WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, led by Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., Monday reported out the nomination of Ivan K. Fong to be General Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security and Timothy W. Manning for FEMA Deputy Administrator in charge of preparedness by a unanimous voice vote.

The nominations will now be sent to the full Senate for confirmation.

“Mr. Fong has an impressive record, both academically and professionally, and a breadth of experience that will serve DHS and the General Counsel’s office well,” Lieberman said. “The position of General Counsel is obviously a critical one at the Department, and the challenges and issues he will confront are likely to be as diverse and varied as the challenges faced by the Department as a whole.

“For many years, Mr. Manning has served in a number of positions directly relevant to national preparedness, most recently as the Director of New Mexico’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and as Homeland Security Advisor to the Governor. If confirmed, Mr. Manning’s key responsibility will be to make sure that important provisions of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act are fully implemented and that FEMA’s preparedness capabilities are fully integrated across all stages of emergency management.”

Collins said: “Mr. Fong has an impressive legal background that will serve him well as the General Counsel. He has a unique perspective on cyber security and cyber crime, having handled these issues in both the private sector and at the Department of Justice. He has worked to facilitate the public-private partnerships that will be necessary to address threats to our cyber infrastructure and to successfully continue existing programs to protect our nation’s chemical facilities and ports.

“While there are many positive signs that FEMA has dramatically improved since the failure at all levels of government following Hurricane Katrina, more work remains. Mr. Manning will inherit an organization facing many tough challenges – from management integration and needed improvements to the national exercise program, to establishment of an effective preparedness assessment system. Many of these challenges represent requirements from the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, which I co-authored with Sen. Lieberman. I look forward to working with Mr. Manning to further strengthen FEMA and enhance our nation’s readiness for both man-made and natural disasters.”