WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Tom Rice (SC-07) released the following statement after the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 was introduced with provisions requiring the federal government to provide relief for major disaster declarations, including Hurricane Joaquin:

“In October, the people of South Carolina suffered tragically from the devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Joaquin and associated storms. Over the past two months, my staff and I have worked tirelessly with the House Appropriations Committee to secure assistance for flood relief, and I am pleased to say that our efforts, along with the entire South Carolina delegation, have paid off.

“The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 provides substantial resources for South Carolina. Funding can be used to rebuild homes and assist farmers in recovery efforts upon request from Governor Haley. We have also positioned ourselves well for beachfront renourishment. Additional money was included in the Army Corps’ budget for construction activity.

“We have worked with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and our local counties to determine the most accurate damage estimates for the state. Should this measure pass, as is expected, money will be available for the state to request and distribute to those most affected.

“I thank Chairman Hal Rogers and the House Appropriations Committee, who worked with us to include these significant resources in the appropriations bill.”

At the beginning of October, rainfall from Hurricane Joaquin and associated storms devastated the state of South Carolina. Many parts of the state received over 20 inches of rain. Governor Nikki Haley described it as a "1,000-year" flood. The flooding caused dozens of dams to fail, damaged or destroyed thousands of homes, shuttered businesses and schools, devastated crops, depleted beachfront, debilitated infrastructure, and closed hundreds of roads statewide. Most tragically, seventeen South Carolinians were killed as a direct result of the ensuing flood.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a Short-Term Continuing Resolution that extends appropriations for government operations at existing funding levels until December 22. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 on Friday, December 18.