Senate Homeland Security Committee Issues Report Detailing Activities of Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight & Emergency Management – Insurance News Net

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WASHINGTON, March 12The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee issued a report (S.Rpt. 117-1) on the activities of its Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management during the 116th Congress. The report was advanced by Sen. Gary C. Peters, D-Michigan, on March 1, 2021.

Chairman: Rand Paul (R-KY)

Ranking Member: Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

I. AUTHORITY

The Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management focuses on the effectiveness and efficiency of Federal financial management; agency policies to promote program integrity and the prevention of waste, fraud, and abuse; policies and procedures related to Federal contracting and procurement, including Federal Acquisition Regulation; and the acquisition functions of the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of the Federal Procurement Policy. The Subcommittee also examines the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Government’s efforts to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters, including State and local grant programs; activities under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act; and activities related to the National Capital Region; the relationship between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and States and localities, including in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from natural and man-made disasters; and activities relating to the Office of the Private Sector and the integration of the private sector into the Nation’s emergency preparedness, resilience, and response matters.

II. ACTIVITY

During the 116th Congress, the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management held seven hearings; released six reports cataloging hundreds of examples of wasteful federal spending practices, highlighting more than $104 billion in wasted taxpayer money; produced and introduced a budget resolution; and introduced eight pieces of legislation that were referred to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, three of which were reported out of committee; as well as others that pertain to the work of the committee.

A. Hearings

Direct and Indirect Costs to the Federal Government from Management of Federal Lands. April 25, 2019. Field Hearing in Stearns, KY.

The Federal Government owns approximately 640 million acres of land in the United States, roughly 28 percent of all the land in the United States. Recently there has been much debate about appropriateness of the federal government holding so much land and questions have been asked if the Federal Government has more land than it has capacity to manage. The Park Service alone has an $11.6 billion maintenance backlog despite its budget growing 10.8 percent in real dollars since 2010. And yet, the trend is toward expanding federal ownership of lands.

Not only does the Federal Government incur cost associated with maintaining Federal land and property, but it may also be the case that Federal land holding create secondary costs to the Federal government in the form of depressed economies in areas of significant Federal holding. Local populations are thus, then more likely to qualify and utilize a variety of Federal assistance programs, with little hope or opportunity to transition off of them.

While much of the focus of this debate has been in the west, this problem is not isolated to western States. Nearly 2/ 3rds of McCreary County, KY is owned and managed by the Federal Government, between the Daniel Boone National Forest and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Local communities rely on federally managed Cumberland Lake for water and power. Meanwhile the median household income in McCreary County is about 3.1 times below the national average and 42.5 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

To that end, this hearing aimed to explore what the cost and benefits of the Federal Government of managing Federal lands, if States and local communities could be better positioned to steward these lands, and what impediments Federal ownership/management pose to local economies.

Witnesses: Jimmie Greene, McCreary County Judge Executive; Nathan Nevels, McCreary County Deputy Judge Executive; Randy Maxwell, McCreary County Magistrate; Stephen Whitaker, Supervisor, McCreary County Water Department; Randy Kidd, Chairman, McCreary County Industrial Authority Board; Jerry Stephens, Owner, Stephens Hardwoods and Barrel Stave Mill; Robert A. Vogel, Regional Director, Southeast Region, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior; and Ken Arney, Regional Forester for the Southern Region, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Review of GAO’s Annual Duplication Report. May 21, 2019. (S. Hrg. 11658)

This was a review of GAO’s annual duplication report. The report identified 17 new areas of duplication, fragmentation, or overlap that are identified in the report. There were also 11 other areas GAO has identified as potential sources of cost savings or revenue enhancement. Further, GAO made 33 new recommended corrective actions that apply to areas identified in prior reports.

With regard to corrective actions taken, GAO notes that 53 percent of actions directed toward Congress have either not been addressed or are only partially addressed. With regard to the executive branch that number is better, but still 35 percent of corrective actions are not fully addressed.

Witnesses: Hon. Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States, U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Federally Incurred Cost of Regulatory Changes and How Such Changes are Made. July 17, 2019. (S. Hrg. 116-62)

The power of the purse theoretically rests with Congress; Section 9 (7) of the Constitution reads, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” However, it has been generally accepted that mandatory spending, or “permanent appropriations” meet this test–Congress appropriates, “such sums as are necessary” to provide a certain benefit to a certain population.

One of the problems this hearing investigated was regulatory changes that affect spending; changes through regulation to mandatory entitlement programs that alter the benefit or the recipient population, and thus affect spending.

For example, the Department of Agriculture has latitude to broaden or contract eligibility for disaster aid, the VA can alter what constitutes a service related disability, and Social Security Administration has made obesity and illiteracy (including only speaking Spanish in Puerto Rico) qualifying disabilities.

Such changes cause fluctuations in Federal spending (called budgetary regulations) without the express consent of Congress as manifest in an appropriation; but also without the implied consent contained in the authorizing legislation, as these changes are made well beyond what was envisioned when these programs were created decades earlier.

Moreover, research from the Pacific Legal Foundation has shown that just at FDA, more than 3/4th of new regulations promulgated over the last 20 years have gotten final sign off from a career employee, not a Senate confirmed principal officer. In other words, Congress’s ability to hold decision makers accountable and provide oversight of such spending is impaired when career employees (with civil service protections) are responsible for these regulations.

Witnesses: James Broughel, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, The Mercatus Center, George Mason University; Thomas A. Berry, Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation; and Richard W. Parker, Policy Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Law, University of Connecticut School of Law.

Squeezed at Both Ends: Federal Spending Resulting from Restrictive Logging Access and Timber Tariffs. October 7, 2019. Field Hearing in Morehead, KY.

This hearing examined the cross-sectional impact of forest policy and tariffs. Over the past three decades the Federal Government has increasingly restricted access to Federal forests for logging. This has depressed economic activity and contracted tax bases in areas where logging is a major industry. This manifests in direct costs to the Federal Government in the form of mitigation type payments such as Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural School payments. Moreover, because local economies are depressed, local populations are more likely to depend on direct federal aid.

Compounding and exacerbating this problem are recent and proposed tariffs which impede access to markets for timber that can be harvested in these communities. These trade actions have the potential to further depress already vulnerable communities resulting in fewer tax receipts to the Federal Government and local communities and pushing more people onto Government aid programs.

Witnesses: Joseph L. Barloon, General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative; Cameron Bishop, Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Congressional Affairs, Office of the United States Trade Representative; Jeffrey W. Stringer, Ph.D., Chairman, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Kentucky; Stephen M. Vacik, Ed.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Maysville Community and Technical College; Ray White, Chief Executive Officer, Harold White Lumber, Inc.; Bob Helton, Executive Director, Morehead Rowan County Economic Development Council; Hon. Harry Clark, Judge/Executive, Rowan County Kentucky; Hon. Laura White-Brown, Mayor, City of Morehead Kentucky; Hon. Rick Stiltner, Judge/Executive, Menifee County Kentucky; and Hon. Bobby C. Rogers, Judge/Executive, Bath County Kentucky.

Rise of the Zombies: The Unauthorized and Unaccountable Government You Pay For. October 30, 2019. (S. Hrg. 116-132)

This hearing looked at unauthorized programs. Discretionary programs are created through authorizing legislation–laws that establish the programs and parameters under which they are to be carried out. Authorizations also lay out funding parameters and timelines for the program’s existence. After such time programs are supposed to be evaluated and reformed through a reauthorization.

However, though authorizations are laws, so too are appropriations bills. Thus, often appropriators regularly override authorizations by providing funds to programs inconsistent with the underlying authorization. Such was the case a number of years ago when the NDAA eliminated a missile program, but the appropriations that year funded the program anyway.

Another, and more pervasive, problem occurs when a program’s authorization expires, but the appropriators fund it anyway. This is a very prevalent practice, accounting for more than 1000 programs and $300 billion in spending.

Since appropriator override invalidates authorizing committees, once a program is initially created authorizers have little incentive to reassess programs for performance and need. Meaning many programs have not been scrutinized for decades. For example, the Inter-American Foundation (which has paid for clown college in Argentina) was last authorized (or scrutinized) in 1987, but has continued to be funded every year since.

There is little capacity for senators to prevent this practice. For that reason, Chairman Paul has previously introduced the Legislative Performance Review Act, which would limit all authorizations to 4 years, wind programs down over two years after their authorizations have expired, and most importantly create a surgical point of order against appropriations for unauthorized programs. Rep. McMorris Rodgers has her own bill aimed at addressing this problem in the House.

Witnesses: Panel I–Hon. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, U.S. House of Representatives

Panel II–Kevin R. Kosar, Vice President of Policy, R Street Institute; Jonathan Bydlak, President, Institute for Spending Reform; and James A. Thurber, Distinguished Professor of Government, American University.

The Afghanistan Papers: Costs and Benefits of America’s Longest War.

February 11, 2020. (S. Hrg. 116-203)

At the time of the hearing, the war in Afghanistan has now gone on for more than 18 years, making it the longest military conflict in U.S. history. By some estimates, this has cost the U.S. taxpayer more than $1 trillion.

Prior to this hearing, The Washington Post published The Afghanistan Papers, which chronicle that from the very beginning, the Afghanistan conflict has been rudderless, with success largely undefined and unachievable. Despite clear and obvious problems with the war, military and other officials systematically mislead Congress and the American people about conditions in Afghanistan.

Spending seems to have played a critical role in the effectiveness of efforts in Afghanistan and as a justification for ongoing U.S. engagement. One the one hand, the Afghan conflict has become a long term justification for increases in appropriations; whereas on the other hand, so much money has been thrown at the conflict in the name of rebuilding, that it has diminished the effectiveness of such efforts.

Witnesses: Panel I–John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Panel II–Hon. Douglas E. Lute, Former United States Permanent Representative to NATO and Senior Fellow, Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School.

Panel III–Hon. Richard A. Boucher, Former United States Ambassador to Cyprus and Senior Fellow, The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University; Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, USA, Ret., Senior Fellow and Military Expert, Defense Priorities.

State and Local Cybersecurity: Defending Our Communities from Cyber Threats amid COVID-19. December 2, 2020. (S. Hrg. 116-) In recent years, State and local governments and entities have found themselves increasingly at risk from sophisticated cybersecurity threats from a diverse set of actors. In 2020, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for millions of Americans to convert their daily activities and routines to an internet-based regimen has amplified the cybersecurity threats to State and local governments and entities.

This hearing served as a follow-up to the February 2020 HSGAC hearing on state and local cyber security and examined in particular how State and local governments, schools, and hospitals are responding to cyber threats amid the response to COVID-19 and how the Federal Government can provide support to improve their response, including through a standalone state and local cybersecurity grant program and improved information sharing between the Federal Government and schools and hospitals.

Witnesses: Panel I–Brandon Wales, Acting Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Panel II–Denis Goulet, Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Information Technology; Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools, Hartford Public Schools; John Riggi, Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk, American Hospital Association; and Bill Siegel, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Coveware, Inc.

B. Reports

In his capacity of Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management, Senator Paul released six compilation reports, detailing various wasteful programs, grants, and practices that have cost taxpayers billions.

“The Waste Report: Swipe Left on Waste” February 14, 2019 This report detailed an effort by private researchers, using funds totaling $1,200,000 from the National Institute of Child and Human Development and the National Science Foundation to study the habits of dating app users.

“The Waste Report Spring 2019: Waste in Full Bloom” April 2019 This report cataloged 10 examples of the Federal Government spending more than $42 million on wasteful projects. The report included examples of waste such as:

Sending international students to American colleges for free;

Documented abuse of the DOD’s 1033 program;

Studied the habits of online dating app users; Funded a week of summer school for grad students; and

Improved the quality of TV in Moldova.

“The Summer 2019 Waste Report!” August 2019 This report cataloged 10 examples of the Federal Government spending more than $50 billion on wasteful projects. The report included examples of waste such as:

Funding “green growth” in Peru;

Medicare’s paying of improper payments;

Studying whether the Panamanian Tungara frog’s mating calls sound different in the forest or the city; Spending money to teach English and information technology skills to students at Iraqi madrasas; and The attempt to convert an abandoned mental hospital into the headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security.

“The Waste Report: Fall 2019” November 2019 This report catalogued 8 examples of the Federal Government spending more than $230 million on wasteful projects. The report included examples of waste such as:

The Federal subsidy of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority;

Funding debate and model United Nations competitions in Afghanistan;

Purchasing a statute made by the musical artist Bob Dylan for the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique; Studying the connection between drinking alcohol and winding up in the emergency room; and Paying to bring Serbian cheese up to international standards.

“The Festivus Report 2019” December 2019

This is Chairman Paul’s annual compilation report of wasteful government spending. This edition of the Festivus Report cataloged over $50 billion in wasteful spending including:

The U.S. Agency for International Development funding the acquisition of textbooks for students in Afghanistan that were unusable and unused;

The Department of State funding efforts to improve the capacity of the Pakistani film industry; FEMA paying for vehicles the New York City government falsely claimed were damaged by Superstorm Sandy; and

The NSF paying to teach social scientists how to apply for grants.

“The Festivus Report 2020” December 2020

This is Chairman Paul’s annual compilation report of wasteful government spending. This edition of the Festivus Report catalogued 57 examples of government waste across five categories: Energy, Environment, and Science; Foreign Aid; Military; Health Care; and Miscellaneous. The 57 items totaled over $54 billion in wasteful spending, including: The Fish and Wildlife Service subsidizing investments to facilitate yachting;

The Federal Aviation Administration using funds appropriated as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to renovate a taxiway at an airport on Nantucket island most often used by private jets; The National Institutes of Health paid researchers to interview San Franciscans about their edible cannabis use; and

The National Institutes of Health paying to find out if hot tubbing can lower stress.

III. LEGISLATION

Since the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management’s hearings play an important role in bringing issues to the attention of Congress and the public, its work frequently contributes to the development of legislative initiatives. During the 116th Congress, Chairman Paul introduced the following legislative proposals in his capacity as a Senator:

1. S. 2618–Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act–Expands existing agency Inspector General programs that pursue waste, fraud, and abuse to also include surplus funds that are not needed to accomplish an Executive agency’s duties and responsibilities.

Under this program, Executive Branch employees could propose savings and, if confirmed by their agency’s Inspector General and Chief Financial Officer, extra funds may be returned to the Treasury at the end of the year. Consistent with the existing Inspector General authority, if such savings are realized, the employee that made the suggestion would also be eligible for a performance bonus of one percent of the amount saved, capped at $10,000.

2. S.1740–Default Prevention Act–This bill requires the following obligations to be granted priority over all other U.S. obligations if the public debt reaches the statutory limit:

Principal and interest on debt held by the public;

Compensations, allowances, and benefits for members of the Armed Forces on active duty;

Social Security benefits;

Medicare benefits; and

Obligations under any program administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

If Congress is notified, the Department of the Treasury may issue additional debt for the priority obligations in excess of the debt limit. Treasury may issue the additional debt during the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the United States is unable to use revenues or extraordinary measures to fully pay the priority obligations at the time they are due.

(The term “extraordinary measures” refers to a series of actions that the Department of Treasury may implement to allow the United States to borrow additional funds without exceeding the debt limit. The measures generally include suspensions or delays of debt sales and suspensions or redemptions of investments in certain government funds.)

3. S. 5014–Shutdown Prevention Act–This bill provides specified continuing appropriations to prevent a government shutdown if any appropriations measure for a fiscal year has not been enacted or a joint resolution making continuing appropriations is not in effect after the fiscal year begins.

The appropriations are provided to continue to fund programs, projects, and activities for which funds were provided in the preceding fiscal year.

4. S. 4979–A bill to terminate the Department of Education–This bill would terminate the Department of Education, effective December 31, 2020. This bill reflects the belief that the Federal Government need not impose itself on the education system by empowering unelected bureaucrats over our children’s education. Local school systems, teachers, and parents, not the Federal Government, are in the best position to determine how to educate our children and eliminating the Department of Education is the best way to ensure that parents and local school boards are truly in control of their child’s education.

5. S. 2183–Duplication Scoring Act of 2019–This bill would require the Government Accountability Office to analyze legislation reported by a congressional committee in order to prevent duplication of and overlap with existing federal programs, offices, and initiatives.

6. S. 4104–Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act–This bill expands and otherwise modifies the sharing of death data, particularly with regard to the recovery of improper payments to deceased individuals. It would require the Social Security Administration to pay to States their reasonable costs for compiling and sharing death records with the SSA. In addition, the bill permits the SSA to share, if certain conditions are met, the death data with Federal and State agencies for purposes of, among other things, ensuring proper payments and tax administration duties related to issuing Economic Impact Payments related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

7. S. 4878–Stopping Improper Payments to Foreigners ActThis bill would ensure proper Economic Impact Payments paid out with Americans’ tax dollars would not be sent abroad to those with tenuous or no ties to the United States.

8. S. Con. Res. 11–Penny Plan Balanced Budget–Establishes the congressional budget for the Federal Government for FY2021 and sets forth budgetary levels for FY2021-FY2029. This budget balances in 5 years by implementing a one percent year over year cut for the first 5 years and then grows at one percent thereafter.

Recommends levels and amounts for FY2021-FY2029 in both houses of Congress for:

Federal revenues,

New budget authority,

Budget outlays,

Deficits,

Public debt,

Debt held by the public, and

The major functional categories of spending.

Recommends levels and amounts for FY2021-FY2029 in the Senate for Social Security and Postal Service discretionary administrative expenses.

Includes reconciliation instructions directing: (1) several Senate authorizing committees to report and submit to the Senate Budget Committee legislation to reduce the deficit, and (2) the Senate Finance Committee to report and submit to the Senate Budget Committee legislation to reduce the deficit and legislation to reduce revenues.

(Under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, reconciliation bills are considered by Congress using expedited legislative procedures that prevent a filibuster and restrict amendments in the Senate.)

Establishes reserve funds that provide flexibility in applying budget enforcement rules to legislation relating to efficiencies, consolidations, and other savings; or health savings accounts.

Sets forth budget enforcement procedures for legislation considered in the Senate.

9. S. 2798–Whistleblower Protection Act of 2019–This bill would retroactively prohibit a Federal contractor from taking a personnel action against an employee who has lawfully disclosed information the employee reasonably believes shows 1) a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; or 2) cooperation with or disclosure of information to the agency’s inspector general or special counsel; or 3) refusal to obey an order that would require the individual to violate a law, rule, or regulation. This bill also prohibits a Federal agency from pressuring a Federal contractor to take any personnel action against an employee based on such disclosures or actions by the employee.

10. S. 3904–Write the Laws Act–This bill would prohibit an act of Congress from containing any delegation of legislative powers, whether to any component within the legislative branch, the President or any other member of the executive branch, the judicial branch, any agency or quasipublic agency, any state or state instrumentality, or any other organization or individual. It would also require the GAO to identify to Congress all statutes enacted before 90 days after this bill’s enactment that contain any delegation of legislative power.

11. S. 92–Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny Act of 2019–This bill establishes a congressional approval process for a major rule. A major rule may only take effect if Congress approves the rule. A major rule is a rule that results in 1) an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 2) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, government agencies, or geographic regions, 3) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. The bill also establishes a congressional disapproval process for a nonmajor rule, providing that a nonmajor rule may only take effect if Congress does not disapprove of the rule.

IV. GAO REPORTS

During the 116th Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued 32 reports at the request of the Subcommittee. Reports are listed here by title, GAO number, and release date.

U.S. Virgin Islands Recovery: Status of FEMA Public Assistance Funding and Implementation. GAO-19-253. February 25, 2019.

Grants Management: Agency Action Required to Ensure Grantees Identify Federal Contribution Amounts. GAO-19-282. March 14, 2019.

Puerto Rico Hurricanes: Status of FEMA Funding, Oversight, and Recovery Challenges. GAO-19-256. March 14, 2019.

Huracanes de Puerto Rico: Estado de Financiamiento de FEMA, Suervision y Desafios de Recuperacion (Spanish Highlights). GAO-19-331. March 14, 2019.

Disaster Recovery: Better Monitoring of Block Grants Funds is Needed. GAO-19-232. March 25, 2019.

2017 Hurricane Season: Federal Support for Electricity Grid Restoration in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. GAO-19296. April 18, 2019.

2017 Disaster Contracting: Actions Needed to Improve the Use of Post-Disaster Contracts to Support Response and Recovery. GAO-19-281. April 24, 2019.

Disaster Assistance: FEMA Action Needed to Better Support Individuals Who Are Older or Have Disabilities. GAO-19-318. May 14, 2019.

Government Efficiency and Effectiveness: Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Billions in Financial Benefits. GAO-19-536T. May 21, 2019.

2017 Disaster Relief Oversight: Strategy Needed to Ensure Agencies’ Internal Control Plans Provide Sufficient Information. GAO-19-479. June 28, 2019.

Disaster Response: FEMA and the American Red Cross Need to Ensure Key Mass Care Organizations are Included in Coordination and Planning. GAO-19-526. September 19, 2019.

Respuesta a Desastres: FEMA y La Cruz Roja Americana Necesitan Asegurar que las Organizaciones Claves del Cuidado en Masa Sean Incluidas en la Coordinacion y el Planeamiento. GAO19-708. September 19, 2019.

Disaster Response: HHS Should Address Deficiencies Highlighted by Recent Hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. GAO-19-592. September 20, 2019.

Puerto Rico Electricity Grid Recovery: Better Information and Enhanced Coordination is Needed to Address Challenges. GAO20-141. October 8, 2019.

Recuperacion de la Red Electrica en Puerto Rico: Se Necesita Mejor Informacion y Coordinacion para Enfrentar Desafios. GAO-20-143. October 8, 2019.

Wildfire Disasters: FEMA Could Take Additional Actions to Address Unique Response and Recovery Challenges. GAO-20-5. October 9, 2019.

Highway Emergency Relief: Federal Highway Administration Should Enhance Accountability Over Project Decisions. GAO-2032. October 17, 2019.

Emergency Transportation Relief: Federal Transit Administration and FEMA Took Actions to Coordinate, But Steps are Needed to Address Risk of Duplicate Funding. GAO-20-85. November 13, 2019.

U.S. Virgin Islands Recovery: Additional Actions Could Strengthen FEMA’s Key Disaster Recovery Efforts. GAO-20-54. November 19, 2019.

Wildland Fire: Federal Agencies’ Efforts to Reduce Wildland Fuels and Lower Risk to Communities and Ecosystems. GAO-20-52. December 19, 2019.

Puerto Rico Disaster Recovery: FEMA Actions Needed to Strengthen Project Cost Estimation and Awareness of Program Guidance. GAO-20-221. February 5, 2020.

Recuperacion de Desastres en Puerto Rico: Acciones de FEMA son Necesarias para Fortalecer la Calculacion de Costos de Proyectos y el Conocimento de las Directrices del Programa. GAO-20-381. February 5, 2020.

Emergency Alerting: Agencies Need to Address Pending Applications and Monitor Industry Progress on System Improvements. GAO-20-294. February 6, 2020.

FEMA Disaster Workforce: Actions Needed to Address Deployment and Staff Development Challenges. GAO-20-360. May 4, 2020.

National Preparedness: Additional Actions Needed to Address Gaps in the Nation’s Emergency Management Capabilities. GAO-20297. May 4, 2020.

National Flood Insurance Program: FEMA Can Improve Community Oversight and Data Sharing. GAO-20-396. May 5, 2020.

Critical Infrastructure Prioritization During COVID-19. September 17, 2020.

Disaster Assistance: FEMA Should Take Additional Actions to Strengthen Fraud Risk Management for Public Assistance Emergency Work Grants. GAO-20-604. September 29, 2020.

Disaster Assistance: Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program. GAO-20503. September 20, 2020.

Supplemental Material for GAO-20-503: FEMA Individuals and Households Program Applicant Data 2016-2018. GAO 20-675SP. September 30, 2020.

Supplemental Material for GAO-20-503: Select Disaster Profiles for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program 20162018. GAO-20-674SP. September 30, 2020.

Puerto Rico Electricity: FEMA and HUD Have Not Approved Long-Term Projects and Need to Implement Recommendations to Address Uncertainties and Enhance Resilience. GAO-21-54. November 17, 2020.

View the full text of the report at https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/117th-congress/senate-report/1/1?s=1&r=1

TARGETED NEWS SERVICE (founded 2004) features non-partisan ‘edited journalism’ news briefs and information for news organizations, public policy groups and individuals; as well as ‘gathered’ public policy information, including news releases, reports, speeches. For more information contact MYRON STRUCK, editor, [email┬áprotected], Springfield, Virginia; 703/304-1897; https://targetednews.com

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