Congressman Graves Supports Legal Action Against Federal Agencies Withholding RESTORE Funds
Congressman Garret Graves supports pending legal action against several federal agencies for refusing to distribute RESTORE funds to families who fall into the “duplication of benefits” loophole after the 2016 floods.
Graves says the agencies had 45 days to write policy for the money to be distributed, but departments, like HUD, have ignored the Congressional mandate passed in October.
“It is going to be filed, we are not playing games with the agencies in the case. The law is crystal clear in what its intention is and they need to follow the law.”
Flood victims who received Small Business Administration loans after the 2016 floods were not eligible to receive RESTORE grants for flood damage. But in October, Congress approved legislation to allow it.
Legal challenges can sometimes take ages to come to a conclusion, so Graves says they’ve consulted legal experts and found a way to get a much faster resolution.
“Rather than going through a full judicial proceeding that could potentially take months or even years, we are looking at a dec action which should have a much faster path through the court.”
The suit could potentially free up almost a quarter billion dollars in grants for 2016 flood victims.
Graves puts the blame on a group that’s opposed the regulatory change from the beginning because he says they erroneously fear it would result in flood victims getting paid by both the SBA and HUD.
“There are federal bureaucrats from different agencies including FEMA, HUD, and the office of management budget that were fighting us tooth and nail throughout this entire process.”