HURRICANES HARVEY, IRMA, AND MARIA EDUCATION RELIEF ACT OF 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 156
(House of Representatives - September 28, 2017)

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[Pages H7593-H7595]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




    HURRICANES HARVEY, IRMA, AND MARIA EDUCATION RELIEF ACT OF 2017

  Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill 
(S. 1866) to provide the Secretary of Education with waiver authority 
for the reallocation rules and authority to extend the deadline by 
which funds have to be reallocated in the campus-based aid programs 
under the Higher Education Act of 1965 due to Hurricane Harvey, 
Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria, to provide equitable services to 
children and teachers in private schools, and for other purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                S. 1866

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and 
     Maria Education Relief Act of 2017''.

     SEC. 2. ALLOCATION AND USE OF CAMPUS-BASED HIGHER EDUCATION 
                   ASSISTANCE.

       (a) Definitions.--In this section:
       (1) Affected area.--The term ``affected area'' means an 
     area for which the President declared a major disaster or an 
     emergency under section 401 or 501, respectively, of the 
     Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 5170 and 5191) as a result of Hurricane 
     Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, Tropical Storm 
     Harvey, Tropical Storm Irma, or Tropical Storm Maria.
       (2) Affected student.--The term ``affected student'' means 
     an individual who has applied for or received student 
     financial assistance under title IV of the Higher Education 
     Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.), and who--
       (A) was enrolled or accepted for enrollment on August 25, 
     2017, at an institution of higher education that is located 
     in an affected area;
       (B) is a dependent student who was enrolled or accepted for 
     enrollment on August 25, 2017, at an institution of higher 
     education that is not located in an affected area, but whose 
     parent or parents resided or was employed on August 25, 2017, 
     in an affected area; or
       (C) suffered direct economic hardship as a direct result of 
     Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, Tropical 
     Storm Harvey, Tropical Storm Irma, or Tropical Storm Maria, 
     as determined by the Secretary.
       (3) Institution of higher education.--The term 
     ``institution of higher education'' has the meaning given the 
     term in section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
     U.S.C. 1002).
       (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
     of Education.
       (b) Waivers.--
       (1) Waiver of non-federal share requirement.--
     Notwithstanding sections 413C(a)(2) and 443(b)(5) of the 
     Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070b-2(a)(2) and 
     1087-53(b)(5)), with respect to funds made available for 
     award years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018--
       (A) in the case of an institution of higher education that 
     is located in an affected area, the Secretary shall waive the 
     requirement that a participating institution of higher 
     education provide a non-Federal share to match Federal funds 
     provided to the institution for the programs authorized 
     pursuant to subpart 3 of part A and part C of title IV of the 
     Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070b et seq. and 
     1087-51 et seq.); and
       (B) in the case of an institution of higher education that 
     is not located in an affected area but has enrolled or 
     accepted for enrollment any affected students, the Secretary 
     may waive the non-Federal share requirement described in 
     subparagraph (A) after considering the institution's student 
     population and existing resources.
       (2) Waiver of reallocation rules.--
       (A) Authority to reallocate.--Notwithstanding sections 
     413D(d) and 442(d) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
     U.S.C. 1070b-3(d) and 1087-52(d)), the Secretary shall--
       (i) reallocate any funds returned under such section 413D 
     or 442 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 that were 
     allocated to institutions of higher education for award year 
     2016-2017 to an institution of higher education that is 
     eligible under subparagraph (B); and
       (ii) waive the allocation reduction for award year 2018-
     2019 for an institution of higher education that is eligible 
     under subparagraph (B) returning more than 10 percent of its 
     allocation under such section 413D or 442 of the Higher 
     Education Act of 1965 for award year 2017-2018.
       (B) Institutions eligible for reallocation.--An institution 
     of higher education is eligible under this subparagraph if 
     the institution--
       (i) participates in the program for which excess 
     allocations are being reallocated; and
       (ii)(I) is located in an affected area; or
       (II) has enrolled or accepted for enrollment any affected 
     students in award year 2017-2018.
       (C) Basis of reallocation.--The Secretary shall--
       (i) determine the manner in which excess allocations will 
     be reallocated pursuant to this paragraph; and
       (ii) give preference in making reallocations to the needs 
     of institutions of higher education located in an affected 
     area.
       (D) Additional waiver authority.--Notwithstanding any other 
     provision of law, in order to carry out this paragraph, the 
     Secretary may waive or modify any statutory or regulatory 
     provision relating to the reallocation of excess allocations 
     under subpart 3 of part A or part C of title IV of the Higher 
     Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070b et seq. and 1087-51 et 
     seq.) in order to ensure that

[[Page H7594]]

     assistance is received by institutions of higher education 
     that are eligible under subparagraph (B).
       (3) Availability of funds date extension.--Notwithstanding 
     any other provision of law--
       (A) any funds available to the Secretary under sections 
     413A and 441 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
     1070b and 1087-51) for which the period of availability would 
     otherwise expire on September 30, 2017, shall be available 
     for obligation by the Secretary until September 30, 2018, for 
     the purposes of the programs authorized pursuant to subpart 3 
     of part A and part C of title IV of the Higher Education Act 
     of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070b et seq. and 1087-51 et seq.); and
       (B) the Secretary may recall any funds allocated to an 
     institution of higher education for award year 2016-2017 
     under section 413D or 442 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 
     (20 U.S.C. 1070b-3 and 1087-52), that, if not returned to the 
     Secretary as excess allocations pursuant to either of those 
     sections, would otherwise lapse on September 30, 2017, and 
     reallocate those funds in accordance with paragraph (2)(A).
       (c) Emergency Requirement.--This section is designated as 
     an emergency requirement pursuant to section 4(g) of the 
     Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (title I of Public Law 
     111-139; 2 U.S.C. 933(g)).
       (d) Report.--Not later than October 1, 2018, the Secretary 
     shall submit to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, 
     and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Education and 
     the Workforce of the House of Representatives information 
     on--
       (1) the total volume of assistance received by each 
     eligible institution of higher education under subsection 
     (b)(2); and
       (2) the total volume of the non-Federal share waived for 
     each institution of higher education under subsection (b)(1).
       (e) Sunset.--The provisions of subsection (b) shall cease 
     to be effective on September 30, 2018.

     SEC. 3. PROJECT SERV AND EQUITABLE SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND 
                   TEACHERS IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS.

       Section 8501(b)(1) of the Elementary and Secondary 
     Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7881(b)(1)) is amended--
       (1) in subparagraph (D), by striking ``and'';
       (2) in subparagraph (E), by striking the period at the end 
     and inserting ``; and''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(F) section 4631, with regard to Project SERV.''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Allen) and the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Georgia.


                             General Leave

  Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous material on S. 1866.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Georgia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of S. 1866, the Hurricanes 
Harvey, Irma, and Maria Education Relief Act of 2017.
  Mr. Speaker, September has been a difficult month for many students 
and families in areas such as Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, 
and even my State of Georgia, just to name a few.
  We have all seen the truly saddening images of families who have been 
impacted by the likes of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and now we 
must come together as a nation to help our fellow Americans recover 
from these life-changing storms.
  These storms have left many Americans with questions on how to 
continue living their daily lives as they try to return to a sense of 
normalcy, and students are no exception. Hundreds of thousands of 
students have been impacted by these storms, and the Federal Government 
must be ready to address the needs of students, as well as their 
institutions of learning, so that their education may continue.
  The Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Education Relief Act of 2017 
allows the Department of Education, as well as other Federal entities, 
to use the emergency tools at their disposal to immediately assist 
students impacted by the storms of this past month without the need of 
additional appropriations from Congress.
  First, the bill equips the Department of Education with temporary 
authority to waive certain rules governing campus-based aid programs 
for those institutions impacted by recent hurricanes.
  Second, the legislation ensures students and teachers at private 
schools receive services under the Project SERV grant program. This 
program helps school districts and institutions of higher education 
reestablish a safe learning environment after a violent or traumatic 
crisis. The program has issued grants to school districts, State 
educational agencies, and institutions of higher education after 
natural disasters, including Superstorm Sandy. These funds have helped 
reopen schools or, in some cases, provided resources to operate a 
school at an alternative site while the original site is being 
repaired.
  Mr. Speaker, Congress has the power to use its resources to help 
students and families return to a sense of normalcy after these 
terrible storms, and we should do everything within our authority to 
help students remain on a pathway to success even in the aftermath of 
these storms.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all Members to support S. 1866, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of S. 1866, but I also stand concerned 
about the humanitarian crisis going on in Puerto Rico and the U.S. 
Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Maria and also the other 
hurricanes that have been in the area.
  More than 3.4 million people reside in Puerto Rico alone--U.S. 
citizens who are in need of full support of the Federal Government. 
This is more than the population of Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, and 
Alaska combined--U.S. citizens, yet they have no voting Members of 
Congress.
  U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands serve in our 
military. In fact, Puerto Ricans serve in our military at a rate twice 
the general U.S. population, and they are hurting. They are fighting to 
survive, and they are in desperate need of food, clean water, medical 
supplies, and security.
  Hurricane Maria essentially wiped out ports, roads, electricity, 
communications, water supply, crops, and many homes. Today, 97 percent 
of Puerto Rico's residents are still without power, and 40 percent do 
not have access to clean drinking water. So Americans in Puerto Rico 
and the Virgin Islands are now homeless, displaced, and without food, 
water, fuel, and medication.
  Congress and this administration have an obligation to act swiftly 
and to act boldly to ease the suffering of our fellow Americans in 
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. This bill, the Hurricane Relief 
Act, is well-intentioned and a good starting point.
  But make no mistake, the limited flexibility offered to those 
affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in this bill will be 
helpful, but the bill does not go far enough to provide the kind of 
relief that is needed in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
  These Americans do not have voting representation in Congress that 
allows their representatives to most effectively advocate on their 
behalf. Therefore, it is incumbent on all of us to stand shoulder to 
shoulder with our fellow citizens and provide them with the support 
that they desperately need.
  This is a life-and-death situation, and any further delay for aid 
will lead to unnecessary tragedy. So I urge this body to bring a full 
emergency supplemental bill to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to a 
vote. The citizens affected by the hurricane are running out of time.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask that we pass the bill, but, after we pass it, get 
right to work on a full relief bill for Puerto Rico and the Virgin 
Islands.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Speaker, I would like to add that this legislation 
does not call for additional appropriations on the part of Congress and 
provides the Department of Education with limited authority to act 
until it has sufficiently assisted the students and families of these 
impacted regions.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this important 
legislation for the people impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and 
Maria.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of S. 1866, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Allen) that the House suspend the rules and 
pass the bill, S. 1866.

[[Page H7595]]

  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________