FEMA Spending

September 8, 2017

Congress is set to approve a multi-billion dollar aid package for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Much of the funding will be for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The figure below shows real, or inflation-adjusted, spending on FEMA since 1970. (FEMA was created in 1979, but federal budget figures include spending on predecessor agencies). Put aside the mid-2000s spike from Katrina, and you can see that FEMA spending has trended strongly upwards. FEMA spending averaged $1 billion a year in the 1980s, $3 billion a year in the 1990s, and more than $10 billion a year recently.

Background on FEMA’s history, role, and performance here. DownsizingGovernment charting utility here.




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