WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Friday urged Congress to replenish disaster relief funds quickly before they run out early next week.
Because the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) has diminished to almost nothing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been forced to abandon more than 1,500 recovery projects in 42 states and may soon have no money to offer assistance in the midst of a disaster.
“The Disaster Relief Fund provides essential assistance to people when they can no longer fend for themselves in a disaster,” Lieberman said. “Yet the DRF is so depleted that FEMA is considering eliminating payments that could affect search and rescue, and food, and shelter. Should another disaster strike before the fund is replenished – and that is a very real possibility since we are still in hurricane season – FEMA would have trouble responding effectively. Disaster aid is not a partisan issue. Let’s not put the health and safety of our citizens at risk. I urge my colleagues in both chambers to approve additional funding for the DRF immediately before the effects of a natural disaster are compounded by a response disaster.”