Olson Introduces Bill to Extend Deadline For IKE Related Funds
WASHINGTON, DC â€“ Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) last night introduced legislation to extend the deadline for local governments and other affected entities to use previously dedicated Hurricane Ike recovery funds. In early 2009, in the aftermath of Hurricane IKE, the State of Texas received $219 million in recovery funds under the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) program from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Under federal law, if not spent by September 30, 2010, these funds will be permanently returned to the federal treasury.
â€œThe recovery process for IKE-affected communities remains ongoing and bureaucracy should not stand in the way,â€ Rep. Olson said. â€œThe communities hit hardest by Ike should not lose crucial funds to fully recover simply because they could not meet an arbitrary deadline. Congress granted a similar SSBG extension for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. This simple extension ensures a complete and stronger recovery for southeast Texas. I urge Congress to take action as soon as possible.â€
HR 5790 provides a one year deadline extension (September 30, 2011) for those affected to spend the SSBG funds they have received. HR 5790 involves no new spending. The SSBG grant funds were released and dispersed over a year ago. This bill will only give those who need it extra time to expend these needed funds as they continue to recover from Hurricane IKE.
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