January 22, 2021

Senators Hassan, Shaheen Applaud Announcement that Schools Will Be Reimbursed for COVID-Related Reopening Costs

Biden Administration Announced Today that FEMA Will Fully Reimburse Schools for Supplies Necessary for Reopening, and State Governments for National Guard and Emergency Supplies

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced upcoming Executive Orders to strengthen the COVID-19 public health response, including key measures called for by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

 

Those measures include ensuring that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will reimburse COVID-related costs for schools, such as personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, through FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. Senator Hassan, who leads the subcommittee overseeing emergency management, called for this step after FEMA officials in the Trump administration refused to reimburse New Hampshire schools for personal protective equipment. Senator Shaheen also called on the Trump administration to reverse their decision.

 

President Biden will also direct FEMA to fully reimburse states for National Guard efforts to assist in pandemic response efforts and additional emergency costs. Senators Hassan and Shaheen previously called on the Trump administration to reimburse these costs at 100 percent instead of 75 percent.

 

“New Hampshire schools are taking on extraordinary and necessary costs to conduct in-person learning while keeping students, teachers, and staff as safe as possible, and I am very pleased that the President Biden acted quickly so that emergency costs can be fully reimbursed. The same is true for the costs our state government has taken on – the National Guard has provided invaluable support to our public health and economic recovery efforts, and they must be able to continue doing this critical work,” said Senator Hassan. “The actions announced today are an important step to help ensure that schools and state and municipal governments can afford to do what is required to contain the pandemic, return to in-person learning, and rebuild our economy.”

 

“I’m glad the President is heeding our calls in Congress and appreciate his determination to confront this pandemic from all sides – that is the kind of strategy we need to fight through this public health and economic crisis,” said Senator Shaheen. “His swift actions to assist with the safe reopening of schools, as well as covering the full federal cost of our National Guard are clear examples of his commitment to help our cities, towns and states mitigate the economic impact of this pandemic and to put the health and safety of Americans first. Our states and municipalities are facing severe budgetary shortfalls, which is why this federal support is urgently needed and will allow Granite Staters to breathe a small sigh of relief. But this is only the beginning – I look forward to continuing to work across the aisle in Congress and with the Biden administration to enact lasting, meaningful legislation that will provide Granite Staters and all Americans the tools they need get through these challenging times.”

 

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