Chairwoman Roybal-Allard Statement at Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Federal Emergency Management Agency

2022-05-25 11:05

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Federal Emergency Management Agency:

I welcome Administrator Deanne Criswell to today’s hearing, which is your first time testifying before the Subcommittee.

The Members of this Subcommittee and Members of Congress overall greatly appreciate and support the work you, your colleagues at FEMA and emergency managers across the country do to help our communities and constituents before, during, and after disasters.

For more than two years, emergency management professionals at all levels of government have worked tirelessly under unprecedented conditions to assist our nation during the pandemic, while also responding to hurricanes, fires, tornadoes and floods.

Unfortunately, climate change appears to be contributing to the increased severity and frequency of major disasters, which will require expanded investments in FEMA’s response capabilities and capacity.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there were 21 billion-dollar natural disasters last year, including winter storms, wildfires, floods tornados, cyclones, and severe wind events, with a total economic cost of $145 billion. That’s the third most costly year on record when adjusting for inflation. And the total costs for the last five years - $765 billion – is more than one third of the total disaster cost for the last 42 years.

This morning, we look forward to hearing your assessment of FEMA’s resource requirements, for the upcoming fiscal year and beyond.

117th Congress