Dec 18 2005


WASHINGTON, DC -- U. S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL), a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced Conference Committee approval of important funding for hurricane recovery included in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2006. The bill will soon be voted on in the House. The Senate will consider the bill following House approval, after which it will be sent to the President’s desk for his signature.

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that the bill includes important hurricane recovery funding. The 2005 hurricane season was one of the most destructive on record. It is critical we aid the people, businesses and communities of Alabama and the Gulf Coast who were affected by these natural disasters.”

Community Development Block Grant - $11.5 billion

Senator Shelby said, “This funding will be provided to the Coastal states for relief efforts and mitigation activities, including housing assistance, infrastructure development, and assistance to public services.”

Department of Justice - $229 million

Senator Shelby said, “This funding provides $125 million to support state and local law enforcement activities in hurricane damaged areas, including the hiring of additional officers in areas that have experienced a sudden population increase due to hurricane evacuees, as well as replacing equipment that was damaged, lost, or destroyed by the hurricane. In addition the legislation includes funding to repair, rebuild, and replace facilities, infrastructure, and equipment damaged or destroyed by the hurricanes for the United States Attorneys, United States Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Prison System.” United States Department of Agriculture - $1.1 billion Senator Shelby said, “The Emergency Forestry Conservation Reserve Program will receive $404.1 million to help provide assistance for forest landowners in hurricane-affected counties. In addition there is $200 million provided for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to rehabilitate farmland damage caused by natural disasters and $300 million is provided through the Emergency Watershed Program (EWP) to remove debris, repair structures, and reshape and protect eroded land.” Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program - $466 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased this funding was included to provide loans to businesses and homeowners who have sustained physical damage and economic injury as a result of the 2005 hurricane season. This program will also aid in the costs associated with administering these loans.”

NASA - $349.8 million

Senator Shelby said, “This funding will provide necessary repairs and hardening for NASA facilities that sustained hurricane damage. These facilities are critical to the mission of NASA and are integral to the Shuttle program and for future manned space activities.”

National Institute of Standards and Technology - $4.5 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that language was included to waive the matching requirements of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program for Centers serving areas affected by the 2005 hurricanes. These funds will cover costs associated with the match waiver for any funds received in fiscal year 2006.”

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