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Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Sen. Murray inquires about effects of proposed budget cuts to FEMA emergency preparedness grant programs

Patty Murray

In response to President Trump’s proposed FY2018 budget, which calls for approximately $847 million in cuts to grant programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) wrote a public letter that strongly urged against any cuts to the programs.

The letter, which was addressed to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, inquired about the Administration’s views on disaster preparedness and the President’s “broken promise to ensure adequate funding for FEMA” and related missions of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“Unfortunately, the proposed cuts to FEMA-administered grant programs would diminish the capacity of the State and local governments to mitigate against, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters,” Murray wrote. “Ultimately, reduced capacity at the sub-federal level will lead to the federal government bearing more disaster-related costs in the future, erasing any initial savings achieved by these cuts.”

The letter also asked if the department leaders believed that the federal government should ensure that its various forms of material and financial assistance keep pace with an increase in frequency of large scale disasters.

Murray said that cutting FEMA-administered grant programs would place undue constraints on the ability of rural areas to support key emergency management and response functions.

“Beyond fiscal policy considerations, the federal government first and foremost has a responsibility to protect Americans against natural and man-made threats. These proposed cuts would breach that obligation,” the senator said.

Neither Kelly nor Mulvaney have yet to formally respond to the senator’s letter.