In the wake of the devastating August wildfires on Maui, Hawaii, the Biden Administration made additional disaster funding available to the state. The move unlocked the federal government’s ability to cover all, eligible expenses for debris removaland emergency, protective measures in Maui County.
As of a week ago, there were over one thousand federal government personnel on the ground in Maui, including FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams helping survivors sign up for financial relief assistance.
The President pledged $95 million to help Maui recover, with the money coming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. By the end of August, FEMA had already distributed close to $9 million, including $3.6 million in rental assistance. The agency encouraged residents to register with the government to receive assistance, which amounted to an immediate $700 payment for food and water if people were displaced from their homes due to the fires..
The question is, is that enough? When compared to the assistance the United States is giving the Ukraine, a nation invaded by Russia without provocation, does the disparity in financial assistance compared to Maui make sense? Is it even fair?
As of two months ago, the Biden Administration and Congress had committed more than $75 billion to the Ukraine since the war began. The assistance included humanitarian, financial and military support, all of which was well deserved for a nation attacked without any cause other than the sheer greed of Russia flexing its muscles. The breakdown includes $3.9 billion in humanitarian aid, $26.4 billion in financial assistance and $46.6 billion in military assistance.
Hudson TV asked Congressman Rob Menendez (D – District 8), a member of the Committee on Homeland Security, his thoughts on the Biden Administration’s commitment to Maui compared to the Ukraine.