House passes $5.7 billion emergency spending bill

The House passed a $5.7 billion emergency spending bill (H.R. 4899) 239-175 to help states recover from heavy snow and flooding this winter, expand a summer jobs program and extend a lending program for small businesses. 

The $5.7 billion emergency spending bill for disaster relief, summer jobs and small business loans includes several rescissions expected to cover about $700 million of the bill's cost. 

The measure rescinds about $112 million from the Commerce Department's program that provided funds for households to buy analog-to-digital signal convertor boxes; $44 million for the Transportation Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program; nearly $362 million in stimulus funds for the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program; and $103 million from the Agriculture Department's rural development programs. 

The proposed bill includes $600 million for summer jobs programs to help those ages 16 to 24, supporting about 300,000 jobs, according to the House Appropriations Committee. 

The package also includes $60 million to extend a small business loan program for an additional month, eliminating fees on loans through the Small Business Administration. 

The measure includes a $5.1 billion relief fund for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has about $2 billion in projects on hold because of lack of funds. The money goes toward fixing infrastructure damaged by winter storms and devotes funds for storm preparation.