Meng and Bowman Lead Bipartisan Letter to Biden Requesting Swift Approval of Additional Federal Resources for New York Following Devastating Rainfall and Flooding

Sep 3, 2021
Press Release
NEW YORK – Following President Biden’s quick approval of an emergency declaration for New York, U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-Queens) and Jamaal Bowman (D-Bronx/Westchester) this evening led a bipartisan letter to the President asking him to also expediate the approval of a major disaster declaration for the state.
 
The additional declaration would allow more Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) resources to be made available to New York for help with recovery efforts from damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Governor Hochul is presently taking the necessary steps to make an anticipated request for a major disaster declaration.
 
“We thank President Biden for moving swiftly to approve the emergency declaration,” said Meng and Bowman. “We now urge him to follow through with the next step, and quickly approve a major disaster declaration as well. The needs of New Yorkers continue to grow, and we must make sure that we receive the largest amount of federal assistance possible.”
 
A copy of the letter can be viewed here. Signatories include Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Reps. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Antonio Delgado (D-NY), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Thomas Suozzi (D-NY).
 
President Biden approved the emergency declaration for New York late Thursday after receiving Governor Hochul’s formal request for assistance. His approval came after Meng, Bowman, and other Members of New York’s congressional delegation from both parties and both houses of Congress urged him to immediately grant the governor’s request.
 
The text of the letter is below.
 
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September 3, 2021
 
President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
 
Dear President Biden:
 
Thank you for expeditiously responding to New York Governor Hochul’s request for an Emergency Declaration for the State of New York and activating FEMA emergency protective measures for the counties of Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester. As you know, Governor Hochul is taking the necessary steps to make an anticipated request for a major disaster declaration, and as Members of Congress representing communities severely impacted by the record breaking flooding and rain fall, we fully support her efforts and we urge you to expedite approval of additional FEMA resources as soon as possible.
 
The remnants of Tropical Depression Ida are far reaching and continue to be uncovered as we learn of more lives tragically lost due to the brutal flooding. During this hardship, New Yorkers continue to uncover immense damage to their personal and business property. New York State has deployed substantial resources for necessary infrastructure repairs as a number of state roads remain flooded, utilities remain shutoff, and public transportation services are suspended throughout the region.
 
Additionally, our state and local governments continue to face the economic and public health challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge in Delta variant cases. The significant damage caused by Ida presents a threat to New York’s economic recovery, and COVID-19 response as individuals are displaced from their homes.
 
As New York State moves through the preliminary disaster assessment process, we respectfully urge that you activate the broadest number of federal resources to support our constituents in the aftermath of Ida. We look forward to working together to address this crisis.
 
Sincerely,