Peters, Stabenow Back Whitmer’s Call to Waive Cost-Sharing Requirements for Federal Assistance to Battle Coronavirus

DETROIT, MIU.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to grant Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request to waive all cost-sharing requirements for the State of Michigan in response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. On March 27, President Trump granted the State of Michigan a Major Disaster Declaration and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts. Under the Public Assistance program, emergency work, including Direct Federal Assistance, is authorized at 75% federal funding, and state, tribal, and local entities are responsible for the remaining 25%. Peters and Stabenow are backing Governor Whitmer’s request to increase the federal cost-share to 100%. There have been more than 32,000 Coronavirus cases reported in Michigan, resulting in more than 2,400 deaths.

“The people of the State of Michigan are resilient, and we commend the work of federal, state, and local officials to provide assistance,” the Senators wrote. “We urge you to swiftly accept the Governor’s request to increase the federal cost-share to 100%, so the residents and business owners in these communities can have the resources they need to address this pandemic.”

As of April 15, 2020, the Michigan State Emergency Operations Center has expended more than $234 million for COVID-19 response. Preliminary estimates suggest state revenues could be reduced by as much as $3 billion in FY 2020 and another $4 billion in FY 2021 as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Peters serves as the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees FEMA.

Text of the letter is copied below and available here:

April 18, 2020

 

The Honorable Peter T. Gaynor
Administrator
Federal Emergency Management Agency
500 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20472

Dear Administrator Gaynor:

We write in support of Governor Whitmer’s request that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) waive all cost-share requirements for assistance, under President Trump’s Major Disaster Declaration (4494-DR) for the State of Michigan on March 27, 2020 in response to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) pandemic.

FEMA is currently authorized to increase the federal cost-share to 100 percent for emergency work, including Direct Federal Assistance. With over 30,000 cases in Michigan, the unprecedented nature of the necessary COVID-19 response stretches beyond the capability of the State of Michigan and warrants the full resources and support of the federal government.

As of April 15, 2020, the State Emergency Operations Center has expended more than $234 million to prevent, contain, and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary estimates suggest state revenues could be reduced as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic by $3 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and another $4 billion in FY 2021. This represents about 15% of annual state revenue sources, without federal funds. 

The people of the State of Michigan are resilient, and we commend the work of federal, state, and local officials to provide assistance. We urge you to swiftly accept the Governor’s request to increase the federal cost-share to 100%, so the residents and business owners in these communities can have the resources they need to address this pandemic. Thank you for your consideration of our request.

###