Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blunt still wants FEMA to pay 100% of cleanup for Joplin and May floods

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt continues to insist that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, should reimburse local governments for 100 percent of the clean-up costs from the Joplin tornado.

FEMA will typically reimburse governments for 75% of disaster-related expenses, but the agency will occasionally pay more for large, atypical disasters. FEMA is paying 90% of the clean-up costs for the Tuscaloosa tornado earlier this year.

FEMA has decided that it will reimburse 90% for the Joplin tornado. But Senator Blunt is not satisfied.

"When they reach extraordinary proportions, like the flood in May, or like Joplin did, the local governments can’t pay 25% of the cost of the cleanup," Blunt said. "Now we’ve got that down in Joplin where it would be 10%. But in Katrina is was 100% and it didn’t matter whether it was Katrina in New Orleans or Katrina somewhere in rural Mississippi. It was 100% reimbursement."

Blunt says that the government should only step in when people can’t take care of certain responsibilities on their own, such as levees and infrastructure.

As an example, he says that the federal government shouldn’t recompense homes that are uninsured when the owners willfully chose to not carry insurance.

Jacob McCleland, KRCU


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