WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich’s (D-N.M.) request was granted by the Biden administration to retroactively reimburse state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments for 100% rather than 75% of eligible emergency costs related to fighting COVID-19. President Joe Biden directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to increase the federal cost share in a memo signed this week.
This means New Mexico will receive additional federal funding to cover the full cost of previously approved activities undertaken to combat COVID-19.
“New Mexico’s communities and Tribal governments have taken on enormous and unprecedented costs to protect the health and safety of their residents,” said Heinrich. “I am so pleased President Biden heeded the call to waive FEMA’s cost share requirements that stood in the way of Tribal governments and local governments receiving the full support of the federal government to continue responding to this crisis. In my new role on the Appropriations committee, I will keep doing everything in my power to secure the funding and resources Tribal nations and New Mexico’s communities need to save lives, ramp up an equitable rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, and support long-term economic recovery across the state.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Senator Heinrich has led the effort to waive the 25% non-federal cost share requirement for FEMA assistance related to COVID-19. In the last Congress, he introduced the Tribal COVID-19 Disaster Assistance Cost Share Relief Act to eliminate the non-federal cost share for emergency protective measures undertaken by Tribal governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and grant 100% funding. Senator Heinrich also wrote several letters to the previous administration calling for the increased federal cost share, and then to then President-elect Biden urging him to make this action one of his first upon taking office.