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Following Calls from Hirono, Hawaii Congressional Delegation, President Biden Requests Additional $4 Billion in Supplemental Disaster Relief Funding

~ New Request Brings Administration National Disaster Relief Request Total To $16 Billion ~

HONOLULU, HI – Following calls from U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) and U.S. Representatives Ed Case (D-HI) and Jill Tokuda (D-HI), President Biden sent an updated request to Congress to increase the supplemental Disaster Relief Fund by $4 billion, bringing the new request total to $16 billion.

“The President said he would do whatever it takes to help to Maui, and this is a down payment on that commitment. The recovery will take significant resources, and this new request from the President will help us pass a strong disaster supplemental appropriations bill in the coming weeks,” the delegation said. 

Following the devastating fires on Maui, the delegation led calls to the Biden Administration and congressional leaders to provide additional federal funding to aid in the recovery efforts. The Disaster Relief Fund, managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is the primary source of funding for the federal government to support state and local response and recovery efforts in emergencies and disasters.

Senator Hirono is committed to providing a rapid response to the devastating wildfires on Maui and delivering federal assistance to those affected by the disaster. On August 30, Senator Hirono and the rest of the Hawaii congressional delegation urged the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ur M. Jaddou, to continue and expand efforts to assist members of the immigrant community who have been impacted by the wildfires on Maui. On August 24, ahead of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra’s visit to Maui, U.S. Senator Hirono, along with the rest of the Hawaii congressional delegation, called on the Secretary to take additional federal actions to support mental health, child care, and language services for survivors. On August 23, Senator Hirono announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will award $1.3 million to the State of Hawaii to support people who were already experiencing homelessness—those living in an emergency shelter, transitional housing, or a place not meant for human habitation—or at risk of homelessness through the Rapid Unsheltered Survivor Housing (RUSH) program. The federal funding is awarded to help communities in Maui in the aftermath of the recent wildfire disaster. On August 9, Senator Hirono, along with the rest of the Hawaii congressional delegation, urged President Biden to act swiftly to make all federal resources available and approve any request for a presidential disaster declaration. This declaration would help ensure that the affected communities can access important federal funding and resources to recover.