Barletta Bill to Reauthorize FEMA, Drive Down Disaster Costs Passes Committee

May 24, 2017
Press Release
Legislation Addresses Rising Costs of Disasters, Supports First Responders

Click here to see Barletta’s testimony during markup of his legislation.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Lou Barletta (PA-11) that would address the rising costs of disasters, provide support for our nation’s first responders, and – for the first time ever – reauthorize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2017, H.R. 2548, reauthorizes FEMA through Fiscal Year 2020 consistent with current funding levels.  The bill would ensure accountability and strong Congressional oversight of the agency.  FEMA is responsible for coordinating the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, including flooding and terrorist attacks.

As Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, Barletta has worked to mitigate disaster damages and streamline public assistance to affected communities.

“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,” Barletta 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 bill directs the National Advisory Council to complete a comprehensive study of disaster losses and damages, and provide recommendations to reduce costs related to these events.  The legislation also reauthorizes the Center for Domestic Preparedness and the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, which provide specialized preparedness training to state, local, and tribal emergency responders.

“Losses in lives and economic costs as a result of disasters have been rising in recent years,” House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (PA-09) said.  “This bill begins to seriously address this trend and seek ways to reduce losses caused by future disasters.  I commend Chairman Barletta’s strong leadership on this bill, and his important work over the years in working to strengthen America’s disaster preparedness and response capabilities.”