Bill part of disaster relief measures included in bipartisan budget deal
■ Chronicle News Service
Last week, Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) announced that his bipartisan Wildfire Prevention Act passed the House and the Senate as part of the budget deal and will be signed into law. H.R.1183, the Wildfire Prevention Act, was included as part of a package of disaster relief provisions that will provide $89.3 billion to help communities in California, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and across the nation recover in the wake of the devastating wildfire and hurricane season. The bill was included in the Bipartisan Budget Act, which provides the framework for long-term funding for the federal government.
“Today [Feb. 9], my bipartisan Wildfire Prevention Act passed the House and Senate, a critical victory for our district and the entire state,” said Ruiz. “This bill will give local communities devastated by wildfires the resources needed to recover, rebuild, prevent future fires, and keep people safe. This bill now heads to the president’s desk for signature to become law. I am deeply honored to deliver this important win for our local communities, California, and people still recovering from severe wildfires.”
The bipartisan budget deal lifts the sequester caps for two years, setting bipartisan spending caps that ensure our troops have the resources they need to keep us safe, while also increasing spending here at home for our infrastructure, health programs, veterans, and students. It includes a continuing resolution to keep our government funded through March 23, extends the debt limit through March 23, and provides $89.3 billion in emergency disaster relief for damage and recovery associated with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as California wildfires.
The deal also includes a number of critical health program extensions such as funding for community health centers, teaching health centers, home visiting programs, and it further extends funding for the children’s health insurance program (CHIP). Finally, the bill also includes Ruiz’s bipartisan bill to repeal the misguided Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which would have given an unelected board the authority to make cuts to Medicare, jeopardizing seniors’ access to the health care they need where they need it and when they need it.
To learn more about the Wildfire Prevention Act, visit https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1183.