Finkenauer Statement Regarding New Developments Around President Trump’s Major Disaster Declaration Announcement

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer issued the following statement after additional information was provided by FEMA to the Congressional Delegation with respect to the President’s previously stated “full” approval of the State of Iowa’s request for an expedited major disaster declaration:  

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer

“While I am appreciative of the President’s quick action in approving Public Assistance for Iowa communities to cleanup and rebuild, I’m deeply disappointed he has not granted the State of Iowa’s full request for Individual Assistance, including assistance to individuals and homeowners, in response to the derecho storm that devastated Cedar Rapids and communities across eastern Iowa,” Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer said. “We must ensure no Iowan is left behind by this tragedy. I ask the president to rectify his omission immediately.”  

“I will continue fighting for a fast and comprehensive review of the impacts of this storm on Iowa families and businesses — and all necessary and appropriate federal relief for families as well as local governments,” Finkenauer said.  

The following is a timeline of the events surrounding the disaster declaration: 

At 5:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds formally requested an expedited Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, including $3.9 billion for public and individual assistance through FEMA.  

At 9:30 a.m. CT this morning, it was reported that President Trump said he had approved the declaration.   

At 1:33 p.m. CT this afternoon, President Trump announced via Twitter that he had “Just approved (and fast) the FULL Emergency Declaration for the Great State of Iowa.” 

It’s now clear that those statements and reports were inaccurate.  

Around 4:30 p.m. CT, FEMA provided the Federal Disaster Declaration Fact Sheet clarifying that the president in fact has not fulfilled the governor’s full request and has not approved assistance to individuals and households. Rather according to the  Federal Disaster Declaration Fact Sheet, the Individual Assistance requested by Governor Reynolds for families and households in 27 counties remains “under review,” while Public Assistance for “emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities” has been approved in 16 counties. 

The document gives no timeline for when or if individual assistance will be approved.  

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