H.R.1214 - Protecting Disaster Relief Funds Act of 2019

Photo of Congress member Representative Nydia Velazquez

To prohibit certain funds from being transferred or reprogrammed to plan, develop, or construct a new physical barrier along the Southwest border, and for other purposes.

You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe that previously appropriated disaster relief funds should not be used to finance President Trump's border wall. These funds were appropriated with the intent of being used by disaster reliefs funds such as the Puerto Rico disaster of Puerto Rico, diverting them toward a southern border wall is mismanaging the funds.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that President Trump should have the option to transfer funds not used by disaster relief funds and use it towards the completion of the southern border wall. The President should have the option to use disaster funds as needed.
Introduced House Senate President Law

The Protecting Disaster Relief Funds Act of 2019 would prevent previously appropriated disaster relief funds from being used to finance President Trump’s border wall.

Specifically, the bill protects several provisions passed by the previous congress sessions, such as public law 115-123, which appropriated more than $2.3 billion towards the Department of Agriculture to be used for disaster relief funds.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Nydia Velazques (D-NY), is meant to protect funds that are to be used towards Puerto Rican disasters such as Hurricane Maria.

“Like many of my colleagues in Congress, I was alarmed when it was reported that the Administration is mulling taking resources meant to help Puerto Ricans who are still suffering from Hurricane Maria and diverting those funds to pay for Donald Trump’s stupid, hateful border wall,” Rep. Velázquez noted. “The idea that we would siphon assistance from one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent history and spend that money on a project aimed at demonizing immigrants is appalling. My colleagues and I will fight such a preposterous move with every ounce of energy we have.”

In January it was reported that Trump was eyeing disaster recovery funds meant for Puerto Rico and Texas to pay for Trump’s border wall. Velázquez’s legislation, the “Protecting Disaster Relief Funds Act of 2019,” specifically “fences off” four previously enacted laws that appropriated disaster response and recovery funding from being used for other purposes.

The four laws to be "fenced off" are public laws 115-56, 115-123, 115-72, 115-254, which encompass more than $28 Billion in funding for disaster reliefs.

A similar mechanism was already included in the House’s most recent emergency supplemental appropriations bill, which passed the House in mid-January but has not yet been taken up by the U.S. Senate.

“Not only will those of us in Congress who care deeply about Puerto Rico oppose efforts to take disaster aid and spend it on a wall, but I expect my colleagues from across the country will oppose taking from other disaster relief funds, as well,” Rep. Velázquez added.


Sponsored by: Rep. Velazquez, Nydia M. [D-NY-7].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 14 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.

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