Legislation has been introduced to amend the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to enable tribal government to submit a request for a declaration by the President that a major disaster or emergency exists. Currently, tribal governments must apply for emergency aid through States.
H.R. 1953, introduced by Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV). The bill is pending in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management.
H.R. 2903, introduced by Jeff Denham (R-CA), would reauthorize the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. As introduced, the bill did not include the provisions enabling tribal governments to apply to the President for aid. As passed by the House on September 19, 2012, H.R. 2903 included the tribal provisions. The bill is pending in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.