Thompson, King, Reichert, and Pascrell Call For Keeping FEMA in the Department of Homeland Security
U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman Peter T. King (R-NY), and Reps. David G. Reichert (R-WA) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology, released the following statement today calling on Congress to keep the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):
"FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina left no doubt that the agency needs to be reformed, but simply removing it from the Department of Homeland Security will not address its fundamental problems. With less than 60 days until the start of the next hurricane season, FEMA must be focused on its critical responsibilities and not on a large-scale restructuring.
"Removing FEMA from DHS would only exacerbate the agency's problems. It would reduce FEMA's access to the vast resources available within the Department, create duplicative response efforts for natural and manmade disasters and significantly delay our ability to prepare for future emergencies. It is imperative that we strengthen FEMA while keeping it within DHS. In order to do that, we must work to ensure that the agency has permanent and qualified leadership as well as the resources it requires to fulfill its charge of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
"There is no doubt that FEMA needs to be improved, but removing the agency from DHS is clearly not the answer."