Fischer introduces bicameral bill to reimburse local sponsors for emergency response

U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) recently proposed bicameral legislation to authorize the reimbursement to non-federal sponsors for emergency response repair and restoration work.

“I am proud to introduce this bill, which I am working to have included in water resources legislation,” Sen. Fischer said. “It will enable local sponsors to assist with flood-control infrastructure repairs, making rehabilitation more efficient and saving communities time and money on their road to recovery.”

Sen. Fischer on Feb. 13 sponsored the Restoring the Efforts of Local Involvement in Emergencies and Floods (RELIEF) Act, S. 3295, to hasten disaster recovery and infrastructure repairs by creating opportunities for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to cooperate with local sponsors, according to a bill summary.

“Nebraska has made progress recovering from last year’s devastating floods, but some districts are still waiting for permanent repairs to their levee projects,” said Sen. Fischer.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) on Feb. 12 introduced the same-named H.R. 5868 in the U.S. House, saying the bill will make response and recovery efforts “more cost-efficient and timelier.”

If enacted, the bill would permit non-federal sponsors to conduct repair work under the Emergency Rehabilitation Program and seek reimbursement from USACE, according to the bill summary.

S. 3295 is being considered by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee while H.R. 5868 is being reviewed by the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.