The Obama administration's fiscal 2015 budget requests $1.05 billion less in discretionary spending for the Homeland Security Department than it's set to receive this year. Still, its total budget authority, including mandatory spending and fees, would rise by about $264 million.
The dollar threshold for a disaster recovery project considered "small" by the Federal Emergency Management Agency has gone up by more than half, to $120,000. Small construction projects that FEMA funds through public assistance grants after presidentially declared major disasters are subject to significantly less paperwork and inspection requirements.
The United States faces a "resilience gap" with the potential to disrupt the American economy with long-term consequences, an insurance firm official, who also urged Congress to prioritize investments in resilience over disaster response, told a Senate panel Feb. 12. "Should resilience be prioritized over other disaster response costs? Absolutely," said Lindene Patton, chief climate product officer for Zurich Financial Services.
It was nearly an average year for presidentially declared major disasters in 2013, shows data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Even were the private sector to become the main issuer of flood insurance in the United States – as opposed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency-run National Flood Insurance Program – the federal government would likely still have a role in flood insurance, concludes the Government Accountability Office.
Congressional appropriators again slapped down a Federal Emergency Management Agency attempt to consolidate 16 of its grant programs into a single program known as the National Preparedness Grant Program – but state and local grants appropriations overall are robust.
As a result of omnibus appropriations legislation funding federal agencies through September, Customs and Border Protection will have a record level of agents and officers and Immigration and Customs Enforcement will have the highest detention capacity in history. The House approved the $1.02 trillion funding measure by a vote of 359-67; the bill is expected to pass the Senate.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is taking first steps toward redesigning the service oriented architecture that virtually consolidates multiple public alerting systems.
Components of the Homeland Security Department continue to have weak cybersecurity practices, particularly with the security authorization process, the departmental inspector general says.
Twitter gave a lesson to government workers on how to work the social media website to its full advantage, including how to tweet breaking news and how lawmakers can affect policy change through the site. The social media platform issued detailed guidance, saying Twitter alerts provide vital information to the public during fast-moving situations and also gives the public insight into how government works.