Hoeven: Senate Passes Nearly $7 BIllion in Disaster Aid

Senator Continues to Push for More CDBG

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today said U.S. Senate passage of a nearly $7 billion disaster aid package, which includes some funding for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), represents an important step forward in the process of getting disaster aid to flood-impacted communities in North Dakota.

The bill, which passed Thursday evening, provides funding for a range of recovery activities through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It also includes $100 million in CDBG, which Hoeven is working to get increased.

Hoeven also voted to approve an amendment that would have offset the cost of the assistance package through savings from duplicative federal programs. The amendment fell six votes shy of passing, however.

“U.S. Senate passage of disaster aid funding is an important step forward, but we still have work to do,” Hoeven said. “We will continue to work to increase CDBG funding so that communities like Minot have the assistance they need to recover, and we will also work to win support in the House, which is working on its own disaster aid package.” 

Last week, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, on which Hoeven serves, approved funding for FEMA disaster relief program and the Army Corps of Engineers as part of the agencies’ Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bill. The committee report specifically cited flooding in the Upper Midwest, language added by Senator Hoeven, as well as wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other regional disasters. He is also cosponsoring an amendment introduced by Senator Kent Conrad that would provide $1 billion in additional CDBG funding.