Homeland Security Committee to Vote on Nomination of R. David Paulison to Head FEMA

Senate Homeland Security Chairman Susan Collins and Ranking Member Joseph Lieberman announced that they will proceed with the nomination process of R. David Paulison to be Under Secretary for Federal Emergency Management at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Committee is scheduled to vote on his nomination during a business meeting sometime later today.

During yesterday’s committee hearing to consider his nomination, Chairman Collins voiced concerns that she and Senator Lieberman had identified with the nominee’s tax returns. Senator Collins said she hoped he would work with the committee to address these concerns so that his nomination could proceed. Paulison, who said he was unaware of the issues until they were raised by committee staff, pledged to work with the committee to clear up the matter as quickly as possible.

Senator Collins said, “We have completed our review of the questions our committee had related to Mr. Paulison’s tax returns. He has provided the Committee with a letter indicating that he received incorrect advice regarding his federal and state filing requirements and that he pledges to do what is necessary to fully comply with federal and state law. Senator Lieberman and I are satisfied with the resolution of this matter, and we do not believe it should disqualify him from being confirmed by the Senate without delay for such an important position.”

Senator Lieberman said: “I am satisfied that Mr. Paulison has answered the Committee’s questions on this matter completely, and am hopeful the Senate will confirm him before the 2006 hurricane season begins.”

Paulison’s letter to the committee is as follows:

The Honorable Susan M. Collins, Chairman

Committee on Homeland Security

The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman, Ranking Member

Committee on Homeland Security

Dear Chairman Collins and Senator Lieberman:

Thank you again for the committee’s consideration of my appointment by President Bush to be the Undersecretary for Federal Emergency Management. As you know, in the process of preparing for my appearance before your committee, I became aware of certain issues with my federal and state tax returns.

After reviewing these issues with an independent, local tax attorney, I’ve determines that previous advice I have received on state filing requirements and eligible federal deductions was in error. As a result, I will file as soon as possible the required federal and state returns and will pay all taxes, penalties or interest that may be required to immediately correct these issues.

I’m pleased to have this matter raised and resolved so that I may focus on completing the confirmation process. I hope that the actions that I’ve taken to address the Committee’s concerns illustrate my commitment to work openly with the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.


R. David Paulison