FEMA gets no respect.
Consider: The two men who are supposed to be helping run the federal government’s disaster response agency had a pretty quiet late August. Even as a once-in-a-thousand-year storm barreled into Houston, these two veterans of disaster response—Daniel A. Craig and Daniel J. Kaniewski—found themselves sitting on their hands.
Both had been nominated as deputy administrators in July, but Congress went on its long August recess without taking action on either selection—despite the fact that both are eminently qualified for the jobs.
Leaving the roles open as the annual Atlantic hurricane season arrived was the clearest recent sign that FEMA—an agency whose success or failure translates directly into human suffering avoided or exacerbated—barely registers in Washington.