Press Releases

House Passes Bill to Ensure American Communities Are Better Prepared for Disasters

Washington, D.C., December 21, 2017 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 | comments
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Washington, DC – The House of Representatives today approved – as part of an emergency disaster aid package – the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, a bill to help communities better prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against disasters of all kinds.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee first unanimously approved the bipartisan Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) in November, and worked with House leaders and other committees to incorporate it into the package approved today. 

The DRRA provides broad reforms of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  In particular, the legislation increases the federal emphasis on predisaster planning and mitigation, which will reduce the potential for future loss of life and help reduce the rising costs of disasters throughout America.  More detailed information about the DRRA is available here.

“This bipartisan bill will ensure our communities are more resilient and create incentives to build better and build smarter.  Ultimately, this bill will save lives and taxpayer dollars,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA)

“Studies have repeatedly shown that for every $1 invested on the front end, we can save between $4 and $8 on the back end in avoided disaster recovery costs,” said Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman Lou Barletta (R-PA), sponsor of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (H.R. 4460) as first introduced in the House.  “The Disaster Recovery Reform Act allows U.S. taxpayers to realize those savings by revolutionizing how we approach disaster spending.  We will now place a premium on saving lives and taxpayer dollars by investing in resilient infrastructure on the front end to protect our neighborhoods, schools, religious institutions, and businesses.”

The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration and passage.

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