Landrieu, Vitter threaten to block potential Fugate nomination

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate on May 19, 2009. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images) Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate in 2009. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Louisiana Sens. Mary Landrieu (D) and David Vitter (R) say they would attempt to block the nomination of FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate as Homeland Security secretary if the agency doesn't address steep increases in flood insurance premiums.

Fugate is one of several leading candidates  for the DHS job, which is being vacated by Janet Napolitano.

"In light of the extremely serious challenges facing him under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), we both feel strongly that these challenges must be addressed in a very serious manner before he is promoted to any other position," Landrieu and Vitter wrote in the letter. "We are both determined to ensure this under the rules of the U.S. Senate."

Landrieu and Vitter could put what is called a "hold" on Fugate's nomination if he is nominated.

Louisianans are worried about rising premiums as FEMA implements a flood insurance reform bill that was passed in 2012. Members of the Louisiana delegation have been fighting to avert what they say are potential exponential increases in premiums.

The issue has particular salience in Louisiana, of course, because of the state's recent history of devastating hurricanes — most notably Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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