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Rubio, Cruz, Scott Reintroduce Bill to Simplify Disaster Assistance for Hurricane Victims

Apr 26, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Rick Scott (R-FL) reintroduced the Disaster Assistance Simplification Act, legislation that would prohibit the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from penalizing victims of qualified natural disasters who apply for, but decline, Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans. Rubio originally introduced this legislation in December 2017. 
Survivors of natural disasters who apply for, but do not accept, SBA disaster loans are currently penalized when Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) disaster relief funds are awarded. Every dollar of SBA loan money for which they are approved is a dollar less that can be awarded in CDBG disaster relief grants. This bill would prevent HUD from penalizing those applicants.
“Hurricanes Sally, Michael, and Irma have caused catastrophic destruction throughout Florida and disrupted the lives of millions of Americans,” Rubio said. “The current disaster assistance process is unsynchronized and burdensome for victims of natural disasters. As Floridians, and thousands of Americans across our nation, continue to rebuild and recover from recent natural disasters, removing bureaucratic hurdles is imperative to ensuring that no victim is penalized for weighing their hurricane recovery options.”
“As Texas prepares for the upcoming hurricane season and continues the complicated process of rebuilding from prior storms, this legislation helps to better equip those impacted by natural disasters as they apply for federal grants and loans,” Cruz said. “It is crucial that Texans and Americans who need aid following these storms are not unknowingly penalized due to bureaucratic red tape. I am proud to once again join Sen. Rubio to ensure we can restore clarity to the recovery process.”
“Throughout my time as Governor of Florida, my state experienced multiple, devastating storms, which left families, businesses and communities with a huge burden to rebuild,” Scott said. “The Disaster Assistance Simplification Act will make it easier for business owners to begin recovering and rebuilding by streamlining services and eliminating burdensome government bureaucracy.”