Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D. (Florida-02), Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09), and Congressman Garret Graves (LA-06) introduced the FEMA Loan Interest Payment Relief Act requiring the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reimburse local governments and electric cooperatives for interest incurred on loans used to restore essential functions after natural disasters. The interest paid on emergency loans is often a cost passed on to taxpayers and ratepayers alike.

“Local governments and electric cooperatives in Florida's Second Congressional District worked hard in the wake of Hurricane Michael to restore services necessary to the disaster response. Such entities incur interest on the loans they secure while they await federal reimbursement from FEMA. This cripples communities and puts them on the hook for millions of dollars,” said Congressman Dunn. “I am pleased that my bill was passed in the House by a large margin last year. This bill directs the federal government to obligate reimbursement in a timelier manner. Florida’s Second continues to persevere and demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity, and this bill will help folks as they continue to get back on their feet.”

“Local governments, electric co-ops, and other entities work incredibly hard to respond to crisis situations,” said Senator Rubio. “This bicameral legislation would significantly reduce the burden of interest payments on loans to the hardest hit communities. Promoting policy that best serves the interest of our fellow Americans remains my priority, especially following a natural disaster.”

“By providing local governments and electric co-ops with access to disaster debt relief, we're not only easing their financial burden, but we're also providing relief to ratepayers and investing in the resiliency to protect our future. It's time to support those who are on the front lines of recovery and ensure that they have the resources they need to rebuild and recover stronger than ever before. I am proud to co-introduce the FEMA Loan Interest Payment Relief Act in the House,” said Congressman Soto.

"FEMA reimbursements move slower than a turtle stuck in molasses,” said Congressman Graves. “This bill establishes badly-needed consequences on FEMA for bureaucratic foot-dragging. Once enacted, FEMA will reimburse disaster costs faster so our local and state partners aren’t stuck footing the bill. This will help speed up our communities' recovery while saving taxpayer funds. We appreciate Congressman Dunn and Senator Rubio's leadership and vision here.”

Communities in Florida’s Panhandle were severely impacted by Hurricane Michael in 2018.  This resulted in two electric co-ops sustaining nearly 100% destruction. This emergency funding was essential in helping these co-ops get back to serving their members.