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House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), Subcommittee on Government Operations and the Federal Workforce Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), and several Oversight Committee Republicans are launching an investigation into the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) ongoing response to the deadly wildfires that devastated the community of Lahaina, Hawaii. In a letter to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, the lawmakers highlight recent problems FEMA has encountered during hurricane recovery effort in Ft. Myers, Florida and are now seeking information on any steps FEMA is taking in Hawaii to avoid similar recovery issues.

“The deadly wildfire in Maui shocked the nation and left many, especially those directly impacted by the tragedy, with serious questions that remain unanswered today. President Biden built his entire reputation on empathy and compassion but failed to deliver an appropriate response when it mattered most. To ensure locals are receiving the assistance they need, and taxpayer dollars being used effectively, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability is taking action and seeking information from FEMA on all ongoing recovery efforts in Maui. The Oversight Committee has a responsibility to ensure FEMA is utilizing every tool at their disposal efficiently and will work to ensure FEMA delivers assistance in a seamless, swift timeframe,” said Chairman James Comer and Subcommittee Chair Pete Sessions.

On August 10, the Subcommittee on Government Operations and the Federal Workforce held a hearing on the state of federal disaster recovery to Hurricane Ian, which struck southwest Florida in September 2022. The Ft. Myers hearing focused on needs of the communities in southwest Florida, as well as highlight areas FEMA could improve in the wake of future disasters. FEMA’s disaster response in Florida was hindered and delayed, making it difficult for communities to receive quick assistance they needed.

Read the letter to FEMA Administrator Criswell here.


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