A bill that seeks to address the rising costs of disaster recovery, provide additional support for first responders, and reauthorize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the first time ever was recently advanced by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
The FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2017 would reauthorize the agency through 2020, which would remain consistent with federal funding levels, while also ensuring Congressional oversight of the agency.
“As disaster costs and losses continue to rise across the nation, we need to ensure that the federal government is prepared to respond, and that our local communities are strong and resilient,” U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), who introduced the legislation, said. “This bill would improve our ability to mitigate disaster damages, train first responders, and improve our nation’s ability to recover from catastrophes.”
The legislation also directs the National Advisory Council to complete a comprehensive study of disaster losses and damages, and provides recommendations to reduce the overall costs related to those events. In addition, it reauthorizes the Center for Domestic Preparedness and the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium to provide specialized training to state, local, and tribal emergency responders.
Barletta currently serves as Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management.