News Releases

Senator Murray: In times of need, “we must demonstrate our commitment to the Americans affected by these disasters and engage the full force of the federal government to assist those in need” 

Request includes a fix for the outdated practice of ‘fire borrowing’ – which regularly exhausts funds for fire prevention efforts

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined Senate Democrats to call on the Trump administration to put forward a comprehensive package to provide relief from the onslaught of natural disasters in recent months, including hurricanes that have caused unprecedented damage to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, leaving millions without access to electricity, and wildfires that have devastated communities across the West.  The Trump Administration has committed to releasing such a package in the coming weeks.

In a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, Senator Murray outlined what must be included in a comprehensive package that would allow adequate investment in technology, conservation, and infrastructure that will mitigate further damage in future disasters and make our communities more resilient. As a voice for Washington state, Senator Murray made sure the Senators’ letter included the request to end fire borrowing, an issue especially important to Washington and other Western states.  

“This year our country has experience devastation and destruction as not one but three hurricanes made landfall on U.S. soil within a matter of weeks. At the same time, our Western states have been battling wildfires that have caused terrible loss of life and left thousands homeless,” wrote the Senators. “In these times of need, we must demonstrate our commitment to the Americans affected by these disasters and engage the full force of the federal government to assist those in need.”

The text of the letter is available HERE.

In October, Senator Murray joined her colleagues in passing a $36.5 billion emergency supplemental that contained $18.7 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund, $16 billion for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) debt forgiveness, $1.27 billion for nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico, and $576.5 million to combat wildfires. In September, Senator Murray and her colleagues passed a $15.25 billion emergency supplemental package that contained $7.4 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund and $450 million for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program.  In addition, the legislation provided $7.4 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.