MIL-OSI USA: Rep. Neguse Secures Final Passage of the Disaster Assistance Deadlines Alignment Act

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Co 2)

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Joe Neguse, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus and the Congressional Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Caucus, celebrated the passage of his bipartisan, bicameral bill to cut red tape and streamline access to federal assistance following a natural disaster. The Disaster Assistance Deadlines Alignment Act merges the application deadlines for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program and Individuals and Households Program (IHP). The bill now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature. 

“Colorado is no stranger to natural disasters, and FEMA has often provided critical federal assistance to families and households that have been impacted, but the process can be cumbersome. I am proud to see the House act quickly to pass my bill with Senator Peters that helps simplify access to critical FEMA assistance programs,” said Congressman Neguse. “We will continue to cut through the red tape to ensure that our communities have the tools they need to rebuild and recover after disasters.”

The Disaster Assistance Deadlines Alignment Act is led by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Rand Paul (R-KY) in the United States Senate. 

“Following a natural disaster, survivors shouldn’t have to worry about conflicting deadlines when applying to federal disaster assistance programs. This bipartisan legislation will limit confusion within the application process and make it easier for families in need to access these critical resources,” said Senator Peters. 

“When disasters strike, county officials and emergency responders play a critical role in the immediate response and longer-term efforts to help our communities and residents recover,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “Once federal assistance becomes available, our residents often must complete complex applications with inconsistent deadlines. The bipartisan Disaster Assistance Deadlines Alignment Act will align deadlines between two financial lifelines, FEMA’s Disaster Unemployment Assistance and the Individuals and Households Program. We are pleased to see the passage of this legislation and thank Senators Peters, Paul, and Rubio, and Representatives Neguse and Gonzalez-Colon for their leadership.”

Background

Congressman Joe Neguse has been leading efforts in Congress to improve federal disaster assistance for communities impacted by natural disasters. Most recently, he led Western lawmakers in a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting the agency extend the time periods during which affected individuals may apply for SBA physical damage loans following a presidential disaster declaration. 

He has also fought to secure proper cost coverage for Coloradans impacted by the Marshall Fire. Alongside Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, Rep. Neguse led a successful effort to get the SBA to update their formula used to calculate the Disaster Loan Program amount survivors can borrow to rebuild after the Marshall FireRep. Neguse and the Colorado senators were also able to get FEMA to agree to cover the costs of removing foundations, basements and burned vehicles damaged in the Marshall Fire. This coverage is extremely rare and has only been granted for a handful of other wildfires in recent years.

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MIL OSI USA News