Durbin, Illinois Delegation Members Ask for Timely Clarification in New FEMA Policy

Senator receives assurance from FEMA Administrator that there will be no lapse in coverage

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today led a bipartisan group of Illinois Congressional Delegation members in urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to immediately clarify the disaster assistance policy that was released on February 25, 2009. Last month, Durbin asked the FEMA Administrator, Craig Fugate, to resolve the issue as soon as possible. In their meeting, Durbin pressed Fugate to ensure that during the process of clarifying the policy, there would be no lapse in coverage of disaster relief to Illinois communities. FEMA has assured Durbin that there will be no lapses and local communities will not be left footing the bills.


“Our communities are asking for clear delineation of FEMA’s authority to fund repairs to levees and other flood control works, including the removal of debris and the placement and removal of flood fighting measures. At least four natural disasters have impacted Illinois in the last year alone, including historic levels of flooding in September 2008,” said the Illinois members. “We respectfully request that you work with the USACE to resolve any discrepancies in coverage of disaster relief and emergency assistance and clearly communicate FEMA’s policy regarding flood clean-up to regional, state and local officials.”


Other members of the Illinois Delegation signing on to today’s letter include: Senator Roland Burris (D-IL), Representatives Jerry Costello (D-IL), Judy Biggert (R-IL), Bill Foster (D-IL), Debbie Halvorson (D-IL), Phil Hare (D-IL), Tim Johnson (R-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), John Shimkus (R-IL) and Aaron Schock (R-IL).