Fulfilling the President's Commitment to Hurricane Victims
- President Bush has signed legislation enacting hurricane relief assistance, carrying out his commitment to provide emergency assistance to areas affected by the recent hurricanes.
- The hurricane relief package, which was included in the Military Construction Appropriations and Emergency Hurricane Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2005, provides $11.6 billion in emergency relief to assist families, individuals, and communities in the wake of Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.
- Combined with the hurricane relief signed by President Bush on September 8, 2004, a total of $13.6 billion in emergency funding has been provided to assist those recovering from the recent natural disasters.
Included in the hurricane relief package signed yesterday are:
- $6.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide disaster relief for states affected by the hurricanes, as well as other ongoing and future disasters.
- This funding will support response and recovery efforts, including assistance to families and individuals; emergency protective measures and debris removal in the affected areas; and the rebuilding of State and local public infrastructure.
- This assistance is in addition to the $2 billion previously provided for FEMA to respond to the immediate needs associated with Hurricanes Charley and Frances.
- $1.2 billion for the Federal Highway Administration to cover emergency repairs for eligible highways and roads damaged by the hurricanes.
- $1.1 billion for the Department of Defense for costs associated with evacuation, base preparation, base recovery, and repair of hurricane damage to structures and equipment at various military facilities.
- $929 million for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover the large number of disaster loans expected to be made to individuals and businesses due to the recent hurricanes.
- This amount will allow SBA to make up to $4.5 billion in disaster loans.
- $721.6 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including:
- $113.1 million for the Forest Service for erosion control and restoration of fisheries and endangered species habitat, and for clean-up and repair needs for roads, trails, and facilities in national forests damaged by the hurricanes and Tropical Storm Gaston;
- $350 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency for emergency measures to retard runoff and prevent soil erosion in damaged watersheds, as well as to clean up and repair farmland and rangelands damaged by the hurricanes;
- $172.5 million for agricultural assistance to provide needed financial assistance to agricultural producers suffering crop losses from the hurricanes;
- $68 million to help rural communities improve their water and wastewater treatment facilities and other community facilities; and
- $18 million to repair homes and to repair and construct farm worker housing. This assistance is in addition to Department of Agriculture efforts to assist nurseries and citrus and vegetable growers for lost crops and trees, using more than $500 million in existing funding. The Department is also helping to pay the costs for clearing debris.
- $372.4 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to restore navigation channels, repair and rehabilitate coastal areas, and address other projects in areas affected by the hurricanes.
- $307 million for NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Bureau of Prisons to repair hurricane damage to Federal Government and public property, including veterans hospitals and outpatient clinics, national cemeteries, public-use airport facilities, Federal prisons, and other government buildings and facilities.
- $150 million for Community Development Grants to states for disaster relief, long-term recovery, and mitigation in communities affected by disasters since August 2003.
- $100 million for international disaster and famine assistance for Grenada, Jamaica, Haiti, and other countries in response to recent hurricanes and tropical storms.
- $92.4 million for the Department of the Interior to support clean-up and facility repair at national wildlife refuges, national park units, and at United States Geological Survey sites in affected areas.
- $70 million to support the American Red Cross in its mission to shelter, feed, and otherwise support victims of the recent natural disasters in Florida and other affected areas. This assistance is provided to the American Red Cross, which normally relies on private donors, because the exceptional back-to-back major hurricanes have put an unprecedented strain on the non-governmental organization's finances.
- $50 million for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to provide nutritional, medical, and social services to affected elderly individuals, to provide social services support to communities most affected by the hurricanes, to make available counseling services, to support an increase in demand for unreimbursed health care, and to restore community health centers in the impacted areas.
- $33.4 million for hurricane-related damage sustained by the Coast Guard to repair damage to Coast Guard facilities, to replace lost or damaged buoys and channel markers, and for other emergency expenses such as personnel evacuation.
- $20.7 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to repair facilities, address impacts to endangered species and their habitat, and provide necessary upgrades to hurricane forecasting assets.