ICYMI: Sen. Cruz Hosts Facebook Live Info Session on Harvey Recovery and Relief Resources
Joins FEMA and Small Business Administration officials to answer questions from constituents
October 11, 2017
HOUSTON, Texas. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined Col. Albie Lewis from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Michael Flores from the U.S. Small Business Administration in South Central Texas today to answer questions from constituents about Hurricane Harvey recovery resources, disaster tax relief, and emergency relief funding during an informational session broadcast on Facebook Live.
During the info session, Sen. Cruz discussed two pieces of legislation that will provide emergency funds and tax relief to Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey, as well as those in other states impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“A couple of weeks ago, Congress passed the first emergency disaster relief bill directed at Texas. And it came out of the House of Representatives at $7.5 billion. I joined with my colleague John Cornyn in the Senate to double that to $15.25 billion and the President signed that into law. So that money became immediately available for the citizens of Texas, Texans all along the Gulf Coast, along with others in hurricane-affected regions. Nobody thinks $15.25 billion is going to be enough to rebuild from this storm, but that was intended to be an initial down payment, emergency infusion of cash to get help on the ground.”
Sen. Cruz continued, highlighting the various provisions included in the Cruz-Cornyn-Rubio bill, including waived penalties, lifted caps, and expanded access to savings accounts.
“First, by lifting the limitations on deductions, Texans with wind and flood damaged homes can see immediate tax relief. Second, Texans affected by this storm can withdrawal from retirement funds, your IRA or your 401(k) without facing the ordinary 10 percent penalty. Third, this bill includes tax credits for those employers who kept paying their employees even while their business was shut down during the storm. These are critical provisions for Texans working to rebuild.”
On September 7, Congress passed the H.R. 601, Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2017 sending an initial payment of $15.25 billion to supplement Harvey relief efforts along the Texas Gulf Coast. These funds immediately targeted areas hit by the storm, and focused on initial clean-up and rebuilding.
On September 28, Congress passed the H.R. 3823, The Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017. This bill, introduce by Sens. Cruz, John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) provides additional tax deductions and waives penalties for withdrawals from tax-advantaged accounts for those in storm affected areas, allowing storm survivors to keep more of their money as they work to rebuild. The bill also includes tax credits for small businesses that kept paying their employees, even if those employees were unable to come to work or the business was shut down, during the storms. Additionally, by lifting the usual limits on charitable giving, this bill allows more people nationwide to help Texans impacted by Harvey.
To view the full discussion, click here.
Below is a complete list of the disaster resources discussed:
Critical Upcoming Deadlines:
- FEMA Individual Assistance deadline – October 24, 2017
- FEMA Public Assistance deadline - October 31, 2017
To get a status update on your case:
- Call 1-800-621-FEMA
- Visit DisasterAssistance.gov
- Go to a Disaster Recovery Center
To acquire a small business loan:
- Go to a Disaster Recovery Center
- Go to a Business Recovery Center
- Call 1-800-659- 2955
- Visit SBA.gov and find the disaster assistance link.
For more information on federal resources available for individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey, visit:
For more information on how to access Social Security resources during severe weather, visit:
For more information on state resources for individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey, visit:
For other helpful resources, visit: