Biden Requests Money for KY Floods, CDBG

The Biden-Harris administration this month asked Congress to appropriate another $37.3 billion to respond to recent natural disasters. The request includes $100 million in water and wastewater grants to mitigate flood damage in Kentucky and more than double the annual funds for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

The White House has asked Congress to add $265 million this fiscal year to the Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program helps repair clean drinking water facilities and wastewater treatment plants in rural areas.

Of the total, the administration asked to set aside $100 million for Kentucky communities dealing with the aftermath of severe flooding. The request also asks Congress to increase the maximum population threshold for grants to rural areas and cities with populations of 50,000 instead of the current 10,000 or less restriction.

The supplemental funding request includes another $3.5 billion for the CDBG program operated through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Congress appropriated a total of $3.3 billion in FY 2022. This program provides formula grants to nine entitlement cities in Kentucky: Ashland, Bowling Green, Covington, Elizabethtown, Henderson, Hopkinsville, Lexington, Louisville, and Owensboro. All other cities may compete for grants through the state’s program. The money requested would go toward disaster recovery and mitigation needs.

The executive branch typically submits a few emergency or supplemental appropriations requests each fiscal year. However, Congress has not passed any of the 12 regular appropriations bills to fund the federal government, so all or parts of the supplemental request likely will go in an omnibus funding measure. The federal fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

Lawmakers passed a continuing resolution (CR) in late September to avoid a federal government shutdown. The CR expires on Dec. 16, although leaders have suggested they may need another continuing resolution to finalize an agreement in a narrowly divided Congress.