WASHINGTON – Sen. Ben Sasse offered his approval for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s decision to reverse rules that prohibited houses of worship from receiving disaster relief funding.
Sasse wrote to FEMA Administrator Brock Long in September, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, saying the old policy was unjust, unconstitutional and unreasonable.
After the Hurrican devastated areas of Houston, the Hi-Way Tabernacle became a FEMA staging center, sheltered 70 people and distributed over 8,000 emergency meals, but was denied federal reimbursement based on FEMA rules.
Sasse said FEMA made the right call recently to include houses of worship as eligible “community centers.”
Sasse: “When disasters strike, our churches, synagogues, and mosques get right to work. It didn’t make any sense for Washington to discriminate against these Good Samaritans. This is good news for people of faith and the communities they serve.”
President Donald Trump earlier joined the move to include churches in funding for disaster relief. Facilities used primarily for political, athletic or academics are still barred from receiving support.