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Rubio, Florida Members Urge President Obama to Evaluate Need for Additional Disaster Response Funding

Nov 1, 2016 | Press Releases

Miami, FL – In the wake of extensive damage caused to several states by Hurricanes Matthew and Hermine and other natural disasters, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) and 19 U.S. Representatives from Florida are asking President Obama to assess whether federal agencies will need additional funding to execute an effective and complete response. These Members of Congress request that, if necessary, the president submit an emergency funding request to Congress “as soon as possible so that it may be considered in the next government funding bill that Congress needs to pass by December 9, 2016.”
 
The full text of the bipartisan letter is below:
 
November 1, 2016
 
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
 
Dear Mr. President:
 
Millions of Americans affected by recent natural disasters are struggling to put their lives back together, including in Florida, where many people are recovering from Hurricanes Matthew and Hermine.  Given the extent of the damage left in the wake of these disasters, it may be necessary for Congress to provide emergency funding to help the impacted communities make a full recovery.  If your administration believes that emergency funding is necessary, we strongly urge you to submit a request to Congress as soon as possible so that it may be considered in the next government funding bill that Congress needs to pass by December 9, 2016.
 
In addition to Hurricanes Matthew and Hermine hitting Florida since September, there have been several other major natural disasters, most notably the severe flooding that occurred in several parts of the country.  While it is our understanding that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) currently has the funds to provide for the immediate needs of those eligible to receive federal disaster assistance under the Stafford Act, it is important to remember that FEMA may require more resources to help restore these communities to pre-disaster conditions.
 
Along with FEMA, several other federal agencies will play a critical role in recovery efforts, including the Federal Highway Administration, responsible for repairing certain affected roadways, including Florida’s A1A; the Army Corps of Engineers, which may be called on to complete several projects to reduce beach erosion and prevent further flooding; the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and the Small Business Administration.  As your administration evaluates whether additional funding will be required to respond to these recent disasters, we also urge you to identify how the federal government can save money by rebuilding in a way that promotes mitigation efforts, thereby reducing the need for future federal disaster assistance.
 
As Congress is fast approaching consideration of a funding vehicle, we urge you to ensure the federal government is adequately equipped to meet the needs of people who are recovering from recent disasters nationwide.  Should your administration determine that supplemental disaster appropriations are warranted, we respectfully ask that you promptly submit a supplemental appropriations request to Congress.
 
Sincerely,
 
Bill Nelson
U.S. Senator
 
Marco Rubio
U.S. Senator
 
Frederica S. Wilson
Member of Congress
 
Richard Nugent
Member of Congress
 
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Member of Congress
 
Mario Diaz-Balart
Member of Congress
 
Corrine Brown
Member of Congress
 
Dennis A. Ross
Member of Congress
 
Alan Grayson
Member of Congress
 
Curt Clawson
Member of Congress
 
Gwen Graham
Member of Congress
 
Carlos Curbelo
Member of Congress
 
Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress
 
Gus Bilirakis
Member of Congress
 
Ted Deutch
Member of Congress
 
Ron DeSantis
Member of Congress
 
Lois Frankel
Member of Congress
 
Ted S. Yoho, DVM
Member of Congress
 
Patrick E. Murphy
Member of Congress
 
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Member of Congress
 
Kathy Castor
Member of Congress