Congress Introduces Bipartisan Bills to Release Disaster Mitigation Funds

A bipartisan group of senators including Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Cornyn (R-TX), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced on May 7 the “Bipartisan Disaster Recovery Funding Act” (S. 1415). Nineteen representatives introduced a bipartisan bill (H.R. 2761) in the House on May 15. The bills require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to release within 60 days the guidelines for nearly $16 billion in disaster mitigation funding.

The funding was appropriated through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program in February 2018. Although HUD allocated the funds to nine states and two U.S. territories in April 2018, the agency has still not issued regulations for grantees’ action plans, prohibiting disaster-impacted areas from accessing the resources. The notice is currently listed as “pending” on the OMB website. During a hearing in April, HUD Secretary Ben Carson promised the funds would be released on May 1.

Read more about the Senate bill at:

Read more about the House bill at: