February 02, 2021
President Biden’s executive action comes after House Democrats urged the Biden administration to waive all Federal cost-share requirements for pandemic response assistance provided by FEMA
(WASHINGTON) – Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the House Committee on Appropriations Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT), Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chair of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Dina Titus (D-NV), Chair of the Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Homeland Security Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Chair of the Ways and Means’ Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures Mike Thompson (D-CA) applauded President Biden for directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to retroactively reimburse state, local, tribal, and territorial governments back to January 2020 and through the end of September 2021 for emergency costs related to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic at 100 percent Federal rather than the normal 75 percent.
Last month, the Chairs urged then-incoming President Biden to waive all Federal cost-share requirements for assistance provided by FEMA under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) in order to reduce the growing financial burden on all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am relieved that when President Biden saw states struggling to pay for COVID-19 response activities, he took action and has directed FEMA to provide 100 percent retroactive reimbursement for emergency COVID-19 spending,” Chair Bennie G. Thompson said. “This will give much needed relief and stability to every state – and there will now be one less thing for states to worry about during this terrible time. After the previous administration refused to act and put too much of a burden on states, it is encouraging to now have leaders that understand the Federal government’s role to provide stability during a nationwide emergency.”
“Unlike the previous administration, which failed to respond to multiple requests to provide relief to state and local governments struggling financially from the ongoing pandemic response, President Biden has taken immediate and bold action to provide communities with the resources they need to crush the coronavirus,” Chair Peter DeFazio said. “With this memo, President Biden is not just talking the talk on helping communities that are stretched thin from responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—he’s walking the walk and making good on his promise that ‘help is on the way.’”
“I appreciate President Biden’s commitment to supporting a comprehensive coronavirus response by fully and retroactively reimbursing states and local governments for FEMA-eligible services incurred in the fight against COVID-19,” Chair Rosa DeLauro said. “While far more funding will be needed to support states and local governments as they fight this pandemic, today’s announcement provides critically needed support to my home state of Connecticut and to our entire country.”
“Communities across the West and all around the country are facing unprecedented challenges from wildfires, floods, and hurricanes while combatting a global pandemic and a severe economic crisis,” Chair Dina Titus said. “Under President Biden, the federal government is finally stepping up to provide leadership in this time of national emergency. This long-awaited decision will offer relief at a time when our states and communities need it the most.”
“From easing the financial burden on states in need of masks, gloves, emergency feeding actions, sheltering for at-risk populations, National Guard mobilization and other important actions, this 100 percent reimbursement by FEMA will help California and states nationwide as they work to save lives and help communities,” Chair Lucille Roybal-Allard said. “My colleagues and I have fought for months to increase the Federal cost-share, and it is welcome news that our request has been heeded. I thank the Biden Administration for taking this positive step and for working to ensure states, tribes, territories, and jurisdictions have the resources they need to defeat the virus.”
“This is an important announcement from the Biden administration that will deliver much-needed aid to states and local governments that are on the tip of the spear in responding to the Coronavirus pandemic. It will ensure they have the funding necessary to support families, small businesses, and vulnerable populations such as the homeless that have been hit hard by the ongoing crisis. That includes emergency feeding actions outlined in the provisions of my FEED Act, to help deliver healthy meals to vulnerable populations,” Chair Mike Thompson said. “I am thankful the administration took this crucial first step and will continue working to bring back every Federal dollar and resource to help our community get through this crisis.”
To learn more, a fact sheet from the Biden administration can be found here.
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