March 16, 2021

Thompson, DeFazio, Roybal-Allard, LaMalfa and Panetta Introduce the Increase Federal Disaster Cost Share Act

Bill boosts federal share of disaster costs to 90 percent

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), House Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) introduced the Increase Federal Disaster Cost Share Act. This bipartisan bill would boost the Federal cost share from 75 to 90 percent for any federally declared disasters in 2020. Thompson was joined by original coauthors representing many districts hit hard by bad fires during the Coronavirus crisis.

“Far too many districts like ours have been hit hard by fires during the COVID-19 pandemic, a dual burden on our local governments that are already stretched too thin. The Federal government can and must help during these double crises,” said Thompson. “That’s why I’ve reintroduced the Increase Federal Disaster Cost Share Act, a bipartisan bill to boost the Federal financial responsibility and help our local governments already working overtime to respond to disasters and maintain essential services. Our communities have been battered by fires, floods and hurricanes on top of the year-long public health crisis and we must deliver this crucial help from the Federal government.”

“The past year has been devastating for communities across the country—including many in my home state of Oregon—which have battled the ongoing pandemic while facing disasters such as wildfires, floods and hurricanes,” said DeFazio. “I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce this critical legislation that will not only help state, local, tribal, and territorial budgets that have been stretched thin from responding to emergencies and disasters, but also give them the relief they need to support their long-term recovery.”

“As our nation has dealt with the devasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the danger and toll inflicted by natural disasters has not ceased,” said Roybal-Allard. “States and communities across the country continue to face fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters. I’m proud to support this legislation to provide much-needed additional relief to my home state of California and states and communities nationwide as they deal with the damage brought by destructive natural disasters.”

“Local governments in Northern California had to find money in shoestring budgets to contend with both COVID-19 and raging wildfires last year. As fire season approaches, they need help making ends meet,” said LaMalfa. “I supported similar legislation for the Camp and Carr Fire recovery back in 2018, and it has been a lifeline for counties as they continue to recover. This bipartisan legislation will not only bring relief to Californians, but also to local governments across the nation who’ve had to combat natural disasters during this pandemic.”

“Each year, our local governments are having to consistently face the financial burdens of not only responding, but also rebuilding after deadly and destructive wildfire seasons,” said Panetta.  “With the pandemic and the threat of wildfires continuing to threaten our way of life on Central Coast and throughout the American West, this bipartisan legislation would boost the federal cost share for federal disaster declarations so that our local governments can get the necessary financial assistance for their recovery efforts.  This increase in funding will provide the federal support for our communities to stay safe and rebuild with resilience.”

You can click here to read text of the Increase Federal Disaster Cost Share Act and here to read more about the bill in the 116th Congress.