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 SmithDems escalate gun fight a year after Parkland House panel advances bill to expand background checks for gun sales Cuomo to meet with Trump over SALT deduction cap MORE (R-N.J.) is leading the delegation, which also includes Reps. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Next 24 hours critical for stalled funding talks Democrat vows to move forward with impeachment, dividing his party Citing Virginia race scandals, Dem vows vote to impeach Trump 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.”

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