March 13, 2020

Chairs DeFazio and Titus Issue Statements on President’s National Emergency Declaration in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, DC — Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Dina Titus (D-NV) issued the following statements after President Trump invoked the Stafford Act, which allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate a national response to the coronavirus pandemic. The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has jurisdiction over FEMA.
“This emergency declaration will finally bring FEMA to the table to help coordinate the Federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, a good step toward getting states and local, tribal and territorial communities the resources and  information they need to prepare and protect families. As Chair of the Committee that oversees FEMA, I will continue to support its active role in the short- and long-term response and recovery of communities across the U.S.,”Chair DeFazio said. “That said, the emergency declaration will only go so far, so I urge the Trump administration to work with Congress to address the many needs of millions of Americans who cannot and should not be forced to suffer the effects of this crisis on their own.”
“The public expects a whole-of-government response and that is not possible without FEMA’s direct involvement. At our subcommittee hearing this week, we pressed the FEMA Administrator about what his agency could do to help in the midst of this pandemic,” Chair Titus said. “While I wish President Trump would have taken this action sooner, this emergency declaration will help bring relief to those who need it the most. Our local and state emergency managers need all the help they can get.”