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 SmithChina threatens 'strong countermeasures' if Congress passes Hong Kong legislation This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington Nancy Pelosi is ready for this fight MORE (R-N.J.) is leading the delegation, which also includes Reps. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenClimate finance must push net-zero emissions Trump impeachment efforts will haunt the next Democrat in the White House Overnight Energy: Lawmaker, scientists challenge move to eliminate key advisory boards | White House nixes climate language from emissions proposal | Raffle offers deer hunt with Donald Trump Jr. 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.”

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.”

Please send tips and comments to Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @TheHillGlobal and @JPecquetTheHill