Rooney Nabs a Win for Florida Through Disaster Recovery Funding
Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, senior member of the House Appropriations Committee Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL) successfully secured over $7.4 billion for federal disaster funding in the fiscal year 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Act.
“Floridians know firsthand what it’s like to face natural disasters head-on. We also know how important it is to think ahead and prepare for hurricanes, fires and all other disasters well before they happen,” Rooney said. “The programs funded in this bill are key to helping Floridians prepare for and recover from the impacts of these natural disasters.”
The fiscal year 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Act includes $7.2 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund, which provides resources for response and recovery efforts in areas impacted by natural disasters. Rooney has prioritized disaster recovery since taking office in 2009 and has spearheaded previous disaster relief packages for Florida, which is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters such as fires, floods and hurricanes.
The bill also includes Rooney’s request of nearly $250 million for the National Predisaster Mitigation Fund which helps state and local governments reduce their risk of damage from natural disasters. FEMA’s Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program (RiskMAP), which helps improve the accuracy of flood mapping for the National Flood Insurance Program, also saw increased funding in the bill.
“Florida homeowners have been unfairly punished by flood insurance premium hikes, all as a result of FEMA using inaccurate or outdated flood maps,” Rooney said. “Ensuring these maps are up-to-date will hopefully alleviate frustrations for taxpayers in coastal communities like mine.”
Rooney-requested language encouraging FEMA to make Public Assistance and Individual Assistance grants equally available for local and unincorporated communities to repair seawalls was also included in this year’s bill. This assistance will give residents the funding necessary to rebuild damaged seawalls following storms.
This legislation also targets border and immigration enforcement, enhances domestic protection against cyberterrorism and supports efforts to stop the smuggling of people and drugs into the United States.
Other highlights include:
- $7.4 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement –$328 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level
- $5 billion for border security assets and infrastructure for over 200 miles of new physical barrier construction along the southern border and $126 million for border technology
- $1.9 billion for domestic and international investigations programs, including efforts to combat human trafficking, child exploitation, cybercrime, visa screening and drug smuggling
- $108 million for opioid detection at international mail and express consignment facilities
- $78 million to hire over 400 additional law enforcement officers and support staff at ICE