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Rubio, Colleagues Press Secretary Carson to Take Swift Action to Deliver Announced Disaster Aid

May 9, 2019 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), David Perdue (R-GA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Rick Scott (R-FL), Richard Burr (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson to swiftly publish, in the Federal Register, the rules that will allow states affected by 2018 disasters to receive Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) assistance. This funding, which was announced by President Trump on May 8, 2019 in Panama City Beach, Florida, was appropriated by Congress (P.L.115-524) just five days before Hurricane Michael made landfall. Under the announced allocations, Florida is set to receive $448 million in CDBG-DR funding.
In April, Rubio urged President Trump to approve the State of Florida’s request for an increase in the Federal cost share from 75 percent to 90 percent for Hurricane Michael recovery. Last night, the president announced he was approving this request.
“Northwest Florida’s residents are resilient, but they have waited nearly seven months for critical disaster funding,” Rubio said. “Last night, President Trump announced that HUD would take action to allow Florida, and other states affected by 2018 disasters, to receive additional funding. Today, I am urging HUD Secretary Ben Carson to take this action without delay in order to deliver this much needed aid to disaster stricken communities as quickly as possible.”
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Secretary Carson:
Last evening, President Trump announced allocations of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding for 2018 natural disasters. We appreciate the administration’s efforts as our communities continue to struggle to recover.
Under the allocations, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas are scheduled to receive funding that will make a lasting impact on our cities, counties and communities. As you know, these are communities that have been resilient in the face of natural disasters, but require the assistance of our Federal Government.
When Congress passed, and the President signed into law, legislation that would serve as an initial response to Hurricane Florence, no one expected that a Category 5 hurricane would make landfall in Florida’s Panhandle just a few days after. Now, more than seven months later, it is time to publish, in the Federal Register, the rules that will allow states to take the next step to receive the allocated CDBG-DR funds. We fully realize the massive undertaking that is required of your department, but respectfully request this next step be taken without delay.
We also understand that your department is not the final authorization of such CDBG-DR funds being distributed, and commit our support and assistance in getting the regulations into the Federal Register. We thank you for your tireless work in responding to the needs of our states, and look forward to delivering this much needed aid to disaster stricken communities.