Iowa Congressional Delegation sends letter to the President - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Congressional Delegation sends letter to the President

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WASHINGTON, D,C (KWWL)-All seven members of the Iowa Congressional delegation have signed a letter, urging President Obama for a 60-waiver of the percentage of matching funds the State of Iowa must contribute to be eligible for federal disaster assistance, regarding debris removal and emergency protective measures.  KWWL-TV has posted the entire letter:


March 24, 2009

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Since your Administration entered office, we have maintained a very productive dialogue about ways to continue to assist Iowa recover from the severe storms, floods, and tornadoes that devastated the state in the summer of 2008. It has now been ten months since the initial declaration was made on May 25, 2008, and it is painfully clear that the rebuilding process has only just begun. As you are aware, Iowa's disaster is now the fifth largest Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance disaster on record.

On March 19, 2009, Governor Culver wrote to you to request 100% federal cost share for Categories A and B under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Program. The Governor requested this for six months for Category A work and 45 days for Category B work from the initial disaster declaration of May 25, 2008. We strongly support the Governor's request.

There is substantial precedent for this type of request. For instance, Hurricane Ike, which caused tremendous damage to areas of Texas in 2008, received 100% federal cost share for Category A for six months and Category B for 44 days. The current per capita Public Assistance estimate for Texas is $72.28. In comparison, Iowa's $348.08 per capita Public Assistance is nearly five times the per capita cost.

Prompt approval of this request would allow the Governor to use almost $20 million to help address the many additional outstanding disaster related needs across the state. Faced with an already tight budget, this added flexibility would provide significant help to our state.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Senator Tom Harkin                                                                                        
Senator Chuck Grassley
Representative Leonard Boswell
Representative Tom Latham
Representative Bruce Braley
Representative Dave Loebsack
Representative Steve King

Online Reporter: Ron Steele

rsteele@kwwl.com

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