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Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2010 -- (House of Representatives - June 24, 2009)

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Mr. HARE. I rise for the purpose of entering into a colloquy with the chairman of the subcommittee.

Mr. Chairman, I welcome a colloquy with my distinguished colleague. Mr. Chairman, as you know, my district is home to many levee districts along the Mississippi River.

On February 25, 2009, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a new policy on rehabilitation assistance for levees. Under this new policy, levee districts are prohibited from receiving FEMA assistance for flood cleanups, debris removal and dewatering. Instead, the burden for funding critical flood control activities is being shifted away from FEMA to the Corps of Engineers even though, as I understand it, the Corps does not have the authorization or the funding to reimburse the levee districts for these activities.

My community, Mr. Chairman, is concerned that this policy leaves levees and the river communities they protect vulnerable during peak flooding seasons while many are still recovering from last summer's floods. In fact, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency recently reported that a drainage district in southern Illinois was denied reimbursement for debris removal as the direct result of this new policy.

Mr. Chairman, I have contacted FEMA to urge them to reverse the policy and continue assisting levee districts with these costs to avoid further gaps in disaster assistance.

Mr. Chairman, I understand that FEMA and the Corps are working on this issue, but if there is no resolution by the time this bill heads to conference, I may need the assistance of the chairman to resolve this matter.

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