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Sen. Cochran urges others to vote for funding to aid wildfire and hurricane relief

Courtesy of Department of Defense, National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today encouraged his colleagues to approve supplemental appropriations for hurricane and wildfire relief.

This is a press release

The legislation provides $36.5 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and programs to fight wildfires across the United States.  The Senate is scheduled to take a procedural vote Monday afternoon to move the bill toward final passage this week.

“Senators will soon be asked to support emergency supplemental appropriations to help American communities respond to devastating hurricanes and wildfires.  I encourage Senators to approve this bill,” Cochran said.

“The number and strength of storms this year have depleted funding needed for disaster recovery.  Additional supplemental funding will help ensure first responders and federal agencies have the necessary resources to do their important work,” he continued.

The legislation provides $18.7 billion for the DRF, which is the main program providing individual and public assistance to victims of major storms.  The bill also provides $16 billion for debt forgiveness for the NFIP, without which the program would be unable to pay new claims from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate.

An additional $576.5 million is available to combat wildfires, which caused fatalities and significant property damage in the western United States.

The supplemental appropriations legislation was approved in the House of Representatives by a 353-69 vote on Oct. 12.

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