Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL)
Nov 17, 2020
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) spoke today on the floor of the House of Representatives offering his support for the FEMA Assistance Relief Act of 2020. This bill would raise the federal cost share of COVID-19 pandemic-related disaster relief to 100 percent and all other disaster relief for disasters in this calendar year to a minimum of 90 percent.
Congressman Byrne said: “I rise today in support of H.R. 8266, the FEMA Assistance Relief Act of 2020. This year has been difficult for everyone, but our small local governments have been some of the hardest hit due to extreme losses in tax revenue. This is especially true in Southwest Alabama. In September, Hurricane Sally made landfall in Gulf Shores, bringing record-breaking rainfall and winds over 100 miles per hour. Just weeks later, Hurricane Zeta passed through our state, causing further devastation, especially in rural parts of Mobile, Washington, and Clarke counties.
“These storms caused millions of dollars in damage and left significant amounts of debris. This would be difficult on a small town’s budget in a normal year, but pandemic-related issues coupled with unexpected costs from severe storm damage will further stretch the already limited budgets of many of our communities.
“Already, a local government in South Alabama has made the difficult decision not to purchase a much-needed new police vehicle due to the impacts of COVID-19 and Hurricane Sally on their budget.
“The current 75% – 25% FEMA federal/state cost-share is simply unworkable in this challenging year. This important legislation will raise the federal cost share of pandemic-related disaster relief to 100 percent and all other relief for disasters this year, including the hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast, to a minimum of 90 percent. Making this adjustment will help reduce the burden on our local communities and help strengthen the recovery process.
“I hope that Members from both sides will join me in supporting this critical legislation. I yield back.”
Byrne has worked closely with the White House, FEMA, and state and local officials to ensure eligible Alabama municipalities and individuals receive disaster assistance.