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H.R. 4782: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Equitable Rebuild Act of 2018

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 11, 2018.


Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Equitable Rebuild Act of 2018

This bill provides for additional disaster-recovery assistance and other assistance to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with respect to infrastructure, health care, agriculture, education, economic development, and environmental remediation, among other sectors. Specifically, regarding both territories, the bill:

provides for the use of certain emergency assistance to rebuild electric grids; establishes grant programs to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy; subject to oversight requirements, increases funding for transportation infrastructure, telecommunications systems, housing, and community development; increases funding for Medicaid and Medicare; temporarily increases social-services block-grant allotments; increases funding for, and otherwise revises, rural and agricultural programs; increases funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs; provides for aid to the Head Start program, elementary and secondary education programs, and higher education programs;   increases funding for training and employment services; modifies provisions concerning unemployment assistance, taxation, and federal permitting; increases funding for economic and community development programs; increases funding for environmental remediation; requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to submit to Congress a disaster-relief plan; and otherwise modifies provisions related to emergency funding and disaster-recovery assistance. In addition, the bill:

extends Medicaid waiver authority to all territories, provides for Medicaid disproportionate share hospital allotments to the territories, and otherwise revises the Medicaid and Medicare programs with respect to the territories; provides for health-insurance coverage for individuals residing in territories without health exchanges; extends participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Supplemental Security Income Program to all territories; modifies provisions concerning the earned-income tax credit and the child tax credit with respect to the territories; and  modifies provisions concerning the application of certain workers' protections in Puerto Rico.