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Top Dems Demand that FEMA Fully Complies with All Previous GOP Requests for Documents About Trump Adminstration's Hurricane Response

Dec 14, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 14, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Stacey Plaskett, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy and Environment, sent a letter to FEMA Administrator William “Brock” Long requesting that he fully comply—before the end of the year—with all previous Republican requests for documents regarding the Trump Administration’s response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

“As you know, Democrats will be in the majority in the House of Representatives beginning in January, and Rep. Cummings has been chosen as the incoming Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,” the Ranking Members wrote.  “We are writing to request that you fully comply, by December 31, 2018, with all previous Republican requests for documents from the Oversight Committee regarding the Trump Administration’s response to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2017.”

 

Cummings and Plaskett insisted that Long finally provide all documents requested more than a year ago in a bipartisan letter on October 11, 2017, from Cummings and Chairman Trey Gowdy.  FEMA produced only about 5,000 pages of documents, and the production did not include a single email to or from Long or his staff to the government of Puerto Rico, a single email to or from Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, or a single email from FEMA officials communicating with White House officials about the response.

 

On February 6, 2018, Cummings and Plaskett sent a letter to Gowdy requesting that he issue a subpoena to compel FEMA to produce documents it has been withholding relating to its failure to provide tens of millions of emergency meals to U.S. citizens who were victims of the hurricanes in Puerto Rico.  FEMA has not produced a single document relating to this matter, despite the fact that they are squarely within the scope of the Committee’s bipartisan request.  Gowdy refused to issue a subpoena.

 

On March 20, 2018, they sent another letter to Gowdy re-emphasizing their request for a subpoena based on additional new information obtained independently by Democratic staff indicating that FEMA failed to respond to multiple emergency requests from major supermarkets seeking fuel to run generators to help prevent food from spoiling in the days immediately following Hurricane Maria—including tons of fresh produce, dairy, and other perishable products that were desperately needed by these American citizens.  FEMA provided no documents relating to this matter, and again, Gowdy declined to issue a subpoena.

 

Cummings and Plaskett also asked Long to produce all documents within the scope of the previous bipartisan request relating to recovery and rebuilding on Vieques and mass graves in Puerto Rico.

 

They also submitted detailed Questions for the Record after Long testified before the Committee on November 29, 2018.

 

Click here to read today’s letter.

 

 

115th Congress