Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart Supports Irma Disaster Relief, Troops, Government Funding

Feb 9, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement after Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act.

“This bipartisan legislation continues government operations and funds programs that are critical to Americans across the nation. It also invests in our military during a time where we must provide our troops with the proper resources to defend our country, help our allies, and stand up to our adversaries.

“I represent parts of Florida that are still rebuilding from Hurricane Irma, and the $89.3 billion supplemental will go a long way in helping these communities recover from storm damage. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to ensure my subcommittee provided adequate funding for disaster relief programs, particularly for the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief program that repairs our infrastructure and Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Relief program that assists homeowners and local businesses. Florida’s crops, including its iconic citrus groves, were severely impacted, and I am grateful for the funds that will help our farmers get back on their feet.

“I congratulate Speaker Ryan and Chairman Frelinghuysen for their tireless leadership, and I look forward to continue working with our colleagues on other vital issues, including the remainder of FY18 funding and finding a permanent, legislative solution for DREAMers who were brought to the United States as young children at no fault of their own.”

This two-year budget agreement:

  • Extends funding for Community Health Centers, including 7 federally-funded CHCs in Florida’s 25th District
  • Provides $2 billion in funding over two years for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including research funding for cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, and other diseases and chronic illness
  • Provides for America’s veterans by helping reduce the maintenance backlog at the Veterans Administration
  • Provides $6 billion over two years to bolster the ongoing fight against opioid addiction and substance abuse
  • $20 billion investment in America’s infrastructure, including rural water and wastewater facilities, innovative capital projects, and surface transportation
  • Includes structural reforms to Medicare

The legislation includes $89.3 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to respond to the 2017 hurricane season and the recent wildfires. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Diaz-Balart helped secure the following funding:

  • $29.828 billion for programs under the jurisdiction of Chairman Diaz-Balart’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee
    • $114.6 million for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support operations and to maintain facilities and equipment
    • $1.374 billion for the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Emergency Relief Program
    • $330 million for the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Emergency Relief Program
    • $28 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant and Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program, as well as tenant-based rental assistance
  • $2.36 billion for crop disasters as a result of hurricanes and wildfires
  • $2.7 billion for Hurricane Education Recovery to restart operations at elementary and secondary schools affected by the hurricanes and wildfires, including private schools outside of affected areas that are serving elementary and secondary school students displaced by the hurricanes and wildfires
  • $200 million for fishery disasters causing severe economic harm in coastal communities following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria as well as disasters declared in 2017
  • $4.9 billion for Medicaid cap increases for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands for two years
  • $23.5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief Fund
  • $17.39 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including funding to repair damages caused by natural disasters and for constructing flood and storm damage reduction projects
  • $13 million for the Department of Energy to respond to the consequences of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, including technical assistance related to electric grids
  • $1.65 billion for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loans Program account, allowing the SBA to make up to $12.2 billion in disaster loans
  • $10.3 million to repair TSA facilities, security equipment, and access to control equipment at airports
  • $835 million to provide for the costs of Coast Guard personnel responding to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria as well as to repair and strengthen facilities and assets damaged by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Matthew
  • A provision allowing the President to increase the federal cost share for certain disaster assistance from 75 to 85 percent if recipients have taken steps to make themselves more resilient against disasters
  • $210.6 million for Fish and Wildlife Service Construction to rebuild and repair facilities and other critical agency infrastructure
  • $50 million for National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund to restore historic structures damaged by hurricanes
  • $207.6 million for National Park Service Construction to rebuild and repair facilities and other critical agency infrastructure
  • $200 million for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for health recovery response, including: surveillance and abatement of vector-borne, food-borne, water-borne, and other infectious diseases that arise as the result of hurricanes
  • $50 million for National Institutes of Health to provide funding to rebuild research efforts and physical infrastructure
  • $650 million for Head Start for construction and related costs for Head Start centers damaged by the hurricanes or wildfires, and related services for children and families