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Legislation that would adjust the cost share of federal disaster assistance recently was approved by the House transportation committee.

The bill would adjust certain Federal Emergency Management Agency cost shares declared this year to not less than 90% federal and 10% nonfederal.

The FEMA Assistance Relief Act of 2020 also would adjust the agency’s cost share for COVID-19-related emergency and major disaster declarations to 100%.

The legislation was approved Sept. 30.

“This bill would increase the federal cost share of disaster and emergency relief easing financial burdens on communities across the nation — like my district in southwest Oregon — that are facing dual crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), emphasizing the goal of assisting state agencies responding to natural disasters.

“The toll of this pandemic, compounded by natural disasters across the country, is unprecedented, but FEMA taking on a greater share of emergency response costs is not,” added Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee and a co-sponsor. “Our state and local governments have been on the front lines working to respond to the health and economic impact of the pandemic, and they have been in dire need of additional resources and support to weather this crisis.”

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