tv 2019 FEMA Budget Request CSPAN April 16, 2018 2:49pm-4:18pm EDT
>> watch tonight at 8:00 eastern n c-span2. >> fema administrator brock long testified before a house subcommittee on his agency's budget request. he talks about recovery efforts and the need to provide fema with granting authorities for housing and state management costs. this is about an hour and a half. >> good morning. we are going to call this meeting to order. we are very pleased this morning to welcome the administrator of the federal emergency management agency, brock long, to discuss fiscal year 2019 budget request. administrator, welcome. we are glad to have you here. i want to thank you for your leadership in overseeing not
just fema but the entire federal response to the record level of disaster activity this past year. congress has passed three supplementals providing $50 billion for disaster relief fund. this is in response to recovery from three catastrophic events. i would like to hear from you today on how recovery efforts are going, what additional resources you think fema will need in the coming months to support the long-term recovery. the budget for fema is $11 billion. your request proposes reductions to existing grant programs while at the same time requesting $522 million for a new grant program that hasn't been authorized, at least not as yet. i would like to hear why you propose these cuts particularly in the current threat environment and whether the new
grant programs are to achieve and recently released strategic plan which outlines -- give us an outline of your vision for the agency. i hope you will discuss how you plan to implement this and how f.y. 2019 requests and i think i would like to recognize my distinguished ranking member, ms. roybal-allard allard for any remarks she may make. ms. roybal-allard: welcome to this subcommittee. the last time you appeared was on the heels of the damaging hurricanes and fires which prompted emergency supplemental spending bills. we are now eager to spend time with you to get your perspective on fema's budget request, ongoing response and recovery activities and the challenges that lie ahead. i know this has been a difficult time for your agency. you have only been at fema for a
few months when we not only experienced the most damaging hurricane season in history but wildfires that devastated large swaggets of my home state of california. we want to help support the efforts of fema personnel and want to make sure that fema's programs are working well to support recovery efforts. this is particularly true for puerto rico because of the level of devastation on the island and fiscal challenges it was already facing. we must not forget the families and other survivors who months after the disaster are struggling to rebuild and must remember that this disaster occurred on american soil and that the people that are affected are americans. again, we appreciate you joining us this morning and i look forward to a productive discussion. i yield back. mr. carter: thank you. we are joined by mrs. lowey the ranking member of the full
committee. i yield to you for any comments you wish to make. mrs. lowey: thank you very much, mr. chairman. and i appreciate your having this hearing. and thank you, ranking member roy ball allard for holding this hearing and administrator long, thank you for joining us. you testified last november on the hurricane supplemental request. thank you to your hard work assisting the states and u.s. territories, many of which are still recovering months later. this morning, we'll hear your justification to the f.y. 2019 fema budget request, which i find lackluster at best. you propose to eliminate several programs and severely cut others with devastating implications particularly to new york. for example, your budget request to eliminate the national domestic preparedness consortium
which trains approximately two million first responders. the emergency food and shelter grant program which provides food, shelter and water for families and communities in crisis. your budget request would reduce the national pre-disaster mitigation funds by $61 million as we saw in the wake of superstorm sandy and hurricanes, responding and recovering from a natural disaster costs a lot more than investments and mitigation measures. 2017 alone, there were 50 major disaster declarations, 20 of which occurred after you were confirmed. we can all agree that communities need to be proactive in mitigating their own vulnerabilities but this request in my judgment sends the wrong
signal by cutting an essential program so deeply and could result in higher recovery costs to the federal government and communities hit by disasters. your budget would also threaten the safety of our communities by significantly decreasing emergency management performance grants by $780.7 million and port security grants, public transportation, security assistance by $63.6 million, the state homeland security grant program by $117.6 million, the urban area security initiative grant program by $117.6 million. with threats of violence and terrorism on the rise, these programs are essential to new york to help state and local law enforcement to help protect our
communities. simply put our communities cannot strengthen their preparedness programs when support from their federal partners is inconsistent and so inadequate. administrator long, i look forward to a productive discussion this morning about how we can best build resiliencey and mitigate the impact of future disasters and keep our communities safe from violence and terrorism. hank you for being here today. mr. carter: i do have your written report in the file. but we would like you to give us a summation and give us what you think you need to hear. mr. long: it's great to be here today and i think -- we are all here in the spirit of improvement and trying to find ways to make the nation more
resilient and prepared. i worked hard at it every day and i look at this budget request. one, it was not informed by the 2017 season because of the gugget process that is put forward, but i look at this budget as an opportunity to serve as an initial downpayment on a strategic plan that i feel strongly about that i want to talk about you to obtain your support going forward. obviously, it was the biggest disaster year we have seen in our history. 47 million americans, 15% we estimate of the population was impacted in some way, shape or form. to date, i want to thank you guys for the three supplementals. it has been a tremendous help, but more importantly, it's not that i need more money but as much as i need more authorities. disaster recovery housing is not a well design program. i need more granting programs to for governors to control their
own destiny. but what we put forward so far as a result of 2017 we obligated $22 billion from california to the virgin islands, $11 billion of that has gone to the commonwealth of puerto rico already. infrastructure is not built overnight and the recoveries are not going to be overnight and we will be in these communities for years. we learned a lot of major lessons. i need granting authority to fix housing and we have to streamline fragmented recovery. it comes not just from us and confusing to a governor. h.u.d. made an announcement and one of the largest grants that they put down but confusing to the governor how to utilize fema funding and h.u.d. funding to do the greatest good and we have a lot of work to do the streamline, our efforts to do
the greatest good and build more mitigation in recovery efforts as well. we also -- i'm asking for authorities to increase state management costs. not just the grants that we need to provide to state and local governments, but the management costs is probably the most beneficial tool they can have. right now, for example, in a st disaster, we provide 3.34% in management costs based on the total of public assistance dollars. that number needs to rise to 12% and gives the state the ability to hire their own force account labor or consulting firms to help them with expertise they don't currently have. i believe preparedness is everyone's responsibility from the citizen to the governors to the states. and as disasters and threats change, we cannot do it all. we cannot fund and supplement
programs in their entirety. is there too much of a gap between the federal government and what state and local governments are doing. i'm here to have that conversation. but based on the major lessons learned that we had, based on comments of reaching out to our stakeholders, we took 2,300 comments from stakeholders and i'm asking what do you want fema to be good at and where we need to be going forward in the future. build a culture of preparedness. we don't have it in this country. how do we open low to no cost options to prepare our citizens? lau how do we provide training like c.p.r.? the red cross said we will do .p.r. one in four. the second thing is i am
aligning the budget, the assets to begin tackling the robust strategic plan. for example, under building a culture of preparedness, the $522 million grant, competitive grant that's listed in the budget would help me to start addressing evolving issues. because so much of the grant funding is tied to older style 9/11 traditional attacks which could happen today, obviously, but it doesn't give you much freedom to be able to tackle new evolving threats such as soft trarget active shooter events or cybersecurity. these grants would help me build a culture of preparedness. the other thing about culture of preparedness is we have to invest but also incentivize the state and local governments to step up and do codes and do predisaster mitigation. the cuts in predisaster mitigation, with all due respect, the amount of funding that's been traditionally been there is not enough. it's a drop in the bucket.
i am asking to do a holistic fix. rather on the back end. i am not sure that $40 million, $50 million, $60 million in mitigation doesn't make a difference. when it comes to hardening our capabilities going forward. and when it comes to self-insured cities, we got to close the gap on insurance under that building a culture of preparedness. i want to work with you to do so. the second goal is ready the nation for catastrophic disasters. i don't believe this nation is ready to go to earthquakes or earthquakes in california, wasatch, you know, cascadia, and in many cases we got a lot of work to do and we have to bolster state and local capabilities to do their own commodities when it comes to emergency life sustaining -- life-sustainment commodities and not dependent upon fema to
do everything. i am not so sure we are that good that we can get there after a no notice event. we have to build at all levels of government because that's the best way response can work, as a unified whole community effort. so underneath that there are things we are looking for. i'm worried about the wall of ork that's coming to my agency as a result of what we just went through. my agency picked up a new event every three days. every three days we picked up a new event. i need staff members and we are asking underneath goal 2. we're asking for 41 staff internally because i can reimburse everybody else but not my own agency. as we pick up more disasters i am worried about the operational capacity to respond to everything from congressional inquiries to prostessing paperwork to ultimately get money out down the road so i'm asking for a down payment in this budget to help me bolster my staff
internally as well and maybe the next year i'll continue to see the ramifications of what we've seen. and then finally, reduce the complexity of fema's goal 3. i am the agency's worst, you know, the biggest critic of the agency. i know there are things we can do. there are policies i want to strike down. there are things i want to clear up. within this goal there is specific requests for grant management modernization. i inherited an agency that has 10 different i.t. systems to manage 10 different grants. why don't we have just one? it takes money and understanding ho how to consolidate -- to how to consolidate those efforts and i want to streamline it and make it simple as well as the survivor and grantee experience. mr. chairman, the one thing i'd like to also explain is, there's been a lot of misunderstanding about puerto rico and the recovery as well. recovery has been ongoing.
since day one. a lot of emergency response and recovery projects was in place. i was in puerto rico last week. met with the governor and we are now starting to -- we finalized the dialogue on 428 to move forward to how to build a more resilient puerto rico. 428 is the best way to move forward, not just for puerto rico but for communities in the future. we're giving you a budget. it says, how does the state of california want their recovery to go as a result of this child re so we are not back again, governors, you know best. so let's have it upfront. let's put the money towards it and let's work towards that. if you manage that budget, governor rosario, you can put in and incentivize predisaster projects you would like to see that were not factored into the
original project worksheets. right now if we attack puerto rico, the old traditional way, we would be writing thousands and thousands of project worksheets that would get reversioned year over year over year. and i'm not sure we would be working toward any common recovery outcome. so we were able to put that into place. it's not something you want to rush. it's something that you want to be very calculated and deliberate about. and the federal emergency management agency has no incentive to see anybody fail in recovery. i do not want to be back in these communities fixing infrastructure again. we can't afford to rebuild the way the infrastructure was before the event knocks them out. we have to do better and factor in predisaster mitigation before and after all of these events. i'm in the spirit of improvement. thank you, mr. chairman. hat concludes my comments. >> well, thank you. we are going to go five-minute
-- timed five minutes, for everybody to know and by the way, i want to thank everybody for being here. mr. carter: speaks well of you because this is a good day and we have a full house. i am really proud of everybody being here. i'll start off and i'll go to ms. roybal-allard. congress has provided more than $49.5 billion to the disaster relief and emergency supplemental funding to address requirements from last year's unprecedented disaster activity. can you give us an update on irma? maria and mr. long: you can't compare disasters. you are not looking to apples to apples. it's apples to oranges based on how they were impacted, we're their geographically low
indicated, how well was the infrastructure before the storm as well as the liquidity issues in the budget and how they were managed. each one is dramatically different. as i said earlier, out of the $22 billion that we obligated up to that point -- and that number changes every day -- up to this point $11 billion has been placed towards puerto rico and roughly, i believe $5 billion has been put towards harvey and it's largely because of the types of damages that we see and the types of infrastructure that we're trying to fix. but these recoveries are ongoing. puerto rico, specifically, i am about to become the largest employer. we already done close to 1,500 local hires. what we're trying to do there is not only set forward and outcome driven recovery what it will look like next, but i'm having to rebuild an entire arm at the commonwealth level as well as the local level which is why we're taking the initiative to do local hires. we're training them. we're qualifying them in the
fema qualification system so we ultimately leave a very strong and robust capability in emergency management there for years to come. when it comes to texas, yeah, we have major challenges when it comes to housing. we are going to have challenges in housing puerto rico which is the most frustrating aspect of recovery where i need your help to change -- we need granting authority. if i could give governor abbott, for example, granting authority, he could take funding from me and do housing the way he sees best. he could buy tent cities. he could do direct construction. he could buy a travel trailer, a manufactured house, and he doesn't have to adhere to my bulky laws but his state laws and do it much quicker and efficiently than i could. but right now the way it has to work is i got to do an interservice governmental agreement with the governor and he's got to follow my bureaucratic process which slows things down. and we've got to fix it because i've never heard of a recovery
housing mission that's ever sought praise from anybody. which is a real problem. there's a lot that's going on but i have thousands of people in the field right now. 65% of my agency is still deployed and it's not these four events that we're working. i'm working disasters in 35 states and local territories have been impacted this year. i couldn't be more proud of my staff and what they're going through and the sacrifices and they continue to serve others. mr. carter: i agree the staff has done a fantastic job. but estimates for hurricane maria beyond f.y. 2018 and the california wildfires were not available when the last supplemental came out. mr. long: right. mr. carter: do we have a better estimate for the disaster now or another supplemental needed to address those needs? if so can we expect another supplemental request for
funding to support these disasters and will that request cover the entire life of the disaster for hurricane maria or should we expect multiple supplemental requests? mr. long: sir, right now, you know, it's hard to project how much it's going to cost. some of the initials like puerto rico, some of the initial estimates, total damage estimates range between $20 billion and $50 billion as we look at the level of damage and infrastructure. here, that number could change as we dig deeper in the damage assessments and understand what needs to be done to make it resilient. as far as requesting another supplemental, we are not there yet but i won't allow my agency to get too close before we have to ask for your support so we will maintain and double down on communication to congress as well as o.m.b. when it comes to a critical point where we think we'll run out of funding. i can get you the numbers on the others as well.
mr. carter: if you got other is up elements coming which i would a-- supplements coming which i would assume you do -- or maybe you don't assume -- in that last is up elemental request and we didn't have information to get information needed to see the picture. if you are going to do other supplementals -- that's why i asks the question -- on wildfires and maria we didn't have estimates. i know that you flooded the place with people making estimates. you should have a better picture now than before. i can tell you when i was in houston i was with some building contractors and they aid there's 186,000 remodels estimated in houston right now in a market that builds 100,000 to 150,000 homes a years year. they can't meet goals in the home building because of lack
of labor. how will we have enough labor because a framing contractor looking at a remodel, looking at a new home, has no choice there. he will build a new home. makes more money off of it. it's easier base he doesn't have walls and things he has to tear out. it's going to be a real challenge. i know that may not be fema's job to direct. but ultimately that's things we got to fix. mr. long: yes, sir. mr. carter: this new plan by putting it in the hands of the governor -- in my governor i'd like to see that -- it may be a good idea. in fact, it sounds like a good idea. but, you know, turning the ship of state is a little tedious process. mr. long: mr. chairman, when it comes to reducing disaster costs, i think we need to look at the categories of damage that fema pays for through the
stafford act. i scratch my head as to why fema reimburses state and local governments for building in contents that could be picked up by private insurance companies. why are we paying to fix facilities that could be insured? and that right there would save a tremendous, would save billions of tax-paying dollars and would help fema work with solid public private partnerships in the insurance arena which would reduce the need for supplemental requests down the road. when you get to these big, big disasters our data would suggest that paying for public buildings and contents that are uninsured or self-insured is one of the greatest expenses we have as taxpayers and i question, why are we doing that? mr. carter: i think that's a good question to ask and that may require legislation at this level. as you view it, have
conversations with members of congress about it. mr. long: yes, sir. mr. carter: if we are going to have to write legislation to redirect things, i think that's what we do for a living. mr. long: yes, sir. mr. carter: well. y d.r.f. budget request enough if we have a fire and hurricane season similar to last year's? mr. long: so excellent question. it's my understanding, you know, mother nature dictates how many fire management assistant grants we put out and this year was an unbelievable year. two, the d.r.f., as you guys know, is kind of dictated by the b.c.a. and the formula that's put forward. my concern with wildfires and what we saw this year was the volume of wildfires can deplete the d.r.f. towards the end of the fiscal year as we head into major hurricane season. which requires us to come to you for supplemental requests.
now, the omnibus bill, as i understand it, did fix some of the problems that many of the governors were having problems with when there were fires occurring on federal lands which is not fema's responsibility. our role is to make sure a fire doesn't get out of hand and become a major disaster declaration similar to what california put forward. was impacted by. and i think the insurance industry looks at california as probably the worst wildfire on the globe that we've ever seen. it's one of the most disturbing events i've ever been a part f. ms. roybal-allard: the supplements -- the supplementals, the loans would help the costs operating the
government given they are facing lost revenues. $300 million was provided making loans to puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands to pay for the nonfederal cost share of projects. my understanding is that progress on making these loans has been disappointingly slow and i understand to date only $54 million in loans have been made to municipalities in puerto rico. and i have a -- three questions here. can you update us on the progress of these loans and why the application process takes so long and for puerto rico, are fema and treasury working on a long-term estimate for the need of these loans and going forward, will fema and the department of the treasury be able to ensure these loans more rapidly? issue these loans more rapidly? mr. long: yes, ma'am, thank you for the question. there's a lot of confusion around this. yes, fema does administer the community disaster loan program and not to belabor this point,
but because of liquidity issues we were facing in the commonwealth, you know, treasury proactively and rightfully has stepped in to help us understand the situation but also for o.m.b. to understand the situation around how much liquidity puerto rico government actually has and it's my understanding that when puerto rico's budget, what they have currently reaches a critical low point of $800 million, then the loans can begin to be placed and puerto rico with drawdown against them. soes that -- so that was basically the deal between treasury and the governor was worked out in puerto rico. but i can come back in writing for specifics. ms. roybal-allard: ok. i would appreciate it. and mr. chairman, do we have time for a second round? ok. then i'll anticipate we do and yield back. mr. carter: mrs. lowey.
mrs. lowey: thank you very much. thank you for your presentation. administrator long, i understand that fema and the department of homeland security are looking to change the way risk is calculated for metropolitan areas. this could impact the allocation of grant funding in both the state homeland security grant program and the urban area security initiative. i'm aware that threat -- that the threat is changing and we need to take that into account. my concern, relying on a robust analysis on consequence, the risk analysis will be tweaked to fit what is only a perception of the evolving threat. that would defeat the purpose of having a rigorous risk methodology at all. so has any independent third party outside of fema or department of homeland security looked at the proposed changes
to the risk methodology? and do you think it might be valuable to have an independent review from the g.a.o. of some of the source of expertise before you change the method for calculating risk? mr. long: sure. and, ma'am, i really appreciate the question as well because i don't want fema doing anything in a vacuum that becomes detrimental to anybody. so let me be clear. i'm a believing in doubling down on communication and when it comes to third party review, we typically rely on reaching out to the national management emergency, i don't have a problem engaging in g.a.o. as well because we want to do this right. the problem with the grant system is that i don't think that the federal government's ever done a good job of measuring return on investment or being able to -- and i don't believe that the old risk formula was a formula at all. so we have to be able to build
a defensible formula that allows numerous communities access, you know, funding to help them kick-start recovery. when it comes to cost share and grants, i don't believe that it's fema's place to fully supplement a program through its cradle-to-grave life cycle. i believe they need to have skin in the game, state and local governments, and i believe these should kick-start initiatives and help communities to graduate their budgets to be able to continue going down the road of a robust program in the future. mrs. lowey: i think that's an issue that's really critical that we work together on. mr. long: yes, ma'am. mrs. lowey: i understand your point of view. in some instances i would agree and some probably not. i want to mention the nonprofit security grants and the state homeland security grant program. when secretary nielsen
testified before the subcommittee i asked her about a new grant program i fought to include in the most recent omnibus. funding to nonprofits located outside of areas designated to the urban area security initiative will really help those organizations improve security at a time when hate groups are on the rise across the country and communications large and small. according to recent reports by the southern poverty law center and the a.d.l., neonazi groups grew by more than 20% in the past year and incidents rose by more than 90% in new york in 2017 alone and that's why i was so pleased to hear secretary nielsen state her intention to focus d.h.s.'s effort on hate groups widely including white supremacy groups. this $10 million in funding will really help organizations like some of those in my
district proactively combat the changing face of hate, threat, and violence. can you tell us when you expect the grant notice to be released, and when do you think the funding will go out? mr. long: i don't have a timing on the funding. i would agree this money, the nongovernmental organizations that are active in disasters are incredibly important. one of the most important pillars in the whole community, and we depend on them, we specifically depend to do things that are bound by regulation that keep us from being nimble in some cases. we will get back to you on the time frames. thank you. mrs. lowey: thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for your presentation. you seem so well informed. we are very honored to have a person of your caliber tarik on this responsibility. the challenges are just
incredible. and i know we discussed puerto rico. so i won't bring that up today. but i hope you really stay on it because the tragedy was overwhelming. when you're up in the helicopter and you see all the homes without roofs and the electric grid and the water and the food and the jobs, so thank you for your leadership and i really hope you stay on it. don't forget the st. john's as well. mr. long: thank you. mrs. lowey: thank you very much. mr. carter: mr. taylor. mr. taylor: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. brock, appreciate he and your service and please to give your best to everybody under you. i know they have a very challenging environment as so do you. lots of challenges. i'm very happy to hear some of your comments about streamlining the agency and also i do want to touch on puerto rico just briefly. i was down there last week and understanding there are -- as we talked about just a little
bit earlier about deferred maintenance and issues that puerto rico had, not prepared, but obviously we have to go down there to help out to make them more resilient and have -- they have a more robust system. so one of the questions that i have -- i was speaking with the mayor down there, and he was -- it's my understanding municipalities will spend their money, of course, to fix infrastructure and then get reimbursed. however, they don't have a lot of money, right? they sort of run out and it's not fixed or finished and we have another upcoming hurricane season. so just curious, what's happening to make things more efficient? is there a way to do so to make sure the infrastructure's fixed before the next hurricane season? mr. long: congressman, great question. there's -- to just to be honest, there is no way we fix the infrastructure before next hurricane season. what we're trying to do is -- well, i can tell you we're proactive when it comes to
money management and kick-starting the program and making sure worksheets are estimated, we're embedding the staff with the 78 mayors -- we have embedded staff a long time ago to be able to work with them directly to navigate. we are in the train the trainer process with the 1,500 local hires, approximately 1,500 local hires that we've done. that's my army going out and basically helping these jurisdictions navigate. when it comes to the infrastructure, we got to remember, for example, a lot of the power -- a lot of the power grid wasn't functioning before the storm. you guys gave me the authority to fix that. and then there's just so many -- we're putting temporary roadway systems in until roads can be rebuilt. so we just have a long way to go. we are going to be there for years. now, what we're doing to get ready for hurricane season, we're rewriting emergency
operation plans for all 78 jurisdictions. we're rewriting plans for the commonwealth. on june 14, all of our efforts to write the plans, train upon the plans is going to be comprd on june 14 -- exercised on june 14 with a full-scale exercise. i'm increasing the amount of food, water, supplies we have on the island. and then we're going to run through plans of distribution for commodities and the commodities that we roll out during the exercise, we're going to allow the 78 municipalities to keep so they can build their own levels of preparedness on a daily basis. mr. taylor: on the efficiency of reimbursements for the localities, they get money back to be able to do what they need to do locally, is that -- is that being looked at, i guess to make sure they get reimbursed faster? mr. long: in some case we may be entering exat the indicted processes to get funding to them if there's liquidity issues or lack of funding. we did that in texas. we did it in numerous locations
across the country. i'd be happy to respond to you in writing on how we're actually managing the money processes at the local levels. mr. taylor: is fema looking at new technologies to help with disaster relief to get products faster? you mentioned housing, 3-d printing housing and things like that? mr. long: excellent question. so under the third goal of reduce the complexity of fema, there's 124.6 million dollar ask in the 2019 budget for specific critical infrastructure and analytics investment because we have to do a better job of understanding the interdependencies within our own agency but how we interact with the 16 critical infrastructure sectors to make sure that we're making the right decisions and putting money down in the best way we can. mr. taylor: appreciate it. one more last thing. under the administration, politically there have been some hits of course about reducing programs that help with things like sea level
rises. in coastal virginia, hampton roads, we have things so there is sea level rise -- in terms of resilience and helping communities, is that something -- let me say there are a lot of programs in the that need to go away that were well intended but do not work well. in your culture of preparedness, are we working in areas like miami and hampton roads and louisiana for sea level rise? mr. long: sure. so i had a conversation the other day with a very talented forecaster from noaa by the name of chris lancey. we were discussing the ocean seems to be rising one inch every 10 years. obviously we have to start accounting for that and our strategic plan embodies this. so that's yime' asking for predisaster mitigation, a real mechanism to do predisaster mitigation upfront that we're not having to negotiate or doesn't get zeroed out every year by every president that goes forward or whatever. that there is a mechanism to help communities start to
elevate roadway systems and infrastructure in anticipation of sea level rise. the other thing is, obviously fema can't stop sea level rise. that would be the equivalent of us to stop play tonics as well and -- platonics as well and stop earthquakes. a lot of the flooding issue we anticipate that over 30% of the flooding that we see across the country is because of the built environment. the newly built environment and the way we're expanding without proper building codes. there is a multitude of things we need to start putting forward. i believe that disaster resilience is in the -- it's in the hands of the state and local governments to pass those land use planning laws and building codes. my agency gets to deal with the consequences for the lack thereof. mr. taylor: thank you, mr. brock. appreciate it.
mr. carter: mr. price. mr. price: thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, administrator long. happy to see you back at the subcommittee to congratulate you on your good work and also acknowledge a fellow north carolinaian. hope you still claim that. mr. long: headed there today. maybe i can ride with you. mr. price: maybe so. well, speaking of that, i have only one shot here but i do want to ask a couple of questions and hopefully we can deal with both of them because they have to deal with part of your broader support system. the national service volunteers who are playing an increasing role in disaster relief and recovery and then the work of the center at u.n.c.-chapel hill, the coastal resilience center, which i understand you will be addressing on monday which we're very glad to know. both of these are problematic in the president's budget which
is a nice word for being zeroed out. so that's why i bring them up. i want to ask you about the value of these aspects of your support system. first, national service. you know very well that all hands on deck are required as a north carolinaian and now in your national role. volumes are often a crucial part -- volunteers are often a crucial part. we did form the fema corps in 2012. i understand something like 4,000 national service volunteers were involved in 2017 alone in relief and recovery efforts. to act as force multipliers. i want you to describe what they do. what do these volunteers do to extend the reach of emergency relief and help ensure the long-term recovery of communities? why on earth would the administration zero out national service? are there any other barriers
that exist to volunteers that congress should address? i'm -- i'm co-chair of the national service caucus. i have seen this firsthand in north carolina and so i'm baffled by the budget but i'm also, of course, encouraged by the support that they've increasingly -- volunteers have increasingly done in our recovery effort. mr. long: obviously taking this job, taking this job, i became administrator in a very tough budget environment. and unfortunately cuts have to be made here and there and i got multiple training facilities. like, when it comes to love to ies, i would fund. i have the center for preparedness. dedicated to training. i almost have to -- i need to concentrate somewhat within my own shop within fema and then when it comes to fema corps,
fema corps is a great program. the bottom line is that it provides a jumping on point for people to get involved in emergency management. we make a concerted effort to hire those that have gone through fema corps into the disaster corps positions, or p.f.t. positions. we try to do that. congressman, it's a tough -- tough calls have to be made. when it comes to -- and let me say this. it's not just providing money to state and local governments. i think 2017 should be a reflection point for state legislatures, local elected officials to re-evaluate how much their staffing and funding their emergency management programs. i can't continue to sue plant them in their -- is up plant them in their entirety. my general fund budget was somewhere between $5 million and $7 million to run a state emergency management agency.
during the height of the 2017, fema was spending that in an hour. i'm spending $300 million a day at the federal government level and literally that -- a general fund budget of a state agency is spent in less than two hours. there's too much of a gap. and i'm also trying to combat the fact that there's a reduction in grants which makes up most of the budget cuts by introducing what we call fema integration teams. i'm ready to take the staff i have out of my regional offices and out of headquarters and move them into the state agencies which we're embarking on this week. we're beginning to phase this out to where we're putting full-time staff in state agencies to be part of the discussion every day but also to help them overcome the planning gaps that they may have when it comes to staffing as well. so it's not just funding, it's getting my people out but i also, as i said earlier, the greatest thing that congress can do to help the states is increase the management costs from 3.34% to 12%.
we can use disaster relief funding to help them augment their staff and capabilities. so it's not -- we got to -- we can't just singularly look at grants. what are the multiple tools in the toolbox that we can collectively provide to states? that's the way i approach this job. mr. carter: mr. chairman, i know my time has expired. i'll ask the administrator to submit for the answer the direct answer of my question about the role of national volunteers in 2017 and otherwise. and also to answer the question i was going to ask had there been sufficient time about the role of the coastal resilient center? mr. carter: i'll yield you that time. mr. price: thank you. let me ask directly about that. submit whatever you want to about the national service. mr. long: really. mr. price: the coastal resilient center. as i say, you will be there on
monday. i'm sure you are going to be thanking them for what they've done. i'm sure the storm surge played a large role about where to place people and assets during hurricanes harvey and irma. i wonder if you could elaborate on this and any of this you can elaborate for the record but tell us more about the importance of the center's work and what are your thoughts about eliminating all the funding for this? mr. long: gavin smith, who runs the program, is a good friend of mine. he is a very smart mitigation mind -- minded, subject matter expert. the bottom line is it boils down to, here again, it's a tough budget environment. should fema be funding universities? how many of these programs should we fund nationwide? do i need to concentrate on -- do i need to concentrate on working with our partners? noaa also does storm surge modeling that we depend on. mr. price: if that's the case
-- my time is limited. if that's the case, if it's duplicative, if the work of the coastal resiliency center is really not needed, then you need to document that. mr. long: right. i'm not saying it's not needed. i'm saying for me i can't fund it at all. mr. price: is it redundant? mr. long: i don't know enough about the program. mr. price: this is siloed, it looks to me it's siloed and you're talking about budgets that aren't directly inier purview but certainly budgets you should care about. if you care about it, if it's important to your work you should say so. we need some assurance within the administration these conversations are going on. and functions that are critical to something as important as the work of fema, that those are highlighted and if there is something that we can safely eliminate then we need to have the rationale for it. mr. long: and i am not at a point to tell you what should be eliminated at this point or
i don't know the ends and outs. i am going there to learn, to be honest. you know, i appreciate everybody that's trying to put forward better information to fema and we have to be able to utilize it. here, again, i only have so much funding. i have to make hard decisions. we have to make hard decisions. i would be happy to respond to you in writing once i learn more about the coastal resiliency center. i will be happy to respond in writing about what we found. mr. price: good. i will appreciate that. also a response in terms of the more specifics about the national service input. mr. long: sure. mr. price: thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. carter: you're welcome, mr. price. mr. palazzo. mr. palazzo: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. brock, thank you for being here today. i've known several fema administrators and you seem to be one of the best ones i've heard explain your agency so thank you for your honest and clear answers.
real quick, i'm from gulfport, mississippi, mississippi's fourth congressional district. one thing you can relate to is hurricane katrina. we were ground zero and we took it right on the chin. it took almost a decade for us to be comfortable in our recovery. the one thing the gulf coast and not just in mississippi but coastal areas, any place that lives on or near the water which is prictcally the majority of the population in america, -- practically the majority of the population in america, relies on insurance, the nifp program. 2013, congress tried to improve the nfip program only to basically, you know, cause a lot of unforeseen problems. with that was the drastic rate increases on homeowners who
through no fault of their own were in the nfip program and was the only insurance available. overnight they were going to see their rates go up, you know, double, triple, quadruple. you know, that was a big concern. congress acted swiftly. i think the term was unintended consequences is what many of us used on the floor. now the bill was tied to some other things such as the restore act which was the delivery, the penalties from the b.p. oil spill and two-year surface transportation extension. and so the fact that we were able to find a longer term solution to the nfip, the re-authorization, because prior to there were 16 or more short-term re-authorizations. obviously those re-authorizations and the fear of it expiring and you can't get a mortgage if you are required to have flood insurance so it was affecting
homeownership, home building. you know, economic development. just uncertainty and instability of the market. guess what, fast forward, you know, the house has passed a bill which is impassable. it has some good reforms. there's no way it will pass the senate because it's going to increase rates on homeowners. it's going to cause, again, market disruption. but we are for moving much to the private sector as possible. there's not a private sector market in many areas. i guess the thing is, can you tell me the fact we haven't re-authorized the program, it looks like we are akon standing searching for must-pass legislation to attach the short-term re-authorization to, does it have any affect on your agency right now? mr. long: well, the problem -- thanks for the congress, those supplementals helped us in debt forgiveness right off the bat. every time we have a massive events it gets to the point
where fema want pay the interest bill on the nfip program. we need to make the nfip program financially solvent. i don't have answers on that. sometimes i think we may be attacking it in the wrong manner. so, for example, any house in the united states can flood. why are we solely focused on these flood zones and what we learned from harvey is thousands of homes could flood outside the zones. particularly if street drains are not well maintained or the built environment changes the flood zone quicker than the mapping changes. so every house can flood. i often -- you know, we're working until there's a legislative fix i'm working and my mitigation guys are working with the private industry through reinsurance. i believe we offset some of the cost and saved taxpayers over $700 million most recently with getting them to back us up through reinsurance. the thing about nfip and what runs through my mind and we
would have to talk to the private sector to start dialogue but why is it flood insurance not connected to every insurance policy in america? why is there not all hazards insurance policy every time you buy a house and so you reduce the cost, you spread it out, it becomes more affordable? i mean, i don't know why we have to have this a la cart system you have to have fire insurance that you can let lapse if you pay off your house. you can choose or choose not to buy nfip insurance if you are outside a zone? why aren't we working with private industry on a more innovative solution saying, can we get to an all hazards package for insurance program? mr. palazzo: all hazards is good to me. this is a flyout day. thank you, mr. brock. i have questions related to mapping on the mississippi gulf coast compared to my neighbors in louisiana and alabama and i'll submit those for the
record. thank you. mr. long: thank you. all right. mr. carter: mr. rupp ersberger. -- mr. ruppersberger. mr. ruppersberger: thank you. it seems to me you're pretty well respected. good manager is only as good as your team so i am sure you have a good team. you are one of the most important agencies i think in the government because you protect the american people and our critical infrastructure from a host of evolving threats. it's one of the only agencies which the public hopes to never have to deal with. when you see a fema van or tent you know something tough or terrible has happened. facing tragedy and -- we basically saw that severe tragedy, as you said, last year was probably the worst year you think fema had, is that correct? mr. long: yes.
mr. ruppersberger: i think you delivered 138 million meals. 194 million leerts of water -- liters of water for those impacted by the four hurricanes. while improvements can be made i think your agency should be impressed with the good work. i want to focus on one issue today and that's port security grants. i represent the port of baltimore. i've bnd involved in a lot -- i've been involved in a lot of port security issues. i'm discouraged by the administration's deficient funding request for the port security grant program. this program was included in the original department of homeland security authorization. in my eyes, this is clear evidence that congress recognize the urgent need to secure our ports. year america's ports generate $4.6 trillion in revenue and employ 23 million people throughout the country and now with the expansion of the panama canal we can only expect to see more of an increase in that area. the bottom line is that the
economic impact of sea ports cannot be understated. according to the brookings center for the 21st century security and intelligence, it would take a small attack on our ports to grind u.s. commerce to a halt within days. thus the need for port security could not be understated. for this reason, we need to protect our maritime infrastructure. the port security grant program assists both large and small ports with chemical, biological, nuclear, and explosive detention. funding can go towards bowlesering cybersecurity capabilities and implementing transportation worker identification credential card systems. my question, i have three. first, do you believe the port security grant program has been a valuable tool in combating terrorism? to me a cut to this program implies that our ports have shurd up all of their vulnerabilities. i don't believe you think that's the case. and rise really sea levels and storms which are increasing in
intensity and frequent sifment mr. long: so when it comes to port security, it's my understanding that we spent quite a bit of money through grants to build a baseline capability. and what we don't do a good job of in the federal government when it comes to the return on investment is, what point -- what point do we build that baseline and have a handoff to the port of authorities and to the state and local governments? and should grants start to graduate and reduce over time as we build a baseline capability? or do we just keep continuing to grow this budget and the grants indefinitely and basically i become the person that supplements these grants in the entirety? tomorrow if the threat changes, i need to find new money to address this problem or that problem. i think this is one of those grants where we build a tremendous capability. but where is the handoff? i'm asking the question, where is the handoff to the port authorities to the state and local governments as well as the private sector that uses
those ports as well? mr. ruppersberger: in my opinion, it's based which port, the management of the different ports. in the beginning i talked about how important ports are. trillions of dollars. just a shutdown -- i think we had a strike at the port in california. i mean, this is a tremendous industry with a lot of vulnerability. a lot of drugs coming in. we had yesterday, we talked about how -- i don't think any port has the manpower to deal with the drugs that are coming in, especially fentanyl. so i would suggest that you look at it and you need to manage where the money's going but i think the federal government has to step in when it relates to ports. r. long: thank you, sir. mr. carter: mr. culberson. mr. culberson: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. long, appreciate your work and your earnest and sincere desire to get the money out the door to front load the funds to put it in hands of property owners who will take care of
their own property. get the money in the hands of the local -- your approach is one of the reasons that donald trump was elected government because people feel the government is so badly broken that they elected this guy from outside of the entire process. as a businessman, to just get er done. they want decisive action. i would encourage you, as someone who served -- i started in the texas house and served here in congress and know if a law is maybe ambiguous or leaves you an opening, just do it. get to yes. i heard you say that before. we had a very good meeting. governor abbott and i came to see you. i know you instructed your staff, tell you the reasons you can do it. i encourage you to be bowled and assertive -- bold and assertive and get the yes. just do it. comes been trive when it
to -- terrific when it comes to texas. increased the federal share of debris removal. you've done so. concur extreme circumstances existed so contracting could be expedited, you did so. but there are a couple other real small fixes that you got authority right now to do that would make a dramatic difference for homeowners who thousands of whom are living in the second floor of their homes in my district with all of the sheet rock torn out on the first floor. because many times they were denied rental assistance. if you go to the fema website and log on and -- to the fema.gov website and ask what specific items are covered by housing assistance it tells you this housing assistance includes reimbursement for short-term hotel expenses, money to rent a place to live for up to 18 months while your home is being repaired.
immediate question a homeowner have, does my income matter? the law says, no, it doesn't matter. in fact your website says -- question, does my income need to be under a certain dollar amount to qualify? answer, no. fema's housing assistance program is available regardless of income to anybody who suffered damage or losses. but that's not the way the bureaucrats in fema are administering the program. they are denying rental assistance to thousands of my constituents who have sunk all their money in their home. they are not wealthy. they got kids in college. a mortgage that they're still paying on a home that's flooded out. having to pay rent in a lot of cases to stay in the school district. and a lot of expenses and they're being denied rental assistance. you got the authority literally to just change that and comply with what is on your website. would you please do that? how quickly can you do that? mr. long: congressman, as we spoke the other day --
mr. culberson: i've been on you about this. mr. long: i appreciate it. i wasn't aware of the issue until you raised it. e bottom line is that it spawned very deliberate conversations and we are going to be entering into the rulemaking process to look at a whole host of, why do we put these ramifications on individual assistance to begin with, right? mr. culberson: you could do this, yes. just do it. just get er done. the american people to get er done. mr. long: i continue working with you and i appreciate you raising the issue. as you know, i am always at a rock in a hard place. that policy that was put into place, i found ott the other day, it was put in as a result of the 2001 events, the terrorism events in new york. i'm trying to understand why and i'm trying to understand what the ramifications are by moving it but we're trying to move as quickly as we can and i'll stay in contact with you.
mr. culberson: you are a bold and decisive person. i know that the lawyers are discouraging you. it's clear as a bell. just go for it. this hazard mitigation grant program is another one that i'm concerned about. as i understand in the state of texas will receive $1.1 billion in fema hazard mitigation grant funding this year but this is awarded to the states on a formula basis after a presidentially declared disaster impacts an area. administrator long, can you will flow how this to state of texas and what role does fema play in approving the programs recommended by the states and what kind of projects have been proposed so far? what can we do to speed it snup mr. long: i don't know what they proposed so far. mitigation disaster program is based on a
percentage of public assistance dollars. i'll get you the exact formula. i think it's like 15% of the public assistance dollars that we put forward in a disaster becomes available in postdisaster mitigation. the cost is set by the stafford act, 75/25. i don't know if i have authority to waive that 25%. as far as we can serve as an advisor. going back to states' rights, the governor's in control of that response and recovery and so what my job is to make sure that governor abbott is -- we're helping to meet his mitigation recovery goals, not mine. mr. culberson: texas can do more quickly. we have so many folks out there hurting, can i ask you quickly about the dollar program? thank you, sir. direct assistance for limited home repair program, administered by the general land office inside the city of houston. i heard from constituents there's been a lot of confusion
and delay regarding this dollar program. i understand the plan to end the program for the unincorporated parts of the city of houston and harris county and that the city of houston only recently got under way with administration of the program within the city limits. it's been really spotty. are you aware -- what's the current status of the program? what can you do to help once again take a blowtorch to whatever bureaucrat -- mr. long: so here again, what would fix this problem is granting authority on housing. if you can give me the granting authority to provide funding to a governor, down through a governor, to allow that governor to control housing and do housing in the way he or she would like to, a governor will outmanage us. they will do it more efficient and effectively. the problem with the interservice government agreement and the reason we went this way, i don't have enough manufactured homes to handle the flooding in houston. i mean, the population of harris county alone is more than puerto rico. mr. culberson: there is 136,000
homes being remodeled. mr. long: so we had to put numerous options on the table. i put travel trailers back on the table that they were taken off the table for some reason because i knew there would be a shortage in housing. -- governor abbott stepped up. he commend him for it. the problem is the mechanism is not right. and i'll admit it now. i think it would be better -- because he's got to adhere and purchase housing or provide funding to the homeowner under my bulky code of federal regulations. mr. culberson: much better going through the state. i thank the chairman for the extra time. it's appropriate as this chairman very quickly celebrate thomas jefferson's 275th birthday today that we remember that the founders intended and mr. jefferson in particular that the states administer things that affected only the states. jefferson liked to say regularly, if we would just follow the constitution and
apply that standard to any problem no matter how complicated, the gordian knot will always untie itself. you are on track. texans will run texas. thank you. thank you, judge. mr. carter: ms. roybal-allard would like to have another round. there's three of us left. we're going to have another round. i'm going to start off once again a program, it looks like you're about to eliminate -- i have a lot of interest in, national domestic preparedness consortium. my state is a state with a lot of big sisters, but it's a great big place. and more little towns than we got big cities. and the training center at texas a&m university trains our
first responders. literally every small town in texas is blessed by that being able to train. . to say that we no longer are going to have that available is to say that 2/3 of my state is going to have both medical and fire fighting at a minimal level. and i don't -- i would like to you explain why that is necessary. now, if it's because the administered by the university, and, you know, i can understand prejudice against universities. not -- they're like big government. ey don't look at where the digits are maybe as desperately as they should. but that's a management issue, if that's the case.
but to cut off all funding to things like what we're doing in texas is to cut off fire protection and e.m.f. protection to 2/3 of my state. not that they won't have, they just won't have it effective. w, we have the best training ranges in the entire united states army. fort hood. with the exception of the national training center. ok? that's where you learn the best. you train and we train, we're great trainers. we have great soldiers and they're well trained. but they all go through the national training center before they go to war. if it's available to us. in the war situation. because therefore you save lives, you're more effective, you win battles. that's what this consortium is
doing for the small towns and midsized towns of my state. and of every state in this union. if it's the fact that universities are attached to, it then let's figure out a way to make it better -- to it, then let's figure out a way to make it better. but explain to me why basically you're saying, i know, we've heard, we have to make bad cuts and all that stuff, but i'm lling you, you will harm, my district is basically suburban, but you're still going to harm 20 or 25 towns in my district. mr. long: and by no means do we want to harm anybody. i'm just in a rock and a hard place when it comes to where i can prioritize our funding in a tough environment. when it comes to texas a&m and the texas system, it's a phenomenal system. we're working -- we actually, if i remember correctly, we hired their engineering students to do home inspections. we had to perform over 2.4 million home inspections this
year. which is, one, we have to get better technology and stop doing the manual process to begin with. but we are trying to find ways to engage universities and universities do great work. i'm in a rock and a hard place when it comes to what we can fund and what we can't. i would love to be able to fund them all. it's just not reality. mr. carter: that seems to be your answer. i'm all for going in and doing surgery on the federal government. i think it's a great idea. mr. long: i'd be happy to to work with you, sir. mr. carter: but i don't explain how i explain to one little town who has one firetruck and the only people they have to train them is go to a&m. and i've graduated kids from high school, i taught sunday school for 25 years. i've got at least five fire fights that are i know of that -- firefighters that i know of that i've taught, and for a fire fighter in a small town is going to a&m to a training center. because they come back with
confidence. they know how to fight chemical fires, vehicle fires. they don't just know how to squirt water on a grassfire. and they're better in every state for the people that live n their town, going there. let's figure out a way to not be as wasteful. if you need share from the state, let's do a cooperative with the states or the locals or whatever it needs. add a fee, whatever it needs. but to kill it is a pretty disastrous thing. mr. long: sure. ms. roybal-allard: administrator long, as you can imagine i get a lot of questions about puerto rico and what's happening in puerto rico. my last two questions are related to puerto rico. six months after maria devastated puerto rico, the island still has a long way to
go, as we've discussed. according to press reports, fema has received claims for assistant to repair over one million homes on the island. but fewer than 40% of those have been paid. and one reason for this delay is apparently a difficulty for residents to prove they own their homes. and it has been reported that some transactions are based on verbal agreements and handshakes and never officially recorded. other survivors may have lost official documents during the storm. ma needs to find a way and a long-term solution or some residents may never be able to return home. so what is the current plan to help these homeowners? do you need additional authority from congress to help solve this problem? and finally, will you commit? if you need help from us, will you commit to providing us with technical assistance, or what authority is needed to fix the problem, including the authority
to reimburse individuals who have been made repairs at their own expense? mr. long: excellent question. you hit the nail on the head. this is a unique situation about home ownership that the agency has never run into before. i don't know if it's a legislative fix or a policy fix, but what the concerning factor is is that, you know, to protect the tax paying dollars, i have to make sure that if i'm providing funding to fix a house, that it actually gets done. and it's not that we don't trust anybody to do that. we're a very trusting organization. but if i do it and it turns into waste, fraud and abuse, then i'll be called back before this committee again saying that i leaned too far forward. so let me get back to you on whether or not it's a legislative fix. because it may need -- i may need once again to ask you for special authority similar to looking the other way on the deferred maintenance peels. because we don't fix things that were not well maintained typically in disasters. or i'm called before o.i.g.
again and you're asking questions of why i'm doing that. so let me get back to you on whether or not it's a special authority or not. ms. roybal-allard: then my final question, is i know that you've said that conditions on the island make recovery very difficult. which, again, we've talked about. a recent a.p. news story reported that in the village in puerto rico, detailed their struggles with getting running water. speaking about one area of the town, a resident said practically no one has shown up here. the story is dated march 16, 2018, and it reports that they still didn't have running water or electricity and had not received the generator that they had requested. i had my staff share the article with your staff so that the subcommittee can get more detail about what is going on there and to have a better understanding of an area where the recovery seems to be struggling.
can you share what you found out ? are there any areas where we can be helpful and is it a good example of other areas in puerto rico that are also struggling to recover? mr. long: so, excellent question too. there's a lot of misunderstanding on the water. a majority of the process system that services an overwhelming number of the population in puerto rico is back up and running. a lot of it's running. some of it's running on emergency pour -- power. i have not read the article but what i would assume is if it's a private well, what we typically do in that situation, if it's a private well that's not operational or no longer usable, we first have to understand whether or not you can actually put a generator on that well to pump the water out. and if so, what type of generator? and if i remember correctly, we're working in mission signing the e.p.a. to be able to go in and do that. if not, we're still mobilizing water to communities like that
through water trucks or buffaloes or bottles water and we're working with n.g.o.'s to make sure they're getting out. we can follow up on any specific area. i'd be happy to do that and make sure we're not leaving any stones unturned. ms. roybal-allard: thank you. mr. carter: mr. culberson. mr. culberson: thank you, mr. chairman. administrator long, this assistance thing is really a problem. it really bothers me a lot because we've got people, the on the brink of being eight months since the storm made landfall. the stafford act says you can't discriminate on race, religion, national origin, cre, d or income. your rule online says you won't discriminate people on the basis of income. this is really a desperate problem for people. the law's clear. your rule is clear. there's no reason for there to be any delay with this. you've got the authority. i know your heart's in the right place. i guarantee it's lawyers arguing with each other that's got you
worried. i'm pretty good lawyer myself. as a judge will tell you, i'm relentless. i don't turn loose once i get a hold of something, do i, judge? mr. carter:, no you don't. mr. culberson: i'm not turning loose of. this you have the authority to do this and i'm going to every use -- to use every tool this committee has to get the lawyers underneath you that are the problem, i have figured out a way to change the sanctuary city policy without ever passing a bill. with no language in my c.j.s. bill. just using good common sense, good lawyering and existing law. i'm telling you, the law supports you on. this i'm counting on you to get this done. i'm not turning loose of it. you can do this immediately. just go tell those lawyers to get out of the way. get her done. i'm coming. mr. long: thank you, sir. mr. culberson: culberson's after us. mr. long: thank you. mr. culberson: i really appreciate that. that's very important. these people are really hurting. mr. long: i understand. mr. culberson: that's something you can do right away to help them. deeply appreciate it. mr. long: thank you. mr. culberson: you can also, one other thing you have authority to do is let people use the
mitigation grants, when a property is purchased. the law is ambiguous. i believe it gives you a little daylight, where you could give the homeowner the flexibility to use that grant to lift a new structure. right now they are limited to lifting an existing structure. which makes no sense because if you said many times, nobody's going take better care of a piece of property than the property owner. no one's going to do a better job than governor. that's the genius of what jefferson and the founders left us. to let local authorities and state authorities handle things and individual americans handle things that affected themselves and their own families. are you familiar with this? can you take -- mr. long: i'm not familiar with the exact issue but i will go back to my regency staff and make sure i fully understand it. mr. culberson: thank you. i think this is one you do have the discretion to let the grant -- because today the grant is only being used to lift an old existing structure.
mr. long: we'll take a look at that. mr. culberson: thank you very much. really appreciate it. look forward to working with you. and the chairman. to help resolve this general assistance problem and others. anything else you need to get her done. thank you. mr. carter: we thank you for coming here today. i commend you for trying to fix a broken system. the issue that always affects, when you fix a broken system and you don't mine down into it, to see what the consequences are going to be, i think we heard a lot about that today. don't give up. but mine down in there and see if there's alternatives. mr. long: yes, sir. mr. carter: that's what we need to look to do. i'm no fan of the federal government running everything. but when you think about it, there's x number of states in the union that historically have disasters.
if the burden is all put on those states, those states are going to be overburdened as we try to make sure that the economy of the entire nation functions effectively. for one thing, the gulf coast is where i would argue, not even, probably 80% of all the petroleum that we produce in this country is refined. therefore, a major sector of our energy economy could be lost if we didn't do a lot of work down there on the coast. it's not refined in other places. so therefore you got -- that becomes a federal nexus, in my opinion. i just encourage you to keep trying. but think about asking -- thinking and learning about the consequences. especially for the little guy. little guys, they don't have the resources of the big boys. mr. long: sure.
mr. carter: do you have anything further? all right. then we'll recess and thank you for being here. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] >> as a follow-up to the recent hearings with facebook c.e.o. mark zuckerberg, the communicators looks at the privacy issues raised by the spread of personal data by facebook, with the president and c.e.o. of the center for democracy and technology. and an attorney and former chair
of the federal election commission. >> look at all of those politicians who asked mark zuckerberg questions for 10 hours. every one of them has been using data mined from american citizens to communicate with their constituents, to build mailing lists, to target voters, and a lot of this is for good and saltory reasons. >> really the meta issue for me is how data is collected, used, secured and processed by the companies with which we engage in the online world. in a very comprehensive and pervasive way. >> watch the communicators tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> tonight on landmark cases. brandonberg vs. ohio. ku klux klan leader clarence brandonberg was convicted of hate speech under an ohio law. but the supreme court unanimously ruled the state law violated his first amendment
right. our guest to discuss this case watch landmark cases tonight and join the conversation. our #landmarkcases and follow us @cspan and we have resources on our website for background on each case. the landmark cases companion book, a link to the national constitution center's interactive constitution, and the landmark cases podcast. t spee span.org/landmarkcases. >> this month on c-spans, we feature our student cam contest winners. we asked middle and high school students to choose a provision to the u.s. constitution and illustrate why it is important to them.
a second prize middle school anders are jonathan godfrey jackson cropper. in their winning entry, they tell us about the first amendment and freedom of the press. take a look. >> the press has been a changing cultural stamp of america for over a century. first, we had word of mouth. then we had the newspaper. hen the radio. ♪ then the television. and now -- the internet. how has the freedom of press affected from the media?
>> freedom of the press is important to the people of the united states because the people expect us to tell them what's going on in the government and in their world. >> you have newspapers that didn't have facebook pages even six, seven years ago. i think really underestimating the effect that social media was going to have on news and journalism. >> people today have become reliant on getting news from social media, myself included. since my generation basically lives off social media, it's a good way to keep us informed of what's going on around the world. while all of this is a good thing, there is a down side to it. >> there's a future of the latest news an tweets from its users. the problem is that any use consider create their own moment. therefore spreading incorrect news. >> for example, there was a twitter moment stating that the s.e.c. chairman was found dead in his home. but it wasn't true. it was made by a random twitter user. this wouldn't really matter if people didn't rely on social media for their news, but they do. nearly 67% of americans have at some point in their lives. including us. >> this is a problem because what if the news my generation and i are reading is not true? what if it's like the twitter
moment? what if it's fake news? >> people are social media as a general rule are not journalists. they're not answering four prudent questions before they're giving the news and that is, does the public need to know, does the public want to know, does the public have a right to know, and is this doing no harm to anyone? we see things all the time that certainly aren't fact checked, that are just a product of someone's imagination. and all of a sudden nobody knows what to believe about anything. and an uninformed people are a people that are in jeopardy. >> within hours of mass shooting in southerland springs, texas, on sunday, if you were to search youtube for information about that massacre, you might have come across a video by a right wing shock jock named he will measure t. williams. there you would find a rambling video monologue that was full of false claims but posted soon enough to take advantage of breaking news interest and even become temporarily prioritized by youtube's own