Graves Leads House In Passing Bills To Help Missouri Recover From Disasters

Washington, DC – Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06) today led the House floor debate and passage of two pieces of legislation that will ensure effective and efficient recovery from flooding and other natural disasters through improved accountability in federal disaster spending. With North Missourians still recovering from historic flooding, these important bills could not come at a better time.

The House approved the DISASTER Act and the Post-Disaster Assistance Online Accountability Act.

“It’s critical that disaster relief money is spent wisely so the folks who need it most are the ones who are actually receiving it,” said Graves.  “It’s unthinkable that our federal government doesn’t truly know how we spend the taxpayers’ money to recover from disasters, but that’s the case today. These two bills passed by the House will greatly improve accountability in how federal agencies invest these critical resources.  Improved transparency and data collection will result in wiser investments for North Missourians trying to recover and rebuild their homes, businesses, and lives after floods and other disasters.”

The DISASTER Act (H.R. 1984) requires the Office of Management and Budget to submit to Congress an annual report on how much federal agencies across government spend in disaster-related assistance for the preceding year. Currently there are estimates of such spending, but actual numbers on disaster spending across government are not collected.

The Post-Disaster Assistance Online Accountability Act (H.R. 1307) creates a new system for tracking federal disaster projects and assistance and requires various federal agencies that offer disaster assistance to publicly report disaster spending data through that online system. Federal disaster funding is often spread across multiple agencies that have different reporting requirements. Establishing a single online repository for information about disaster assistance will provide greater uniformity and more accurate data collection.

Both bills passed the House unanimously and now go to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

You can view Rep. Graves’ floor remarks regarding the DISASTER Act here.

You can view Rep. Graves’ floor remarks regarding The Post-Disaster Assistance Online Accountability Act here.