Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is working to secure federal aid for thousands of flood victims across the state in recent talks with Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Our discussion with the governor was a continuation of our unity in our request for FEMA to increase the cost-share structure between the agency and the state to a 90 percent-10 percent ratio,” Cassidy said in a statement.
“We are fortunate that this delegation brings relationships with the Freedom Caucus, a seat on the House Ways and Means Committee, a position in House leadership, experience with water mitigation, as well as a seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee,” Cassidy continued. “Those that directly represent those affected share the responsibility to make sure that Louisianans have the resources they need to rebuild, recover and prosper.”
The entire Louisiana delegation released a statement on their meeting with Edwards, saying “As thousands of families begin to recover from the devastating flooding across south Louisiana, it is our first priority to make sure that the necessary resources are available to those who are rebuilding from the great flood of 2016.”
“We had a productive meeting with Governor Edwards this afternoon to discuss the response to the flooding and how our delegation can work with the state to recover from this disaster,” the delegation continued. “As we await the official damage assessment, we will continue today’s productive dialogue to ensure that our state emerges from this disaster stronger than ever.”
Cassidy, and the Louisiana Congressional delegation, sent a letter to FEMA administrator Craig Fugate requesting a 90 percent-10 percent cost-share ratio between FEMA and the state of Louisiana for recovery costs, FEMA carrying 90 percent of the financial burden.
FEMA normally splits disaster response and recovery costs with state and local entities at a 75 percent-25 percent cost-share ratio.
However, due to the severity of flooding and frequency of the flooding disasters that have occurred in Louisiana over the past 18 months, Cassidy is requesting that FEMA consider a cost-share adjustment to 90 percent when making their recommendation to the president.
Cassidy is urging FEMA to consider each flooding disaster over the past 18 months as one when making their recommendation for a cost-share structure.
Forty-nine of the state’s 65 parishes have been declared federal disaster areas this year, representing each of the six congressional districts. This has put a severe strain on state and local resources. Increases in the cost-share ratio could go a long way in the wake of disasters like the most recent floods.