Delta Regional Authority requires appointed federal co-chair, say Blackburn, GOP colleagues

Sen. Marsha Blackburn

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) recently led several Republicans in requesting that President Joe Biden quickly appoint a new federal co-chair to the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), a federal-state partnership that works to improve the quality of life for the residents of the Mississippi Delta. 

“The DRA has operated without a presidentially appointed Federal Co-Chair or Alternate Federal Co-Chair since January 20, 2021,” wrote Sen. Blackburn and five of her Senate colleagues in a Sept. 24 letter sent to the president. “As you know, the DRA provides grant funding to strengthen economic opportunity in the eight-state Delta region, and this work is important to millions of Americans.”

Specifically, the DRA is responsible for targeted grant funding opportunities in the Delta region, which includes Sen. Blackburn’s home state of Tennessee, according to their letter, which was also signed by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

The lawmakers pointed out that because the DRA is a federal-state partnership, it requires an affirmative vote of both a federal member and a majority of state members to execute its grant-making activities.

“We understand that the DRA does not have the statutory authority to make program eligibility determinations or new grant awards without the appointment of a Federal Co-Chair or Alternate Federal Co-Chair,” Sen. Blackburn