With very little debate, Congress approved an emergency appropriation bill to meet immediate needs arising from the consequences of Hurricane Katrina. The bill was introduced in the House on Sept. 7, and referred to the Budget and Appropriations Committees. The following afternoon, Rep. Jerry Lewis (R.-Calif.) moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill. The bill passed by a vote of 410-11 and was sent to the Senate, where it was approved 97-0 the same day.

Under the terms of the bill, $51.8 billion in emergency funds will be made available to pay for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. Of that amount, $1.4 billion will go to the Department of Defense — Military to support the costs of evacuation, emergency repairs, deployment of personnel, and other immediate relief efforts. The Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, will receive $400 million for emergency repairs, as well as flood control and hurricane shore protection projects, in the affected Gulf States. The largest portion of the funds, $50 billion, is earmarked for the Department of Homeland Security for disaster relief for areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

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