WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today introduced the Fixing Infrastructure Damaged by Disasters Act, legislation to expand the authorization of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Emergency Repair Program (ERP) to permit reimbursements to states significantly impacted by major weather events, like this year’s winter freeze. Currently, ERP guidance prevents the Dept. of Transportation from reimbursing states for work critical to keeping roads safe, like many of the pothole and surface fracture repair projects completed following Texas’s February freeze. Sen. Cornyn’s bill would amend the program to cover damages directly caused by extreme weather events.
“Ask any Texan still repairing damage from the freeze in February while simultaneously preparing for hurricane season: Texas gets extreme weather on all ends of the spectrum,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This bill addresses a need discovered this year after the freeze: not all extreme weather damage is covered by the Emergency Repair Program. By bridging this gap, we can facilitate a faster return to safety for all Texans, no matter what weather comes our way.”