FEMA Chief Confirmed After Senator Lifts Hold – New York Times

The Senate confirmed President Barack Obama’s pick to head the nation’s emergency management agency Tuesday after a Louisiana Republican agreed to stop blocking the vote amid bipartisan criticism that the agency was left vulnerable with hurricane season just a few weeks away.

Craig Fugate took over the Federal Emergency Management Agency on a voice vote by the Senate. A former Florida emergency management chief, he had garnered broad bipartisan support.

Sen. David Vitter had put a hold on confirming Fugate until FEMA officials provided answers on several lingering questions involving Hurricane Katrina rebuilding.

The delay won support from some local officials and the Louisiana Floodplain Management Association, who want FEMA to take a second look at parts of southern Louisiana that have been labeled high-risk flood zones ineligible for rebuilding funds.