Republicans question FEMA official over climate grants

By Thomas Frank | 05/02/2024 06:40 AM EDT

The contentious House hearing showed how some conservative states feel underserved by the disaster agency.

Victoria Salinas.

Victoria Salinas, who oversees Federal Emergency Management Agency resilience efforts, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee/YouTube

Republican lawmakers leveled attacks at a Biden administration official Wednesday over what they argued were wasteful projects for helping communities prepare for climate change.

At a contentious House subcommittee hearing, they pressed a Federal Emergency Management Agency official, Victoria Salinas, to defend billions of dollars in grants that were given to states and municipalities for flood protection and other projects. Salinas oversees FEMA resilience programs.

Subcommittee Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.) referred to an E&E News analysis showing that five large states, including California and Florida, had received a huge share of funds from FEMA’s largest grant program, while many small states got little money.


Perry challenged Salinas in his first question to explain why FEMA gives grant money for projects that involve planting trees.