Cornyn Statement on Passage of Disaster Relief, Budget Agreement

In: All News   Posted 02/09/2018

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released this statement after Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act, including nearly $90 billion in funding available for relief efforts following natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey:

“While long-overdue, this bill is a big step forward for Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey up and down our coast. We know the recovery process is far from over, but these resources will go a long way for Texas families, small businesses and communities who are still rebuilding.

“I will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Governor Abbott and our congressional delegation to ensure Texans impacted by this once-in-a-lifetime storm aren’t left behind.”

What the Bipartisan Budget Act Means for Texas

Makes Almost $90 Billion in Disaster Relief Available for Those Recovering from Hurricanes:

  • Ensures Texas will have increased access to Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds
  • Ensures that $15 billion of U.S. Army Corps funding will go directly towards construction in high priority areas impacted by flooding
  • Provides flexibility to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow them to carry out necessary projects in Texas
  • Includes funding to help Texas address lingering transportation issues resulting from Hurricane Harvey
  • Allows the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to distribute formula money using 2000 Census data for areas that temporarily fell below a population of 50,000 as a result of a major disaster (this will apply to Galveston)
  • Authorizes $10 million for the Ready Reserve Fleet port facility in Beaumont, which was damaged by Hurricane Harvey

Protects Texas Agriculture:

  • Includes $2.36 billion of direct ad hoc assistance to producers
  • Makes seed cotton an eligible commodity for the Farm Bill safety net

Extends Children’s Health Insurance Program Long-Term:

  • Extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) an additional four years beyond the six-year reauthorization passed into law earlier this year

Authorizes Additional Funding for Community Health Centers:

  • Reauthorizes the Community Health Center Program for two years and appropriates $60 million for Community Health Centers to support construction, equipment purchase, operational support, and other projects

Invests in Texas Service Members and Veterans:

  • Unwinds sequestration cuts hampering our defense efforts
  • Reduces backlog at the Veterans Administration

Fights Opioid Abuse:

  • Appropriates $6 billion over two years to combat opioid addiction and substance abuse through prevention programs, funding grants, and law enforcement efforts

Repeals Obamacare’s Bureaucrat-Led Rationing Panel:

  • Includes language from Sen. Cornyn to repeal the Independent Patient Advisory Board (IPAB) and restore health care decision-making back to patients and their doctors