U.S. Houses Passes Rep. Rice’s Bill to Increase Transparency at FEMA

Legislation Helps Curb FEMA Case Management Staff Turnover Following Disasters

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Tom Rice’s (R-SC) legislation, the FEMA Caseworker Accountability Act. The bill increases transparency of case management staff turnover at The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following a disaster.

This legislation requires FEMA to submit a report on the turnover rate of case management staff and the steps that FEMA is taking to lower the staff turnover rate. It also requires statistics on the average and median length of employment of case management staff and agency staff who are detailed to work on disaster recovery.

“South Carolina’s 7th District recovers from disaster after disaster. Over the years, we’ve continually seen how case management staff turnover rates at FEMA have extended the process for our communities to receive the assistance they need. I’ve heard this from constituents in the district and local officials alike.” said Congressman Tom Rice. “I’m proud to see the FEMA Caseworker Accountability Act overwhelmingly pass the U.S. House of Representatives. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to get this important legislation signed into law.”

Watch Rep. Rice’s speech here

This legislation was cosponsored by Rep. Nancy Mace (SC-01) and Rep. Gonzalez-Colon (PR). 

Background:

This legislation is one of the six disaster relief bills introduced in the 117th Congress by Congressman Rice. Read more about the FEMA Caseworker Accountability Act, here.

On March 24, 2022, Congressman Rice introduced The Increased Cost of Compliance Modernization Act. This legislation would raise the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage limit from $30,000 up to $100,000. This coverage is one of several resources for flood insurance policyholders who need additional help rebuilding after a flood.

On February 9, 2022, Congressman Rice introduced The Disaster Contract Improvement Act. This legislation to ensures post-disaster services are delivered timely and taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently, cutting down on waste and fraud.

On December 2, 2021, Congressman Rice and James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) introduced legislation to revise the standards of disaster recovery grants. This bill aided the eligibility for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding for communities after major disasters.  

On September 21, 2021, Congressman Rice introduced The FEMA Relief Extension Actto extend the period of time for individuals and households to receive FEMA assistance following a Presidentially Declared emergency or disaster.

On September 23, 2021, Congressman Rice introduced the FEMA Caseworker Accountability Act to increase transparency of case management staff turnover at FEMA following a disaster.

On May 13, 2021, Congressman Rice introduced the The Disaster Relief Transparency Act to increase government accountability in the allocation of disaster relief funds. This legislation requires HUD to submit a report explaining the methodology used to determine their allocation of CDBG-DR/MIT funding over the past five years. This legislation also requires FEMA to submit a report that provides data on Individual Assistance (IA) and the Individuals and Households Program (IHP), including denial rates, over the past five years.

 

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