U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama today released the following statement regarding the President's decision to increase the federal cost share for disaster assistance from 75 percent to 90 percent following the historic levels of flooding in the Midwest. Today's decision applies to Public Assistance funds (used to repair or replace disaster-damaged facilities and infrastructure) and eligible Direct Federal Assistance (used to reimburse the state for food, water and other emergency measures such as sandbags).
"We are pleased that the President has made the decision to increase the amount of federal aid to Illinois and other Midwestern states. As the flood waters recede, there is much work to be done to help residents, businesses and communities recover from the devastating storms and flooding."
"The federal response thus far has been encouraging, but we will continue to work in Washington to ensure a coordinated federal effort is focused on repairing the damage from disaster."
Last month, Durbin and Obama joined members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation in support of the decision by Governors from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin to send a letter to President Bush requesting this increase in light of enormous social and economic impact the flooding is having on the four states and local communities. Illinois Congressional Delegation members signing that letter included Representative Melissa Bean (D-IL), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Bill Foster (D-IL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Phil Hare (D-IL), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), Tim Johnson (R-IL), Ray LaHood (R-IL), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Don Manzullo (R-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and John Shimkus (R-IL).