MacArthur calls for resignation of FEMA head, congressional hearings into reports of flood insurance program shortcomings

U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) called for the resignation of FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on Wednesday in light of reports of inadequate oversight of a flood insurance program.

In an op-ed, MacArthur cited a Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General report that concluded FEMA lacks internal controls for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which has made it susceptible to waste, fraud and abuse.

A “60 Minutes” report in 2015 also found that claims from superstorm Sandy victims had been improperly denied by FEMA.

“The people who run FEMA apparently lack the ability or will to properly identify and alleviate the problems within the program that insures 5.5 million families and more than $1.25 trillion in total property values,” MacArthur wrote. “It seems to me that if someone won’t effectively implement and fix problems within the NFIP program, that this person should no longer be responsible for doing so. Because of this, I again call on administrator Craig Fugate to resign, and for a new administrator to more actively manage this vital program and eliminate the layers of bureaucracy that plague FEMA and leave federal employees unaccountable for mismanagement of federal resources that are meant to help disaster victims.”

MacArthur, who worked in the insurance services industry for 30 years prior to being elected to Congress, wrote that NFIP has been under “increased financial stress” since Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and is $24 billion in debt.

“The clear record of fraud and mismanagement, the failure to correct problems known since 2013 and the absence of accountability all lead me to continue to call on Fugate to resign immediately,” MacArthur concluded. “This investigation is far from over. I will not rest until the parties responsible for defrauding the people of New Jersey are brought to justice, and until we get every last resident back home and our communities back on their feet again.”

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