Congress is Bringing Relief to Victims of Hurricane Harvey

On August 25, Hurricane Harvey slammed into southeast Texas, flooding some 28,000 square miles in the Houston area, and displacing more than 30,000 people. So far, more than 60 Americans have lost their lives and damage estimates are listing Hurricane Harvey as one of the most costly natural disasters in U.S. history.


While the devastation is extensive, Hurricane Harvey reminded us of something indisputable:  the American people are resilient and brave.Throughout this storm, heroes from all across the country have worked tirelessly to help fellow Americans affected by Harvey’s landfall. Those stories of neighbors helping neighbors have reminded us that above all else, we are Americans first.


As the American people’s representative body, we aren’t standing idly by. With Congress back in session, one of our first priorities is a disaster aid package that will help restore the lives and communities affected by Harvey.


On Wednesday, September 6, 2017, the House passed H. Res. 502, Making Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief, which fully funds the Administration’s request to provide resources for response and initial recovery efforts .


Here’s what H. Res. 502 Does:

Res. 502 provides $7.85 billion in relief to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. Specifically, it provides $7.4 to the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) and an additional $450 million to support the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan program.


Disaster Relief Fund (DRF):

The DRF is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The DRF provides assistance to states and localities for emergency protection, debris removal, repair and restoration of public infrastructure, and financial assistance to eligible disaster survivors.


Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program:

The SBA Disaster Loan Program provides low-interest loans to help businesses, nonprofits, homeowners, and renters repair or replace property damaged in any federally declared disaster, such as Hurricane Harvey.


$7.85 Billion In Relief

On September 1, 2017, the Trump administration sent a request to Congress for $7.85 billion additional funding for Hurricane Harvey victims. This amount includes funds to ensure FEMA is prepared for any additional disaster while continuing its ongoing response and recovery efforts.


Res. 502 fully fulfills the administration’s request.


Chairman Frelinghuysen diligently and urgently explained that, “This bill will help states with disaster response and immediate recovery needs in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. These funds will be used to continue life-saving response and recovery missions, help start housing repair, and provide speedy and low-interest loans to businesses and homeowners to start the rebuilding process – and ultimately, give hope to all those affected and help them get back on their feet. These funds are needed, and they are needed now.”


To see what else the House has passed this year visit