Lawmakers head to Philippines to survey typhoon damage

Three House members are headed to the Philippines to survey the damage from Super Typhoon Haiyan and find out how the United States can help. 

Rep. Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithLawmakers propose waiving travel fees for coronavirus evacuations abroad Cheese, wine importers reeling from Trump trade fight House approves pro-union labor bill MORE (R-N.J.) is leading the delegation, which also includes Reps. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenOvernight Energy: Iconic national parks close over coronavirus concerns | New EPA order limits telework post-pandemic | Lawmakers urge help for oil and gas workers Bipartisan lawmakers urge assistance for oil and gas workers Lawmakers shame ex-Wells Fargo directors for failing to reboot bank MORE (D-Texas) and Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE (R-Ariz.). Smith is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subpanel that oversees global health.

“The U.S. government has spent or pledged almost $50 million to help,” Smith said in a statement. “Emergency shelter, food, water and medicine are being shipped in to meet the needs of the victims, many of whom have immediate relatives in the United States.”

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Smith, the author of legislation to curb human trafficking, said the “threat of epidemics and rising levels of human trafficking” were two post-storm dangers that “must receive immediate attention as well.” The storm killed more than 4,000 people and displaced more than four million.

“Upon return,” he said, “I plan on chairing a hearing in early December to report on our findings and to hear from experts on next steps.”

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