WASHINGTON (April 7, 2021) – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) welcomed nearly $7 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants for the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), in addition to the nearly $21 million that was previously awarded to NMDOH. The grants are a result of a cost share adjustment from 75% to 100% federal share.
In June 2020, the New Mexico delegation called on FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor to waive all cost-sharing requirements for assistance under President Trump’s Major Disaster Declaration for the State of New Mexico for the state’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In January 2021, Senators Heinrich and Luján urged the incoming Biden administration to “take immediate action upon assuming office to grant pending requests to waive the 25% non-federal cost share requirement for FEMA assistance related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” Following his inauguration, President Joe Biden signed an executive order requiring FEMA to make assistance for state, local, and Tribal governments available at a 100% federal cost share until September 30, 2021.
“New Mexico’s communities and Tribal nations have taken on enormous, unprecedented costs to protect the health and safety of their residents,” said Heinrich, a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. “FEMA’s cost share requirements had kept New Mexico’s state, local, and Tribal governments from receiving the full, federal support they needed. We called on President Biden to fix this by waiving these cost share requirements. He listened, and now millions in FEMA grants are heading to New Mexico to directly help our state’s continued pandemic response.”
“I am glad that President Biden heeded our calls to waive cost-sharing requirements and provide much-needed relief to New Mexico state, local, and Tribal governments. This pandemic has stretched communities’ budgets thin, and these increased investments in New Mexico will help our state recover and rebuild from this pandemic,” said Luján. “I’m proud that President Biden’s actions will deliver much-needed resources to the New Mexico Department of Health.”