On February 11 the Federal Emergency Management Advancement Act was reintroduced by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK). With a much more promising launch, earlier this week Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN) Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced the FEMA Independence Act ( HR1174 has not yet been posted to THOMAS). Both propose returning FEMA to the status of an independent agency.
Yesterday the House Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security held a hearing entitled Disaster Response: Is FEMA up to the Job? The witness list included the acting FEMA administrator, a prospective FEMA administrator and the Adjutant General of Kentucky. I was not able to view the webcast, but media reports indicate witnesses claim red tape complicated the FEMA response to the Kentucky ice storm. What a surprise.