House

Lawmakers form caucus focused on disaster preparedness, recovery

Rep. Troy Carter (D-La.)
Greg Nash
Rep. Troy Carter (D-La.) leaves the House Chamber following the last votes of the week on Thursday, July 21, 2022.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is forming a congressional caucus focused on disaster preparedness and recovery. 

The Bipartisan Congressional Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Caucus will focus on advancing legislation and policies that provide relief to disaster survivors and will promote measures that help communities impacted by disasters make a full recovery

The co-chairs of the caucus are Reps. Troy Carter (D-La.), Carlos Gimenez (R- Fla.), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.). 

The lawmakers also introduced two bipartisan disaster recovery bills, the Delivering Equity and Justice for Disaster Survivors Act of 2022 and the Office of Disaster Recovery Act.

“Disasters don’t recognize borders or political party, and neither should our nation’s disaster preparedness or recovery system,” Carter said in a statement. 

“As extreme weather events increase in frequency and intensity due to climate change, we need to work together to strengthen our systems and save lives,” he added.

Climate change has become an increasing focus of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, though Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) walked away earlier this month from climate talks as part of a Democratic reconciliation bill.

Climate change is fueling more erratic and extreme weather, from deadly heat to storms, floods, droughts and wildfires.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report in February with dire warnings about how climate change will drive health problems, including from heat exposure, disease and mental health issues.

The formation of the new caucus also comes as parts of the U.S. cope with record heat waves. The Biden administration announced on Tuesday the launch of a new website called Heat.gov, which will provide information on heat advisories throughout the country in the form of interactive maps and forecasts.

In her own statement Wednesday, Mace said the newly created caucus “will serve as an important bipartisan platform to ensure our nation is prepared for and able to recover from natural disasters whenever and wherever they strike.”

Organizations such as the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Main Street America and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) shared their support of the bipartisan caucus. 

NWF’s senior director of water resources and coastal policy, Jessie Ritter, said “Climate-fueled disasters touch the lives of more people with each passing year, and show no near-term signs of abating.”

She added that the caucus “will provide a critical forum for discussion and pursuit of solutions that help our nation prepare for and respond to disasters in a way that is smarter, and more equitable and sustainable.”

Tags Carlos Giménez disaster preparedness Joe Manchin Joe Neguse Local Initiatives Support Corporation Main Street America Nancy Mace National Wildlife Federation natural disasters Natural disasters the Bipartisan Congressional Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Caucus Troy Carter troy carter

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