House passes FAA bill with two Maloney provisions

The latest bill authorizing funding for Federal Aviation Administration programs cleared the House of Representatives on Friday with two provisions that Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney sponsored, including one ordering an investigation into a $30 million federal contract that went awry in the wake of Hurricane Maria last year.

The contractor in question was hired to supply massive amounts of tarps and plastic sheeting to cover devastated homes and businesses in Puerto Rico, but failed to do so. It turned out the Federal Emergency Management Agency had awarded the contract to a newly formed business operating out of a house in Florida. Maloney’s bill amendment requires the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to examine how the contractor was chosen and the impact of its failure, with a report to be given to Congress within 270 days.

“We had thousands and thousands of Americans who went without the help they needed because these guys had no idea what they were doing and apparently it’s the wild west down at FEMA,” Maloney, D-Cold Spring, said in a press release. “Every minute counts during emergencies and we’re talking about the potential misuse of $30 million in taxpayer money – we need to figure out what happened, and make sure it never happens again.”

The FAA Reauthorization Act, which passed in a 393-13 vote, also included a proposal sponsored by Maloney and Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, to require airlines to keep child-sized doses of medicine in emergency kits on their planes.

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