Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL), and U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) today urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to expedite reimbursement of disaster assistance funds to local governments and to coordinate with the State of Florida to ensure that concerns of deobligation are appropriately addressed. 
 
The full text of the letter is below:
 
Dear Administrator Long:
 
We write to address continued delays in Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) reimbursement of disaster related funds to local governments. In the last two years alone, Florida has been hit by Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew and Irma, causing significant damages, and depleting local government funds.
 
While we understand it is necessary for proper documentation to be provided, with steps to audit and validate, this process must be completed to allow disaster stricken communities to complete repairs and prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, which begins in less than two months. According to recent reports, seven months after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc across the entire state, FEMA has only issued a small fraction of the total requests. Therefore, we urge FEMA to take reasonable actions to expedite its disbursement processes and to coordinate with the State of Florida to ensure that concerns of deobligation are appropriately addressed. 
 
Local governments are cash-strapped with little to no funding in their budgets to repair damaged communities, while also preparing for the fast approaching 2018 hurricane season. It is critical that FEMA responsibly provide local governments with the assistance Congress appropriated to address current damages and the ability to prepare communities for the upcoming hurricane season.
 
Thank you for your attention to this important request. We look forward to your response.
 
Sincerely,