Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2005, the Category 4 hurricane had wind speeds of up to 130mph and caused disastrous flooding. 419 lawmakers were in favor of the bill with only 3 opposed, hoping to fast track the bill into the Senate and get President Trump's signature before FEMA funds run out and the focus switches to Hurricane Irma and Florida. It seems that Harvey is uniting American citizens and politicians.

Limited funds cause political tension

FEMA's funds readily available were only $514 million, and the spending done by the agency was at $9.3 million each hour.

Due to the given circumstance, a three month debt-limit increase and three month extension on government funding. This is diverting a potential government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year on September 30th, however this has put conservatives on the spot who are opposed to increasing spending. The government wants to avoid a default on their debts in December. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, has been critical of the funding, causing politics to come into play and said,

“I think that’s ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling a this moment when we have fellow citizens in need to respond to these hurricanes...”

  • However, with clear bipartisan support, the bill was passed with only 3 opposing funding to Harvey victims. Even President Trump has shown that even with his promise to limit government spending, that the government will still supply financial aid to rebuild and restore.

How to help at home

Government funds can only go so far, but with the help of Americans and our allies, small donations will mean the world to people affected by the hurricane.

Although you may not make million dollar donations like celebrities, however here's a list of some needed supplies and organizations looking for donations:

  • Underwear, everybody wants a clean pair, especially when wadding in flood waters. "Undies for Everyone" is a non-profit and credible association looking for financial support
  • American Red Cross, despite controversy, have been helpful in relief efforts for Harvey
  • Food Bank of Corpus Christi in South Texas is a local charity aiming to relieve hunger
  • SPCA of Texas has been saving animals that have been injured or trapped by the hurricane

A tweet thread by Jia Tolentino also provides links to other places in need of money or supply donations.