Bipartisan FEMA efficiency bill introduced

A bipartisan bill that would improve the efficiency of disaster-assistance operations conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was introduced on Thursday.

The FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 1471) would give the agency the authority to implement assistance programs to ensure reduction of damage and loss of life. It also stipulates that the agency analyze disaster-loss trends and assess recommendations to save on costs.

The bill was introduced by Reps. Bill Shuster (R-PA), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman; Peter DeFazio (D-OR); Lou Barletta (R-PA), Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee chairman; and André Carson (D-IN).

“This bipartisan FEMA legislation will support the first-responders who protect us, it will save lives by encouraging wildfire mitigation and earthquake warning systems, and it authorizes reimbursements to state and local governments dealing with disasters,” DeFazio said. “I thank my colleagues for working in a bipartisan way, and will continue to work with them to pass this critical bill.”

The bill also raises Public Assistance Small Projects to a threshold of $1 million to expedite the assistance process and avoids additional federal administrative costs and sets rates for reimbursement to state and local governments for costs incurred due to assistance implementation. The bill also revives a three-year statute of limitations on the agency's ability to reclaim funds.

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U.S. Representative Bill Shuster (PA-9)

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