Sep 21 2022
Washington–Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and a group of their colleagues to send a letter to President Biden asking him to waive any local cost-share for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) aid to Puerto Rico.
On September 18, 2022, Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico, cutting off power to the entire island and leaving many areas under water. That same day, President Biden approved an emergency declaration to authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FEMA to work in coordination on disaster relief efforts. Public Assistance grants issued by FEMA come with a requirement that states and territories shoulder a share of the cost of recovery. While these cost-share requirements can be adjusted to lighten the state or territory’s burden, this has not yet been done for Puerto Rico.
“In light of the continued concerning news about the devastation the hurricane has wrought on the island, which has prompted Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi to announce his request for a Major Disaster Declaration for all of Puerto Rico’s municipalities, as well as the ongoing economic challenges faced by the island, we write to urge you to waive the local cost-sharing requirements by setting the federal cost-share at 100% for Public Assistance grants issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to Puerto Rico,” wrote the lawmakers.
This letter was also signed by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
Full text of the letter is available here.