Murray, Cantwell Statement on the Obama Administration’s Disaster Declaration

Aug 12 2014

Obama Administration approves federal Public Assistance, denies critical Individual Assistance for families impacted by wildfires

(Seattle, WA) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell issued the following statement after the Obama Administration approved Governor Jay Inslee’s request for federal Public Assistance, which reimburses state and local agencies for disaster-related spending, for Okanogan County and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation through a federal Major Disaster Declaration, but denied similar assistance for Chelan County and much-needed Individual Assistance for residents of Okanogan County. After Governor Inslee’s initial request for both Public and Individual Assistance last week, the Senators have urged the Obama Administration respond quickly to the historic wildfires currently impacting Washington state.

“While we appreciate the President’s decision to provide federal Public Assistance for the Colville Tribes and communities in Okanogan County, we are extremely disappointed that the Administration has denied desperately-needed Individual Assistance for hundreds of Washington families whose homes and lives have been devastated by these wildfires.  We will continue pushing the Administration to provide Individual Assistance and all federal resources available to these families, and we will support the Governor’s appeal of today’s decision.”