A bipartisan group of House Republicans wants to delay the disaster relief package for the Indian-Americans affected by the wildfires in California and Arizona, saying the government needs to be able to fully implement its programs to help them.
“The Indian community has suffered greatly in the aftermath of the fires,” the Republican caucus announced Wednesday.
“The federal government must provide additional support to the Indian community, as well as those who were affected by them, in the wake of these fires.”
The bill would defer $1.1 billion in disaster aid that Congress approved earlier this month, citing the fact that the White House has not released the final report from the federal investigation into the fires.
The measure also would delay the implementation of a new federal program that was supposed to help Indian-owned businesses survive and rebuild.
The measure comes after the Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would temporarily postpone the federal disaster relief for Indian families affected by Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Harvey.
The Senate bill also would halt all funding for projects that have already been approved by the Interior Department, which is the agency that oversees the federal relief efforts.
In a press release announcing the bipartisan bill, the caucus wrote that the emergency relief package is critical to providing the Indian people “with the assistance they need and deserve” and that the Senate bill “will provide them the resources they need to rebuild.”
The House passed the Senate version of the Indian aid package earlier this week, but the measure will now go back to the House for consideration.