Tester, Capito Solidify FEMA’s Efforts to Combat COVID-19 with $3 Billion for Disaster Relief Fund

Senators, the heads of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, approve FEMA Disaster Relief Fund resources for vaccine distribution, PPE for states

U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va), the leaders of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, today approved $3 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Funds (DRF) to combat COVID-19.

The approval allows FEMA to reprogram funds to ensure states, Tribes, territories, and local jurisdictions have the resources they need to combat COVID-19 and bridge the gap until critically needed appropriations are enacted for the DRF. These funds will provide additional resources to states to support efforts including vaccine distribution, testing, the purchase of personal protective equipment, and costs of National Guard personnel.

“Getting shots in arms and ensuring Americans are adequately protected against the coronavirus are how we’re going to get our economy back on track and get folks back to work,” Tester said. “This infusion of resources – which was already allocated to FEMA for disaster relief-will be a massive boon to those efforts. I’ll continue working closely with Senator Capito to ensure this funding gets where it needs to go efficiently and with the proper oversight.”

“There is no doubt that FEMA has been on the frontline throughout the entire pandemic, working with state and local officials, partnering with other government agencies, and providing real-time support of their efforts. FEMA’s expanded role in vaccine distribution will support our nation’s inoculation efforts, which is why this movement of funds is important as it will allow for additional flexibility,” Senator Capito said.