Congress Moves on Disaster Bills
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Congress has passed two major bills to assist victims of the 2008 disasters. The disaster-related provisions were embedded in H.R. 2638 - Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 and H.R. 1424 - Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
The continuing resolution bill includes specific appropriations for federal agencies to spend on disaster relief and recovery. Included in the package is $7.9 billion for FEMA, $6.5 billion for HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program distributed through the states, $400 M for the Economic Development Administration, and $799 for the Small Business Administration.
The Economic Stabilization Act also included important tax provisions for individuals and businesses affected by disasters, such as extending certain GO Zone tax savings to victims of Midwest disasters and Hurricane Ike, and allowing higher tax deductions for disaster related expenses and losses.
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