Today, Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04) voted with the House to pass H.R. 592, the Federal Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act. This bill would amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to allow houses of worship access to disaster relief and emergency assistance. The bill passed 354-72.
"Houses of worship are integral parts of our communities that provide outreach to local citizens and are among the first to offer care to others in the wake of disasters," said Hall. "When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast last fall, houses of worship opened doors to those in need and provided food, water, clothing, and other essential care. Many of these churches and synagogues were damaged and even destroyed, but continued to offer assistance despite also being in need of relief."
Hall continued, "Today's bill allows houses of worship access to disaster relief funds currently blocked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). All non-profit organizations should be given fair and equal opportunity to these funds, regardless of their religious affiliation.
"I am grateful for the generosity of our churches, and I offer my support to the houses of worship affected by Hurricane Sandy as they rebuild."