Statement by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on House Passage of Legislation Addressing Tribal Sovereignty
FEMA Reauthorization Act Allows Tribal Governments to Directly Apply for Federal Disaster Aid
WASHINGTON - Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate issued the following statement regarding passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the 2012 FEMA Reauthorization Act, including Section 210, which would amend the Stafford Act to allow federally recognized Tribal governments to seek a federal emergency or disaster declaration directly from the President of the United States. In June, Administrator Fugate sent a letter to Congress asking for the passage of this provision:
"Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation to allow federally recognized Tribal governments to seek a federal emergency or disaster declaration directly from the President of the United States. Such an amendment to the Stafford Act affirms the sovereignty of tribal governments. FEMA has strong, long-standing relationships with tribal governments, and they are essential members of the emergency management team. The U.S. Government has a unique government-to-government relationship with federally recognized tribal governments, and amending the Stafford Act to recognize this sovereign relationship will only strengthen the way that FEMA supports tribal communities before, after and during disasters. The House's action today is an important step forward for this legislation which would strengthen our nation's emergency management team."