US Congress voted to provide $2 billion in emergency aid to Haiti on Monday, as relief efforts continued to grind to a halt amid a crippling earthquake and the country’s second-largest lake.
The $2,000,000 package is the second installment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA, that Congress approved in 2018 to help alleviate the devastation from Hurricane Matthew.
The aid will include $200 million in disaster aid, $300 million in emergency housing assistance, and $100 million for a “recovery and recovery fund” to help Haiti rebuild after the quake.
Congressional Democrats are expected to reject the aid, with some Republicans voting against it.
But Republicans who control both chambers of Congress have vowed to continue to push for additional aid to help the Haitian people, including $1 billion in supplemental aid.
The House voted 219-197 to approve the $2 million package in a unanimous vote.
The Senate approved it by a vote of 55-46.
Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) said the relief funds are the first to go to Haiti.
“It’s a huge amount of money, but it’s the first step,” Cole told reporters.
“We need to get this right.”
Cole has previously said he would not vote for the aid package.
The relief package includes $400 million for FEMA and $50 million for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and $250 million for emergency housing for Haitian communities hit hard by the quake and flooding.
Cole also introduced a bill to provide another $100,000 in FEMA funding for Haiti.
The Senate passed the emergency housing aid package by a 2-to-1 vote on Monday.
The Haitian relief package is one of a number of relief packages that Congress has approved to help Haitians, including a $10 billion package in 2018 that is expected to be passed soon.
The US is providing $20 billion in relief funds, the House passed a $5.5 billion package last year, and the Senate is expected on Tuesday to approve a $3.8 billion aid package that includes $10.5 million in relief.