WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) led the Louisiana Delegation in sending a letter to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell requesting that the agency cover the cost of qualifying interest for local governments and utility cooperatives affected by public assistance processing delays.
“As you know, seven named storms made landfall in Louisiana between 2020 and 2021, causing extensive power outages and widespread damage to coastal and inland communities. In response to these disasters, affected local governments and utility cooperatives took quick action and leaned into the recovery process. However, the Louisiana delegation remains concerned by ongoing reimbursement delays that have significantly impacted the financial stability of utility cooperatives and units of local government in our state,” wrote the lawmakers.
“Loans or lines of credit are routinely used to close the gap. Unfortunately, this means that any delays in FEMA’s processing of reimbursements can result in significant financial burdens for public assistance recipients. As time goes on and interest on these loans accrue, the cost of recovery continues to grow,” states the letter. “We request that FEMA commit to cover the cost of qualifying interest for local governments and utility cooperatives in Louisiana affected by these processing delays. This will help alleviate the financial strain on these public assistance recipients, allowing them to continue providing essential services to their communities.”
Read the letter here.