The death toll for Hurricane Florence has climbed to 37. Many are still in harm’s way. At least 16 major rivers are at flood stage. More than 343,000 North Carolinians are still without power.

Already, Congress has begun to take action to provide relief for the families and communities affected.

  • The defense and health funding bill makes an additional $8.8 billion available for Hurricane Florence relief. This is the first step in addressing Florence and any other storms that may be on their way.
  • Also of note, as of September 20, the federal government’s Disaster Relief Fund totals $24.8 billion. The National Flood Insurance Program’s capacity to pay claims is $15.8 billion. 

Earlier this week, the Senate passed the funding bill containing this relief with 93 votes, and the House is set to act on the measure in the coming days. The Appropriations Committee will continue to work closely with the administration to determine any need for additional relief funding.

Here are three more things you need to know about this legislation:

  • It boosts base funding for the military by $17 billion, bolstering our national defense. This includes a 2.6 percent pay raise for our troops—the largest in nine years—and an increase in total troop end strength.
  • If enacted, the Defense Department will receive its full year of funding on time for the first time in 10 years. This gives the Pentagon much-needed stability and predictability after years of cuts and continuing resolutions.
  • It provides a historic level of funding$3.8 billionto fight the opioid epidemic, which claims the lives of more than 100 people in our country every day. These resources will go directly to help treat substance abuse and expand access to mental health services.

Additional Resources:
Statement on the Senate’s 93-7 Vote for the Defense Funding Bill
An End to a Decade of Continuing Resolutions for the Military
Coming Soon: Rebuilding Our Military and Fighting the Opioid Epidemic