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Monday, February 11, 2013

FY2013 Supplemental Funding for Disaster Relief: Summary and Considerations for Congress

William L. Painter, Coordinator
Analyst in Emergency Management and Homeland Security Policy

Jared T. Brown, Coordinator
Analyst in Emergency Management and Homeland Security Policy

In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy impacted a wide swath of the East Coast of the United States, resulting in more than 120 deaths and the major disaster declarations for 12 states plus the District of Columbia. The Administration submitted a request to Congress on December 7, 2012, for $60.4 billion in supplemental funding and legislative provisions to address both the immediate losses and damages from Hurricane Sandy, as well as to mitigate the damage from future disasters in the impacted region.

On January 15, 2012, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 152, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013. This bill included $50.7 billion in disaster assistance. This was the third piece of disaster legislation considered by the House in the 113
th Congress. H.R. 41, which passed the House and Senate on January 4, 2013, and was signed into law two days later as P.L. 113-1, provided $9.7 billion in additional borrowing authority for the National Flood Insurance Program. On January 14, the House passed H.R. 219, legislation making changes to disaster assistance programs. The rule for consideration of H.R. 152 combined the text of H.R. 219, “The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act,” with H.R. 152 upon its engrossment, to send them to the Senate as a single package.

In the 112
th Congress, the Senate had passed a separate package of disaster assistance totaling $60.4 billion, as well as several legislative provisions reforming federal disaster programs. Appropriations legislation generally originates in the House of Representatives. However, the Senate chose to act on the Administration’s request first by amending an existing piece of Housepassed appropriations legislation—H.R. 1. This passed the Senate December 28, 2012, by a vote of 62-32. Section 609 of the bill included many legislative provisions similar to those that would appear in H.R. 219. The House did not act on the legislation before the end of the 112th Congress.

This report analyzes the Administration’s request, the House-passed legislation, and the Senate position as reflected in Senate-amended H.R. 1 from the 112
th Congress. (The newly constituted Senate has not taken up legislation establishing its position on the supplemental request as of the date of publication.) It includes information on legislative provisions as well as funding levels. The report includes a list of CRS experts available to provide more in-depth analysis of the implications of this evolving legislation.

Date of Report: January 23, 2013
Number of Pages: 60
Order Number: R42869
Price: $29.95

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