February, 2009

The Impact of FEMA Reorganization: Implications for Policy

  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Peter Leeson

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Russel Sobel

Key materials
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Prior to 2003, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was an independent agency with direct congressional oversight. But in the wake of the September 11th attacks, FEMA was integrated into the newly-formed Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  This merger, which severed the congressional influence over FEMA’s decision making, brought about changes in how FEMA allocates disaster-relief funds.

This policy comment discusses the impact and implications of FEMA’s move to DHS. Understanding how this merger affected the federal government’s disaster-relief decision making is important when considering future decisions to reorganize existing government agencies.

Citation (Chicago Style):

Coyne, Christopher, Peter Leeson,  and Russell Sobel. "The Impact of FEMA Reorganization: Implications for Policy." Mercatus Policy Series, Policy Comment No. 24. Arlington, VA: Mercatus Center at George Mason University, February 2009.