Robert Menendez

05/23/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/23/2019 17:36

Menendez Celebrates Passage of Bipartisan Disaster Relief Bill

Menendez Celebrates Passage of Bipartisan Disaster Relief Bill

Menendez Celebrates Passage of Bipartisan Disaster Relief Bill

Thursday, May 23, 2019


WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today voted in support of the bipartisan Disaster Supplemental (H.R. 2157, as amended by a Shelby-Leahy substitute) that included $19.1 billion to help all Americans recovering from an array of natural disasters between 2017 and 2019. The legislation includes key priorities that Sen. Menendez has fought for, including adequate funding for Puerto Rico's Nutrition Assistance Program, disaster relief funds for the recovery of the Island, and an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program through September 30, 2019. There are no immigration provisions in this Disaster Supplemental.

'The disaster relief bill passed in the Senate includes critical funding for Americans affected by natural disasters, including our fellow citizens recovering from the destruction left behind by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico,' said Senator Bob Menendez. 'I'm glad we were able to work on a commonsense compromise, free of poison pills and controversial immigration provisions. From adequate funding for Puerto Rico to an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program this bipartisan compromise puts the American people first.'

The bipartisan, bicameral bill includes several Puerto Rico priorities for which Sen. Menendez fought, such as:

  • $605 million for the Nutrition Assistance Program;
  • $304 million from Community Development Block Grants to help it meet FEMA match requirements;
  • A provision requiring the Administration to make available $8.9 billion in previously withheld aid to Puerto Rico in 90 days (and billions for other disaster-impacted states); and
  • A provision ensuring more damaged facilities in Puerto Rico will be repaired or replaced, and built to industry standards and more resilient than before.

New Jersey is home to the third-largest Puerto Rican population on the United States mainland.

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