Washington, DC – Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) today announced that the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will investigate allegations of fraud and waste in the distribution of disaster aid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Following the recent series of hurricanes that hit Florida and the Southern Atlantic coast, local emergency management officials and members of Congress have expressed concern that disaster aid has been granted in localities that may not have qualified for assistance. In addition, there have been reports of similar fraud and abuse following disasters in other parts of the country.
“Federal disaster relief is very important to help families and communities rebuild from a disaster; however, it must be limited to those who have truly suffered losses. It is troubling that scarce disaster assistance may have gone to areas that did not warrant assistance,” said Senators Collins and Lieberman in a joint statement. “Our Committee will investigate these allegations in concurrence and working with the investigation currently underway by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s Office. We need to make sure that the integrity of FEMA’s disaster relief program – and taxpayers – are protected from fraudulent claims, inefficient government processing, and wasteful spending.” Senators Collins and Lieberman are the Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the Department of Homeland Security.