From CQ Politics:
The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), a prominent association of emergency managers, is recommending that the Obama administration pull the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) out of the Homeland Security Department and restore its leader to cabinet level status. Larry J. Gispert, president of IAEM said this has been the IAEM’s “informal position all along,” but the board of directors formalized the stance at the group’s annual meeting this week.
“They have an opportunity with the change of administration to . . . do it right, which is to have FEMA be a stand-alone agency reporting directly to the president and the administrator of FEMA sitting in the cabinet,” Gispert said. “That’s the James Lee Witt model.” During the Clinton administration, FEMA Administrator James Lee Witt met with the cabinet. His successor in the Bush administration, Joe M. Allbaugh, did not.
Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-MN), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, endorsed the idea. But House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) says FEMA should stay where it is. Obama’s transition team declined to comment for this story.
Filed under: Administration, DHS, House | Tagged: Bennie Thompson, Bill Clinton, FEMA, House Homeland Security, House Transportation and Infrastructure, IAEM, James Lee Witt, James Oberstar, transition | 1 Comment »