With just nine days left to pass crucial legislation and avert a federal government shutdown, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is watching closely. A FEMA budget that’s already tight and an impasse in Congress over a bill to keep the government open beyond Sept. 30 — when funding for federal agencies runs out — are threatening to slow aid to communities recovering from natural disasters.
FEMA is running short on money and has indefinitely paused its spending and reimbursement on some long-term recovery projects.
Vermont Democratic Sen. Peter Welch said while the money will eventually be restored, there are concerns in communities affected by natural disasters this summer — where FEMA money is desperately needed.
“We can’t mess around with this, bottom line. And it’s absolutely inexcusable for us to not help the folks in Maui, to help the folks in Florida and to help the folks, in this case, in Vermont,” Welch said.