Natural disasters: They just keep coming. In this episode, learn about the disaster relief bill that will soon be law, get an update from Puerto Rico from a member of the Coast Guard, and look into a few new laws that included disaster relief provisions with special guests Jessica Rhodes and Margy Feldhuhn.
Also, get the scoop on the existential crisis that Congressional Dish has been experiencing and get a preview of exciting new changes coming soon to your favorite Congress-focused podcast.
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Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes
H.R. 3823: Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017
Title I: Federal Aviation Programs & Title II: Aviation Revenue Provisions
- Authorizes funding for Federal Aviation Administration projects and operations through March 31, 2018
Title III: Expiring Health Provisions
- Funds public and private teaching health centers that provide graduate medical education programs and a diabetes program for Indians until March 31
- Extends a Medicare program providing in-home treatment of immune diseases until the end of 2020
- Cuts the Medicare Improvement Fund, by $50 million per year.
Title V: Tax Relief for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria
- If people affected by the hurricanes want to withdraw up to $100,000 before January 1, 2019 from their retirement accounts, the 10% tax on early withdrawals from retirement plans will not apply.
- The money can be repaid within 3 years
- People with employer plans can get loans from the retirement funds for up to $100,000 (double the usual amount) until December 31, 2018. They will get an extra year to pay it back.
- Allows employers whose employees were affected by the hurricanes to get a 40% tax credit for wages paid to employees who couldn’t work up to $6,000 per person
- Current law allows tax deductions for charitable contributions to churches, private organizations, hospitals, & other organizations as long as these don’t make up more than 50% of that person’s charitable donations for the year. This is waived until the end of 2017 for donations made for Harvey, Irma, and Maria relief.
- This will not be waived if the donation is to a private foundation or to a new fund
Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico
- The Secretary of the Treasury will give the US Virgin Islands money equal to their revenue losses from the hurricane. The government of the US Virgin Islands will determine the amount
- Puerto Rico will be given money based on estimates made by the Secretary of the Treasury for what Puerto Rico would have been given if they had the same tax code. Puerto Rico will not be given the money until Puerto Rico submits a plan that is approved by the Secretary of the Treasury for distributing the payments to the residents.
S. 1866: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Education Relief Act of 2017
- Waives Federal matching requirements for universities & higher education schools that were affected by the hurricanes or have students affected by the hurricanes.
- Gives Project SERV money (Project School Emergency Response to Violence, which helps schools recover from traumatic events) on a equitable basis to private schools
H.R. 2266: Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017 (and the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act of 2017)
Division A: Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act of 2017
- Appropriates $18.67 billion to the DHS and FEMA for their disaster relief fund
- $4.9 billion will be for loans to local governments to provide essential services needed as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria
- Appropriates $526.5 million to the Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service for fire suppression
- Cancels $16 billion of National Flood Insurance Program debt
- Appropriates $1.27 billion for food for Puerto Rico
Division B: Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017
- Changes how bankruptcy court judges are appointed and raises some fees.
Passed the House of Representatives on October 12, 2017 by a vote of 353-69
- Article: For Puerto Rico’s sake, scrap the Jones Act by The Editors, Bloomberg, October 13, 2017.
- Article: Hurricane-battered flood insurance program in need of funding by christopher Flavelle, Insurance Journal, October 13, 2017.
- Article: House passes $36.5 billion disaster relief package by Niv Elis and Cristina Marcos, The Hill, October 12, 2017
- Article: Congress members demand to know the true death toll in Puerto Rico by Alexa Liautaud, Vice News, October 12, 2017.
- Article: House republican accuses media of inventing Puerto Rico crisis by Aaron Rupar, ThinkProgress, October 12, 2017.
- Article: Puerto Rico Relief Bill Cancels $16 Billion in Debt – But Not for Puerto Rico by David Dayen, The Intercept, October 11, 2017.
- Article: Abbott: Texas may be about to get ‘rolled’ on Harvey aid package by Mike Ward and Kevin Diaz, Houston Chronicle, October 11, 2017.
- Article: Outlining Provisions in the 2017 Disaster Tax Relief Bill by Catherine E. Murray, AccountingWeb, October 11, 2017.
- Article: Bethenny Frankel charters 4 planes to aid Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico: ‘It is a war zone’ by Aurelie Corinthios and Liz McNeil, People, October 6, 2017.
- Article: Bethenny Frankel sends 10 planes to Puerto Rico filled with hurricane relief supplies, Fox News, October 5, 2017.
- Commentary: Senate acts to ease pressure on bankruptcy courts and increase bankruptcy fees by Peter Morrison, Lexocology, October 3, 2017.
- Commentary: Steve Mnuchin, foreclosure king, now runs your US Treasury
by Mary Plotkin, The Hill, January 17, 2017.
- Article: Trump Treasury Pick Mnuchin is much richer than most people thought by Jen Wieczner, Fortune, January 11, 2017.
- Commentary: Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin – Profiteers of the Great Foreclosure Machine – Go to Washington by David Dayen, New Republic, November 30, 2016.
- Article: Donald Trump’s Finance Chair is Anti-Populist from Hell by David Dayen, New Republic, May 9, 2016.
- Article: What the Clinton Foundation is costing Hilary by Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, February 26, 2015.
- Article: Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation by A.R. Sanders, E.R. Martin, G.W. Beecham, S. Guo, Cambridge University Press, November 17, 2014.
- Bethenny Frankel’s Disaster Relief Site: BStrong
- Broad Defense: Podcast Feed
- iab Tech Lab: Podcast Measurement Guidelines
- Twitter: Trump’s Puerto Rico tweet and responses
- Young Turks Appearance: Trump: This could be the calm before the storm
- Young Turks Appearance: Who is Trump replacing Tillerson with?
- Young Turks Appearance: Man gives up guns after Vegas tragedy, now getting death threats
- Young Turks Appearance: Roy Moore wants to be a Confederate senator
- Young Turks Appearance: New Orleans braces for Hurricane Nate
Sound Clip Sources
Interview: House Republican accuses media of inventing Puerto Rico crisis, October 12, 2017.
Press Briefing: Trump contrasts Puerto Rico death toll to ‘a real catastrophe like Katrina’, CNN Politics, October 3, 2017.
Podcast: 105 Stats Follow Up and Apple Podcasts Feed Tags, Libsyn’s The Feed, September 30, 2017.
Press Briefing: President Trump Remarks on Health Care and Tax Cuts, September 27, 2017.
YouTube Live Stream: 9.27.17-Demand Immediate Assistance for Puerto Rico, The Broad-Cast, September 27, 2017.
Song: The Apprentice Theme Song, For the Love of Money, lyrics by The Ojays.
Music Presented in this Episode
- Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)
Design by Only Child Imaginations