H.R. 592: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013

H.R. 592

Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013

Date
February 13, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, February 13, 2013, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 592, the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act, under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on Friday, February 8, 2013, by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and referred to the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure.

Bill Summary

H.R. 592 clarifies that houses of worship are eligible for certain disaster relief and emergency assistance on terms equal to other eligible private nonprofit facilities.

Background

Unlike previous disasters, Congress did not clarify that religious nonprofits, including houses of worship, are eligible to receive disaster funding when providing aid for victims and communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  As a result, the Administration is interpreting current law to preclude houses of worship from being eligible for funding on the same terms as similarly impacted nonprofits. H.R. 592 clarifies that houses of worship are eligible. 

H.R. 592 is supported by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, among others.

For more information, see Wall Street Journal on January 24, 2013, located here.

Cost

CBO has not yet scored this bill.