Davis Statement on FEMA Denial of Illinois Disaster Assistance Request
Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today released the following statement after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied Governor Rauner’s request for federal disaster assistance for 21 counties severely impacted by recent flooding:
“It’s disappointing that time and time again FEMA denies our small and rural communities fair consideration when determining the need for disaster assistance,” said Davis. “I had hoped FEMA would have taken the language we passed unanimously in the House into consideration during the evaluation process but it’s clear now that a change in law is needed to help our communities in downstate Illinois get the fair consideration they deserve. As storm season in Illinois approaches, I hope the Senate passes this legislation quickly before another major disaster strikes and our communities are left without any federal assistance.”
Although Illinois’ assessed damages were $15 million in total, just shy of FEMA’s $18.1 million population-based threshold, FEMA continues to have discretion under the law to give greater weight to other factors when determining the need for federal assistance. Davis fought to include language in H.R. 1471, FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act, which passed the House unanimously last week, requiring FEMA to give greater consideration to severe localized impact when determining the need for public disaster assistance.