WASHINGTON, DC – To expedite the federal response to future disasters, Congressman Neal Dunn (FL-02) introduced H.R. 4376, the Streamlining the Official Response and Monetary Aid for Disasters Act (STORM Aid for Disasters Act). The STORM Aid for Disasters Act requires federal agencies to submit two reports to Congress and the Office of Management of Budget following the President’s declaration of a major disaster. The first report is due no later than 30 days after the declaration and provides the description of damage, initial cost estimates, and the effects on the agency if additional resources are not received. The second report would be no later than 60 days after the declaration with any updates to the initial report.
The legislation also expedites consideration of supplemental disaster funding, allowing a member of Congress to bring a supplemental appropriations bill to an immediate vote on the House floor if no action is taken within 90 days of a disaster declaration.
“It’s clear the system to provide emergency funding to disaster victims is broken. It took Congress nine months to pass supplemental disaster funding for Hurricane Michael. Nine months where our military had to pause construction projects because they ran out of money, nine months where our farmers and timber producers watched their years of hard work quite literally rot on the ground before them, and nine months where communities struggled to get by. All this, because political theatre in Washington took precedence,” said Dr. Dunn. “I refuse to allow disaster victims to be used as pawns in partisan fights. By streamlining the federal disaster response, we can take politics out of the equation. We have a chance to help the people across our country who are hurting and make the system work for future disaster victims.”
The House and Senate passed supplemental disaster funding in June, nearly nine months after Hurricane Michael devastated the Panhandle. Dr. Dunn was instrumental in securing funding to rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base, working with both the Air Force and leaders in Congress to ensure adequate funding was included. The disaster supplemental funding included $670 million for Air Force Operations and Maintenance and $1 billion for Military Construction to rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base. The supplemental disaster funding also included $3 billion for agriculture losses across the country, including aid for timber producers and farmers in North Florida.