May 14, 2024

Van Hollen Joins Group of 11 Senators in Calling on President Biden to Update Request for Supplemental Disaster Funding, Help Communities Across the Country Recover

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), both members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined with 9 other senators from disaster-impacted states in a letter to President Biden urging the administration to reevaluate and resubmit its request for supplemental disaster funding. In addition to Schatz, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).

“Last October, the Administration requested $23.5 billion for disaster recovery,” the senators wrote. “Since then, the need for recovery resources in our communities have grown and evolved. The nation has also witnessed additional crises, including the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland. This funding is essential for our constituents to move forward in rebuilding their homes, lives, businesses, farms, and communities.”

The senators continued, “We request that the Administration reevaluate the nation’s outstanding disaster recovery funding requirements and resubmit a request for supplemental appropriations that reflects the current reality. A better understanding of the country’s current urgent needs would inform Congress’s work and we recommend that the Administration act as quickly as possible.”

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear President Biden,

We write as representatives of disaster-impacted states to request that the Administration re-examine and resubmit its request for supplemental disaster recovery funding. Our constituents have a long road to recovery ahead and require federal assistance to recover and rebuild.

Last October, the Administration requested $23.5 billion for disaster recovery. That request included funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program, the Department of Agriculture’s emergency crop loss relief program, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration emergency relief, the Department of Education’s disaster relief, the Small Business Administration’s disaster loans, and recovery funding for a number of specific disaster needs across our states.  Since then, the need for recovery resources in our communities have grown and evolved.  The nation has also witnessed additional crises, including the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland.  This funding is essential for our constituents to move forward in rebuilding their homes, lives, businesses, farms, and communities.

As such, we request that the Administration reevaluate the nation’s outstanding disaster recovery funding requirements and resubmit a request for supplemental appropriations that reflects the current reality. A better understanding of the country’s current urgent needs would inform Congress’s work and we recommend that the Administration act as quickly as possible. 

Thank you for your Administration’s ongoing support and for continuing to work with us to provide critical relief to our states.

Sincerely,