Market Weekly: Oct 9 Oct 13 2017


The House is poised Thursday — over the fierce objections of conservatives — to pass a $36.5 billion emergency package to help states and U.S. territories ravaged by a series of hurricanes and wildfires that have killed dozens and destroyed thousands of homes.

Conservative lawmakers are upset that the money is not offset by spending cuts elsewhere, but the political will to help those affected by in California, Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas and elsewhere is overwhelming.

The White House last week had requested $29 billion and called this week for an additional $5 billion to help Puerto Rico’s government. And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats had pushed for an extra $1 billion for emergency relief in the wake of the California fires.

The legislation, which is expected to draw strong support from Democrats and Republicans, closely mirrors the funding requests submitted by the administration, including $18.7 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund, $576.5 million for the Forest Service to battle wildfires and $16 billion for debt relief for the National Flood Insurance Program.

The legislation also includes a provision for the Disaster Nutrition Assistance Program to enable low-income residents in Puerto Rico to receive the same emergency nutrition assistance that other hurricane-affected states already receive.