House Votes to Provide Additional $43 Million to Iowa for Disaster Recovery Grants

February 7, 2020
Press Release
Rep. Axne applauds new funding to assist with long-term recovery, infrastructure restoration, and mitigation of future disasters

Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) voted to advance legislation out of the House that will increase funding for disaster recovery grants for Iowa. The bill passed by a bipartisan vote and adds $43,553,715 for additional Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grants.

CDBG-DR grants are used to assist with restoration of infrastructure, long-term disaster recovery, and mitigation efforts to guard against future disaster. The grants are awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In November, the House passed Axne-led legislation to modernize how CDBG-DR grants are awarded.

The new funding was included in H.R. 5687, an emergency supplemental appropriations bill that provides funding for earthquake recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and states affected by disasters in both 2019 and 2018.

“I’m glad that Iowa will be getting these additional funds to help communities continue recovery efforts and help us build up our defenses to prevent future disaster,” said Rep. Axne. “In addition, before this vote I reminded HUD that Iowans and I are still waiting for an accounting of where existing CDBG-DR funding and other HUD efforts have been allocated in Iowa. Iowa communities deserve to know where this taxpayer funding is going to help, and I will not stop demanding our government agencies give clear and consistent updates.”

In order to allow Iowans to track where federal agencies are spending this funding in Iowa, Rep. Axne has been updating her Iowa Flood Funding Tracker with disclosures on recovery programs.

After responses from five different federal agencies, the tracker accounts for $515.6 million in federal dollars spent on flood relief in Iowa. HUD is one of three agencies that has not replied.

The new allocation for CDBG-DR grants would be added to funds that Rep. Axne has already secured for recovery efforts after flooding in Southwestern Iowa last spring.

In December, Rep. Axne voted for a bipartisan appropriations package which made available an additional $1.5 billion in unspent 2017 disaster funds for 2019 agriculture disaster recovery programs.

In May, the House passed H.R. 2157 — Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 — which included $3 billion specifically to help with flooded communities in the Midwest thanks to the leadership of Rep. Axne.

# # #