FEMA Administrator Criswell Testifies before House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee Regarding FEMA’s FY24 Budget Request

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell testified before the U.S. Congress on April 18, defending the agency’s recent budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2024 and warning that without quick congressional action, the readiness of the agency to respond to disasters will be hampered by a lack of funds.  

Administrator Criswell appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Homeland Security for approximately an hour and a half, answering questions about the agency’s budget request. Administrator Criswell highlighted reforms recently implemented by the agency to ensure state and local governments in rural areas have easier access to reimbursements from the agency and addressed questions from members of the Subcommittee who attacked COVID-19-related spending, which is currently being wound down by the agency. Administrator Criswell also highlighted the importance of mitigation work undertaken by the agency, and specifically its flagship Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program.  

The agency requested $30.2 billion in total appropriations for the coming fiscal year. The majority of those funds would be placed in FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), the agency’s primary funding source for both operational funding and disaster assistance provided to local and state governments, as well as households. Administrator Criswell painted a bleak picture, suggesting that the DRF will be exhausted by July 2023, forcing the agency to take contingency measures to ensure that it is prepared to respond to future catastrophic events.  

Read Administrator Criswell’s opening statement at: bit.ly/3LmwcvB

Listen to the hearing at: bit.ly/43QJIP9