WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced she joined her colleagues Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in a bipartisan letter urging President Trump to exercise authorities available in the wake of natural disasters to provide direct emergency assistance to individuals and families and waive local cost sharing in order to increase federal resources to states and communities responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. 
 
“Now, as the entire nation faces the challenges of a global pandemic, we are asking that your administration unlock the full capacity of the federal government so that we can work on the frontlines to save lives and protect our most vulnerable populations,” wrote the Senators. “Unfortunately, since the original emergency declaration made last week, cases have only grown more rapidly and the worst is likely still to come.” 
 
The full text of the letter can be found here and below.
 
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
 
Dear Mr. President:
 
We urge you to use the authority vested in you by the Stafford Act to increase the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) federal cost share to 100% and authorize Individual Assistance (IA) in order fight this global pandemic.  It is vital that the federal government leverage all of its resources to help state and local governments fight to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.
 
We appreciate the step you took last week in declaring the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency, which enabled FEMA to assist communities to respond to COVID-19 through its PA program.  Unfortunately, since the original emergency declaration made last week, cases have only grown more rapidly and the worst is likely still to come.  Increasing the federal cost share of FEMA PA will allow state and local governments to focus solely on containing and mitigating the outbreak of the virus without having to be hamstrung by rising costs and limited budgets. 
 
Raising the federal cost share is not an unprecedented step. During the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the devastating Louisiana floods of 2016, the federal cost share was increased beyond 75%.  Now as the entire nation faces the challenges of a global pandemic, we are asking that your administration unlock the full capacity of the federal government so that we can work on the frontlines to save lives and protect our most vulnerable populations.
 
During this time of crisis, it is important, now more than ever, that every level of government utilize all available resources to stem and curb the spread of COVID-19.  Increasing the federal cost share for FEMA PA to 100% and unlocking IA for affected families are important steps that will help our nation combat this massive threat. 
 
Sincerely,

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