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senate Bill S. 1641

Should FEMA Have a Shorter Time Frame to "Claw Back" Disaster Relief From States and Individuals?

Argument in favor

States, localities, and individuals need certainty that FEMA won’t try to recoup disaster funds years after they’ve completed projects. A three year statute of limitations after a project concludes is a lot fairer than waiting a decade or more later until a disaster is formally ended.

S's Opinion
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08/29/2017
Frankly, no entity or individual should be required to pay back FEMA. Our tax dollars have pre-paid for disaster relief just like we pay for car insurance. Paying back FEMA means that states, localities, and individuals have to pay twice. Once in taxes and another when relief is given. Insurance companies don't require repayment. We don't require repayment from countries to which we provide disaster relief. We don't require Afghanistan to pay us for our military support.
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Ethel's Opinion
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08/28/2017
FEMA allowed more funds for each individual during Katrina disaster in New Orleans versus other hurricane disasters following Katrina. We need to do whatever it takes to help our people restore their lives as quickly as possible. Look, funds are sent to other countries for rebuilding . Therefore, we need to do whatever it takes to rebuild our own! Whether you are rich, wealthy, average or poor it is a home in need of repair and without exception; REBUILD through insurance first and if additional fund needed then FEMA ...No insurance then FEMA! As quickly as possible!
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Jim2423's Opinion
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08/28/2017
It isn't rocket science, storm damage doesn't vary that much state to state. A flood is a flood, tornado a tornado, hurricane a hurricane. Paperwork doesn't change so the process should be faster as time goes on.
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Argument opposed

FEMA should retain the ability to recoup disaster funds until three years after a state closes out a declared disaster, even if that step in the process doesn’t occur until years or decades after the disaster occurred.

Kodiwodi's Opinion
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08/28/2017
This is ridiculous. Some are still recovering from Katrina and Super Storm Sandy and how many years has that been? You don't just set a time limit. You must account for crooked politicians and contractors swarming the area to make their bucks. And the monies be purposely incorrectly distributed. And supplies disappearing or being wasted. All that must be figured in. Properly fund these agencies and hold them accountable and then we can talk about time limits.
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Paul's Opinion
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08/28/2017
I'm sorry, but I cannot think of anything more stupid or heartless, or just plain amoral than going to someone still recovering from a disaster and saying, "bitch better have my money". More than a decade after Katrina large swaths of New Orleans STILL haven't been rebuilt, and you say people should be able to get their shit together in less than 3 years? No. Sorry, but as we watch the entire state of Texas getting washed away in the worst storm to make landfall in American history this is NOT the time to start renegotiating the term of disaster loan repayments.
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Leo's Opinion
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08/28/2017
Some disasters take longer than three years to recover from.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    IntroducedJuly 27th, 2017

Bill Activity

  • action
    Introduced in Senate
  • referral
    Read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    IntroducedJuly 27th, 2017
    Frankly, no entity or individual should be required to pay back FEMA. Our tax dollars have pre-paid for disaster relief just like we pay for car insurance. Paying back FEMA means that states, localities, and individuals have to pay twice. Once in taxes and another when relief is given. Insurance companies don't require repayment. We don't require repayment from countries to which we provide disaster relief. We don't require Afghanistan to pay us for our military support.
    Like (12)
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    This is ridiculous. Some are still recovering from Katrina and Super Storm Sandy and how many years has that been? You don't just set a time limit. You must account for crooked politicians and contractors swarming the area to make their bucks. And the monies be purposely incorrectly distributed. And supplies disappearing or being wasted. All that must be figured in. Properly fund these agencies and hold them accountable and then we can talk about time limits.
    Like (94)
    Follow
    Share
    I'm sorry, but I cannot think of anything more stupid or heartless, or just plain amoral than going to someone still recovering from a disaster and saying, "bitch better have my money". More than a decade after Katrina large swaths of New Orleans STILL haven't been rebuilt, and you say people should be able to get their shit together in less than 3 years? No. Sorry, but as we watch the entire state of Texas getting washed away in the worst storm to make landfall in American history this is NOT the time to start renegotiating the term of disaster loan repayments.
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    Some disasters take longer than three years to recover from.
    Like (39)
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    Really? When hurricane Harvey is hitting Texas at this very moment?! Marco Rubio should be ashamed of trying to get some attention with this stupid bill.
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    sounds like a republican plan to screw the victims. remember in 2013 MOST republicans voted against hurricane Sandy Aid package including Cruz who was stammering about it on MSNBC .
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    I'm voting nay just based on the doublespeak in Rubio's quote. If you get a FEMA loan you should expect to pay it back. Giving people more time to recover is not a hardship.
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    I feel like we're asking the wrong question. Why is there a "clawback" happening at all?
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    Way to think about what is best for your own hurricane prone state, rubio. I'm sorry, but I cannot think of anything more stupid or heartless, or just plain amoral than going to someone still recovering from a disaster and saying, "bitch better have my money". More than a decade after Katrina large swaths of New Orleans STILL haven't been rebuilt, and you say people should be able to get their shit together in less than 3 years? No. Sorry, but as we watch the entire state of Texas getting washed away in the worst storm to make landfall in American history this is NOT the time to start renegotiating the term of disaster loan repayments.
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    Give them the time they need, don't set short limits. Sometimes people don't want quick help, just good help
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    This bill is sponsored by Marco Rubio, not my favorite senator of our state. It is not really clear to me who this would benefit. Need more clarification.
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    FEMA should negotiate with each recipient In many cases "recouping" may not be appropriate
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    Different disasters require different levels of need and the economic health of the states is not uniform. This is a ridiculous proposal.
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    Some recoveries take longer than others. Some take very long.
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    if YOU were the one recovering and YOU had not fully recovered to the point you could pay back the money would YOU want the government to come after YOU and YOUR FAMILY? what if you NEVER recovered enough to pay it back?
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    FEMA allowed more funds for each individual during Katrina disaster in New Orleans versus other hurricane disasters following Katrina. We need to do whatever it takes to help our people restore their lives as quickly as possible. Look, funds are sent to other countries for rebuilding . Therefore, we need to do whatever it takes to rebuild our own! Whether you are rich, wealthy, average or poor it is a home in need of repair and without exception; REBUILD through insurance first and if additional fund needed then FEMA ...No insurance then FEMA! As quickly as possible!
    Like (6)
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    They should have the time and resources they need to get the job done. And no pork money should be allowed to attach to bills legislating money for disasters. Just relief money period. No politicking re other issues
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    Why don't you focus on spending our tax dollars on helping American citizens in need rather than warmongering and corporate welfare? This is a ridiculous bill.
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    Folks are reading this wrong. What the bill does is limit the amount of time that FEMA can take back money from states and localities. When I worked in Emergency Managment our running joke was that after the Federal Declaration that FEMA would then show up to bayonet the wounded. In other words try to limit what they would help with, we had both good and bad experiences with FEMA staff. Some could have carried less and wanted to be gone as soon as they could.
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    They should have a time frame that's reasonable based on the emergency and if it's a state of emergency they should have the longest time to recoup!
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