Iowa’s congressional delegation is pressing FEMA to require just 10 percent in local government matching funds when federal grants are awarded to cover the costs of rebuilding and repairing public infrastructure like bridges and water systems. Flood waters have left behind millions of dollars worth of damage to property that’s owned by cities and counties.
Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, is one of the five Iowa congressmen who sent a letter this week to FEMA on this topic and he expects little resistance to their request. "I have not heard any expressed obstacles to that and certainly in light of the magnitude of what we’re talking about I have had many, many colleagues come up to me on the floor since I have returned to Washington, expressing their sympathy, expressing their full support to do what they can to help Iowans out," Braley says, "and so from a congressional standpoint I would not expect to see strong opposition to that."
Braley says during the Floods of ’93, the federal government required just 10 percent local match for federal grants for rebuilding publicly-owned infrastructure. "So that the local counties and cities were not forced to bear the brunt of this relief effort when they have so many other challenges facing them as a result of this devastation," Braley says.
This afternoon, the U.S. House is scheduled to vote on a spending bill that includes more than two-and-a-half billion dollars in flood relief. The money is to go to a variety of agencies involved in the federal government’s flood response including FEMA, the Small Business Administration, the U.S.D.A and the Army Corps of Engineers.