Senate panel backs Trump’s FEMA nominee

The Capitol is seen from the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, where the second day of the confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. is being held by the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel has confirmed the nomination of President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs — on a voice vote Monday — backed approval of Brock Long. He previously ran Alabama’s Emergency Management Agency and served as that state’s on-scene incident commander during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

If confirmed by the full Senate, as expected, Long would take over the agency at the beginning of hurricane season. The agency has already managed 41 disaster declarations this year and the Trump administration has proposed cutting nearly $1 billion from the agency’s budget.

More than $500 million in proposed cuts would come from FEMA’s grant programs, including the grants for pre-disaster mitigation efforts.

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