r. rouzer of north carolina. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rouzer: i want to thank my good colleague and friend, austin scott, for his leadership on this as well as the chairman, chairman bishop from georgia, who, by the way, i have heard lots about for many years from many mutual friends that you and i both have and look forward working with you on this and any other matters that come before us. there is absolutely no question, agriculture all across the southeast has been significantly damaged, devastated in many, many parts. in north carolina we are still reeling from hurricane matthew
and hurricane florence came and hit not only the same areas as hurricane matthew hit but hit a much broader area of north carolina. in fact, why don't we just say it really devastated and inflicted a lot of harm all across eastern north carolina. this on top of a five-year decline in farm income, not only in north carolina, but all across the country. so you have had a significant shortfall in income for all these farm families all over the country, north carolina included. and hurricane matthew in 2016, floods all those out that were in its path. i mean a real flood. flooding that you have not seen in many, many years. and then hurricane florence comes in 2018. not only the same areas that hurricane matthew hits in 2016, but hits a much broader
geographical region in north carolina and elsewhere. so over the last five years, you not only had a huge decrease in farm income, you have had all kinds of natural disasters not just in north carolina but elsewhere. familieslt, these farm have lost their equity and have no equity left. without the recovery disaster package that congress has previously passed and what we hope to pass eventually here that's contained in this body of work today, will be a start to rebuild and enable these folks the cash flow and enable them to get the financing they need to put in the grouped a new crop for the year 2019. so i commend both of my colleagues for their help and support on this and i encourage the rest of the body to join with us and adopt this amendment. i yield back.
mr. scott: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from georgia. mr. bishop: i thank the chair for yielding. and to close, i want to reiterate how important it is for us to pass sufficient resources in order to allow these exupets that have been devastated all across the united states as well as the territories so that they can recover from these natural disasters. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from georgia. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the ping of the chair, the ayes -- in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it and the mendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number two printed in part b of house report 116-2. for what purpose does the
gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number two printed in house report 116-2 offered by mr. mcgovern of massachusetts. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield myself two minutes. i don't care to say this often, but i agree with senator tezz cruz. yesterday with members of the congressional delegation, he wrote to president trump. he said we are opposed to using funds appropriated to congress for any unintended purpose, unquote. i agree. disaster funding should go where congress intended, to
communities dealing with things like hurricanes, mudslides, wildfires and floods. and that is what my amendment is all about. it states that none of the funds for the department of homeland security may be used to plan, develop or construct the president's border wall. it's that simple. if someone like me a progressive member of the house can see eye-to-eye with senator cruz, one of the biggest cheerleaders for the president's border wall, then this amendment should pass with broad partisan support. it's about whether we support a president moving disaster funding away from where congress said it should go, away from communities that are rebuilding. these people aren't interested in rebuilding a wall but rebuilding their homes. mr. speaker, if we don't stake a strong stand against subverting the will of congress this time, it opens the door for the next
president to use disaster funding as a piggy bank for their priority whatever it may be. i think the border wall would be ineffective and waste of taxpayer dollars but you can disagree with me and support my amendment because we should agree that no president should be redirecting funding away from where congress said it should go. it provides $is 12 billion for communities trying to rebuild. let's make sure every penny goes to disaster relief. i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. does any member claim time in opposition? ms. granger: i rise to claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. granger: mr. -- madam chair, the funds in this bill, especially those for the army
corps of engineer and the coast guard are repairing storm damage in our communities. the agencies have identified specific projects and calculated estimates to bring our infrastructure and agency assets back to full operation. not a single paragraph in the bill before us includes funds for a wall on the u.s.-mexico border, yet this amendment restriggets funds for this purpose. my colleagues, this amendment walks away from all the good work that chairman lowey tried to do for the corps and coast guard and blocks the border investments required in a final compromise. unfortunately, this amendment would be viewed by many of my colleagues as a poison pill and ignores investments that are necessary to fund the way forward that will provide disaster funds, address the border crisis and reopen the government. i urge a no vote on this amendment. and i reserve the balance of my
time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. mr. mcgovern: can i unanimous consent to insert in the record a letter to the president from the texas delegation objecting to using disaster money for the border wall. these individuals support the wall, but they don't support the president's promise that he might use executive powers to go into disaster money to pay for the border wall. the chair: the gentleman's request will be reserved for general leave. mr. mcgovern: i yield one minute to the the gentlewoman from from texas, ms. escobar. . ms. escobar: i rise in support of amendment number 2 which would prevent funds in the underlying bill made available for the army corps of engineers or the department of homeland security from being used for the planning, development, or
construction of any new physical barrier along the southwest border. sadly, this amendment is necessary because this administration wants to divert critical disaster relief funds meant for other projects -- excuse me -- to go toward border wall construction. the reality is that our country needs help recovering from some of the greatest natural disasters that we've seen in our lifetime. let's ensure that our nation has the necessary tools to recover, rebuild, and mitigate future natural disasters. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and to hold this administration accountable and ensure that they do not deceive the american people by pulling a bait and switch. thank you. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: can i ask the gentlelady from texas how many more speakers she has? the chair: the gentlelady from
texas. ms. granger: i have no further speakers. mr. mcgovern: madam speaker, how much time do i have remaining? the chair: you have 1 1/2 minutes. mr. mcgovern: so, madam speaker, i want to thank representatives velazquez, hastings, tore res., jackson e, -- torres, jackson lee, pocan. this is not whether you believe a border wall is necessary or not. i don't believe it is. the other side believes it is. when the president said he would dip into emergency funds, disaster funds that are dedicated to helping people deal with real disasters to pay for this wall. that set off alarm bells here. no matter what side you are on this border wall issue, you should support this amendment because this president, no president should dip into disaster relief money to use it for something different than what congress intended. the people who this money is aimed at helping are not
interested in building a wall. they're interested in rebuilding their homes. let us not put these money in jeopardy. let's have a bipartisan moment where we can all agree that the disaster ought to be disaster money, period. and with that, madam speaker, i urge a strong vote in favor of this amendment and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from texas. ms. granger: madam chair, i urge a no vote on this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. ms. granger: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts will be postponed.
it's now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in part b of house report 116-2. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. rice: madam speaker, i rise today in support of my amendment. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in part b of house report 116-2 offered by mr. rice of south carolina. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 43, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. rice, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina. mr. rice: madam speaker, i rise today in support of my amendment, a commonsense fix that gives h.u.d. the flexibility to waive redundant and unnecessary environmental requirements that slow down the disaster recovery process. anyone from a district that's endured one of meese devastating hurricanes,
wildfires, or floods -- these devastating hurricanes, wildfires, or floods can contest that congress should do everything in our power to quickly give these communities relief. madam speaker, two years ago -- three years ago, south carolina was struck by hurricane matthew. as a result of that storm, south carolina was awarded $95 million, which was to be used o repair the households of 1,300 indigent families. the three counties that were most affected were three of the very poorest counties in south carolina, marion, dillon, marlboro, and two years and six months later, about $25 million of that $95 million has been spent. about 400 of those houses have been repaired, which leaves about 1,000 south carolina
families, indigent families, who had nothing to begin with, either out of their homes or living in substandard, mold-infested housing that is -- that could burn down from electrical problems or the flooring has buckled and so forth. we have to do better. why does it take so long, why does it take 2 1/2 years to get these people back in their homes? what i want to do, what my amendment does is remove some of the burdensome federal requirements that stand in the way of delivering the relief that the federal government has offered up money to pay for. now we come to hurricane florence. hurricane florence parked on top of my district in the southern part of north carolina for three days in september and dumped over 40 inches of rain in places. and then when the storm finally did leave, for the next two weeks, the rivers rose and people were driven from their
homes. 16,000 houses in my district were damaged, 12,000 of those houses had what they called moderate damage, which in their definition means the water had inside of the house but it was less than two feet deep. since the first major hurricane hit my district, i've been in constant contact with all federal and state agencies involved in the recovery, rebuilding process. i frequently visit homes that are under construction and check with my constituents to ensure the process is going smoothly. with respect to matthew from 2 1/2 years ago, almost 1,000 of my constituents are still not in their homes. my top question is, why is this taking so long, and what can we do to fix it? part of their answer is reforming the long, expensive, and redundant environmental review process. currently before a home is being rebuilt with h.u.d. funds, the south carolina disaster recovery office must
conduct two environmental assessments. after completing a countywide assessment, every single home that is eligible to be repaired with h.u.d. funds must undergo a second assessment no matter the size or type of repair that they are using the h.u.d. dollars to complete. for example, if someone is using fema funds to repair a hole in the roof, the contractor can repair the hole without the homeowner having to complete an environmental study. however, if a home is being repaired using h.u.d. funding, a costly and time-consuming environmental assessment must be completed before even the most minor of repairs can be made to the home. this onerous regulatory requirement is just one more roadblock that my constituents face in the recovery process, and i tell you again, the counties that were affected by this storm, most severely, are the poorest counties in south
carolina. majority african-american, these people had nothing to begin with. whatever they had has been taken away from them. they need relief and they don't need federal regulatory roadblocks. bringing the regulations that apply to h.u.d. in line with other federal agencies will create a more streamline process and ensure the federal dollars are put to use in a more prompt fashion. we need to cut down the time and the cost that are preventing people in my district from getting back in their homes, back to normal, and on with their lives and this practical amendment will do just exactly that. and, mr. speaker, mrs. speaker -- madam speaker -- i'm sorry -- i have to reiterate that the republicans passed this package in december and here we come, the democratic majority has put it back up but has subjected it to reopening the government and .as made that a poison pill
it certainly will not pass the senate. the president will not sign it even if we pass it in this house. so i urge -- i urge -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. rice: i urge the democratic majority to stop playing politics with disaster recovery funds. i yield back. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? mr. price: madam chair, i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. price: madam chair, the national environment policy act was first enacted in 1970, and since then, it has ensured that new projects comply with environmental standards that protect both human health and the environment. it's unwise and unnecessary to waive these requirements as we undertake disaster recovery. this amendment's particularly troubling when we consider the
loss of wetlands has actually contributed, contributed heavily to an increase in coastal flooding from hurricanes. a 2017 study led by the university of california-santa cruz, showed a strong correlation between wetland cover and reduced property damage. the study estimated that wetlands in new york and new jersey prevented half a billion dollars in flood-related damage. so our public policy should aim to reduce the impacts of future disasters, which is why this bill contains more than $800 million in mitigation funding to allow the secretary to waive environmental requirements would undermine the principle that disaster recovery efforts should ensure communities are in a better position to withstand future natural disasters. also, many disaster recovery projects involve multiple federal funding sources.
this provision actually could slow down recovery efforts. since h.u.d.'s environmental standards would no longer match those of other federal agencies . if we're going to get serious about mitigating the effects of climate change and the impacts of natural disasters, we need a robust environmental framework. and for 49 years, nepa has provided that guidance. this bill is not the place to discard decades of environmental protections. vote no on the amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from south carolina, mr. rice. hose in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. he amendment is not agreed to.
it is now in order to consider amendment number 4 printed in part b of house report 116-2. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york seek recognize nigs? ms. velazquez: i rise in support of my amendment. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 4 printed in part b of house report 116-2 offered by ms. velazquez of new york. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 43, the gentlewoman from new york, ms. velazquez, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in support of my amendment, which i believe will make meaningful strides to help alleviate problems of poverty and hunger in puerto rico. unlike the states, puerto rico has been forced to work with the limited block grant since 1982. this has led to a systemic
underfunding of the nutritional needs of these american citizens for nearly four decades. sadly, with a severely restricted budget resulting in reduced benefits and eligibility on the island, we are leaving thousands of families hungry every day. already tragic, these problems were made worse when hurricanes irma and maria made landfall. puerto rico was devastated, leaving a large share of the population out of work and unable to meet their basic needs. in the years since the immediate aftermath, the island is still suffering. poverty levels have risen dramatically, and the economy continues to struggle. 60% of the children in puerto rico live in poverty. this has meant an increased in the share of individuals who would otherwise be eligible for n.a.p. except for the fact that
the program is capped. n.a.p. is simply incapable of meeting the needs of puerto ricans, particularly keeping the particular circumstances resulting in the disaster. the underlying bill we are debating today will provide puerto rico with an additional $600 million for disaster food assistance. i want to thank the chairwoman for including this critically needed funding. this funding and previously appropriated disaster resources addressed two critical needs in puerto rico. first, it is providing n.a.p. recipients with a bit more support to feed their families. second, it aids an additional 200,000 people who lost their jobs and homes. however, i believe maria and irma taught us some painful lessons with regard to nutritional support in puerto rico. we should be evaluating the benefits that adequate nutritional assistance has on
the puerto ricans' health and the economy. my amendment will provide up to $5 million to support the commonwealth in conducting such a study. this will be an independent analysis that includes a survey of n.a.p. participants on the island and fully investigate the impact disaster nutrition assistance has on the food security, health status, and well-being of the people of puerto rico. e usda cuggetted similar studies in 53 jurisdictions during and after the great recession. it is my hope this analysis will provide congress with additional insight and tools to further reduce poverty, hunger and hardship on the island. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady
reserves. does any member claim time in opposition? the gentlelady from new york. ms. velazquez: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from new york. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 5 printed in art b of house report 116-2. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york seek recognition? ms. velazquez: i rise to offer my amendment number 5. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5 offered by ms. velazquez of new york. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york, and a member opposed
each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: i rise to discuss an environmental and humanitarian crisis affecting the people of san juan. , there has been repository for mercury and p.c.b. it was a channel. today, it is so clogged that it is impossible to walk across in some parts. due to the clogging, pentagon 25,000 u.s. citizens who live near the channel face significant public health and safety challenges. combined stormwater and the regional sewer system contributes to high concentration of coloroforms in the channel. flooding could put ressdenths
indirect contact with polluted water, exposure to these polluted waters cause elevated risk of festering of diseases and chronic diseases and asthma. dly, we often see sthess ailments in children five years or younger. those who live near the canal live in constant fear that the next rainfall could become a major flood and could harm schools and businesses. fter the 2017 hurricane, which exacerbated the crisis, the communities that live near the 3.7 miles of this channel need our help more than ever. because of the hurricanes more than 1,200 families partially or totally lost their roofs of their homes and 70% of the community flooded with wastewater in the immediate
aftermath. these are the working people of san juan with one of the highest labor participation rates in the island. all they want is to be able to raise their families in safe and healthy communities. to bring justice to this afflicted communities, we must dredge this canal and work towards its long-term remediation. puerto rico has spent millions of dollars attending to this program but without additional funds, this project will stall. the u.s. army corps of engineers is ready to initiate construction as soon as federal funding is made available. my amendment will jumpstart the important flood mitigation project for puerto rico ensuring the resiliencey of critical infrastructure and doing justice to the working families living
in this vulnerable area. mr. speaker, this is not only an environmental project but a pressing issue of social and environmental justice. the people who live on this troubled canal have suffered long enough. how this underscore problem could worsen with extreme weather. we have an obligation to act before the next hurricane or flood. i have been there and seen with my own eyes the devastation and hardship caused by this ecological disaster. i have seen the children wading in contaminated waters after every heavy rainstorm. join me in helping puerto rico by voting in support of this amendment. i resevere the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. is there a member claiming opposition?
for what purpose does the gentleman from idaho -- mr. simpson: i claim time in opposition. i would like to assure my colleague that i'm not opposed to the project she is trying to fund. i'm aware of the project and importance to puerto rico. in fact as the previous chairman of the energy and water subcommittee i worked with people well above the annual budget request. but i am opposed is spending this in a disaster supplemental. a disaster supplemental is not a chance to clear the army corps of engineers' construction backlog. that is what the annual appropriations process. a disaster supplemental is intended to protect storm-ravaged areas against future storms and reduce future liabilities. that's why the underlying bill
is consistent and limits funding to projects that provide real benefits for that type namely flood and storm damage reduction projects. additionally, i would be remiss if i did not point out that the particular project of interest would not even be eligible for funding under this amendment. the underlying bill restriggets construction funding to areas impacted by various storms, none of which impacted puerto rico. we should not raise hopes knowing the project isn't even eligible. while i'm happy to work with my colleague and try to support the project through the regular appropriation process, which i'm sure the new chairwoman kaptur s willing to do also, i must oppose this for echo system restoration projects. i oppose the amendment and urge my colleagues to vote no.
and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from new york. ms. velazquez: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from ohio. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. senator capito: i thank congresswoman vessel as -- s. kaptur: i thank congresswoman velazquez and i thank the distinguished ranking member in helping to solve the channel of carlo pena. and i have to say to our citizens that reside in puerto rico and stateside, we are very aware from congresswoman velazquez's work how devastated puerto rico is and she is trying to educate the members here and we are fortunate for her abiding leadership. i appreciate her work and all of our colleagues' efforts.
i'm committed to working with her to address any issues with this amendment as we move forward. its intent is absolutely on point and working together on a bipartisan basis, we can find a fellow elp heal our citizens in puerto rico and bring a better way of life there in the future. i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from idaho. mr. simpson: i would just say again, doesn't matter whether you vote for this amendment or not because it doesn't do anything because the project is not eligible. what we are doing by adopting this amendment is raising false hopes knowing that the project isn't even eligible. i would encourage the gentlewoman to withdraw the amendment and work with us to see if we can fund it through the regular appropriation
process and i encourage a no vote on the amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman a yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from new york. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 6 prisonned in part b of house report 116-2. for what purpose does the gentleman from utah seek recognition? mr. stewart: i rise to offer my amendment on the floor. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in part b of house report 116-2 offered by mr. stewart of utah. the chair: the gentleman from utah, mr. stewart, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from utah.
mr. stewart: i would like to thank mr. mcgovern for making this vital amendment in order. the base text of the supplemental appropriations act of 2019 provided critical relief for natural disasters that have recently plagued our nation. the supplemental is necessary and needed but we do have a problem and it's a problem we have to physical. the interior west and my home state of utah have been ignored. my amendment seeks to rectify this and increase funding to address the impacts of ongoing drought and something we are aware that catastrophic wildfires that we have been experiencing. it provides increased funding for hazardous fuel management. increase the resiliencey of our forests and reduce the amount of damage caused by these fires. like many western states and my home state, we suffered a devastating fire season that
burned countless acres and threatened life and property and we are left with the scars of these burns and that can be damaging with mudslides and threats to water supply. my amendment would help mitigate the losses from past fires and lessen the devastating aftermath. the simple fact is, we can do better. we can actively manage our forests by combatting undergrowth disease, insect infestation. my home state of utah has 436 million dead trees that are just waiting to burn. if this is not a threat, i don't know what is. to i would like now to yield the madam chairwoman of the interior subcommittee. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized.
ms. mccollum: i thank the gentleman for the time. as i pointed out earlier, this supplemental includes $824 million to help those in california and those impacted by hurricanes to recover. while the funding indeludes $27 million for hazardous fuel, i support the gentleman's proposal to increase this amount because we know we have a lot of work to do in fuel reduction. but i would like to point out to the gentleman, i support the continuing resolution, a portion of this legislation because we need to reopen the forest service so we can use these funds. i thank the gentleman for the time and i yield my time back to the gentleman. mr. stewart: i yield. the chair: the gentleman yields. does any member claim time in opposition? hearing none, the question