Pols Want 100% FEMA Reimbursement to Continue


Congressman Byron Donalds, Senator Marco Rubio and others from Florida sent a letter to President Biden supporting Florida’s request for 100 percent federal funding of FEMA funds for eligible debris removal and protective measures.

This week the FEMA reimbursement contribution for debris removal dropped to 90%, with the state and local governments having to pay the balance, despite President Biden saying Fort Myers Beach would need 120 days of help from the feds when he visited the area just before the election.

In the letter to Biden Congressman Donalds wrote, “More than two months since Hurricane Ian made landfall, far too many communities in my district are still reeling and require additional recovery assistance. I am proud to lead this bipartisan letter supporting Governor DeSantis’ request for FEMA’s 100 percent cost share for communities hardest hit by this deadly storm.”

Here’s the entire letter:

Dear Mr. President:

As you know, on September 28, 2022, Major Hurricane Ian caused extensive damage through many parts of Florida. We thank you for approving a Major Disaster declaration pursuant to Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act due to its impacts (DR-4673-FL). This action has provided much-needed federal assistance to the hardest hit homes and communities. As recovery continues, we respectfully write in support of Governor DeSantis’ request for 100 percent cost share for Categories A and B until January 19, 2023, which will greatly help those communities hardest hit by this deadly storm.

More than two months since Ian made landfall, our communities are still reeling. Debris generated by the storm from wrecked houses and infrastructure is still piled high, stretched from southwest to northeast Florida. Hurricane Ian also caused the catastrophic failure of numerous bridges. The reality on the ground shows that our communities need more time. Lee County is estimated that debris removal could cost $500 million – about half of the county’s annual operating budget.

We firmly believe that the gravity and scope of this disaster, particularly the time required to remove debris, justifies 100 percent federal funding though January 19, 2023. To assist Florida’s communities devastated by Hurricane Ian, we ask that you exercise your authority to approve this assistance.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.

U.S. Representatives Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Neal Dunn (R-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), Michael Waltz (R-FL), Bill Posey (R-FL), Maria Salazar (R-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Greg Steube (R-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), and Brian Mast (R-FL) also signed the letter