Diaz-Balart Fights to Save Hialeah from Years-Long Battle Over Disaster Recovery Funds
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, issued the following statement after the passage of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization, which included language that would prevent the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) from deobligating funds it awarded to the City of Hialeah over a decade ago.
“In the aftermath of the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, the City of Hialeah was awarded federal dollars from FEMA to help with clean-up and recovery. Years later, FEMA requested these funds to be paid back, after the funds had already been used for the stated disaster needs. This would put an immense burden on the City and its residents. That is why I am glad this legislation includes a provision I have championed, which would prevent FEMA from deobligating these funds. This provision will save Hialeah over $2.6 million, protecting these residents’ hard-earned taxpayer dollars. I am proud to have supported this bill and will continue to fight for my constituents back home. I thank Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Lois Frankel for working with me on this issue, as well as Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez for his tireless dedication to his city.
“I congratulate Chairman Shuster on the passage of this five-year FAA reauthorization, and am grateful for his public service. Bill is a dear friend and he will be missed in the halls of Congress.”