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President Biden announced that the federal government will bear all the costs of Kentucky‘s emergency work for the first 30 days, after tornados ripped through the region, killing at least 74 people. More than 100 are still missing.
The president authorized the funding at the request of Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andrew Beshear. It was something Biden said he “wasn’t sure he had the authority to do, but it turns out I do.”
“Every single cost, the federal government’s going to take care of,” Biden said Wednesday during his remarks after touring the damage caused by a tornado last week in Dawson Springs, Kentucky.
President Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (AP)
Biden said the funding will cover “debris removal, the cost of overtime and law enforcement, emergency service personnel and shelter.”
The president arrived in Kentucky earlier Wednesday, stopping at Fort Campbell before making his way to Mayfield. Biden, who was joined by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, received a briefing on the storm damage before taking both an aerial and ground tour of the damage.
Emergency workers search through what is left of the Mayfield Consumer Products Candle Factory after it was destroyed by a tornado in Mayfield, Kentucky. (Photo by John Amis / AFP) (Photo by JOHN AMIS/AFP via Getty Images) ((Photo by JOHN AMIS/AFP via Getty Images))
“I’m in Kentucky today to meet with local leaders and to survey the damage from the tornadoes and extreme weather,” Biden tweeted Wednesday. “It will take all of us, working together, to recover and begin rebuilding — and we are committed to providing whatever support is needed for however long it takes.”
MAYFIELD, KY – DECEMBER 11: General view of tornado damaged structures on December 11, 2021 in Mayfield, Kentucky. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) ((Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images))
Wednesday’s announcement comes after Biden had already approved emergency declarations for Kentucky and neighboring states of Illinois and Tennessee.