H. R. 1860
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 3, 2017
Mr. Meeks introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
To ensure fairness in the recoupment of certain Federal disaster assistance, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Disaster Assistance Recoupment Fairness Act of 2017.
Waiver of certain debts
Notwithstanding section 3716(e) of title 31, United States Code, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency may waive a debt owed to the United States related to covered assistance provided to an individual or household if—
the covered assistance was distributed based on an error by the Federal Emergency Management Agency;
there was no fault on behalf of the debtor, including that there was no fraud, presentation of a false claim, or misrepresentation by the debtor or any party having an interest in the applicable claim; and
the collection of the debt would be against equity and good conscience.
Monitoring of covered assistance distributed based on error
The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security shall monitor, on an ongoing basis, the distribution of covered assistance to determine the percentage of such assistance that is distributed based on an error by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Removal of waiver authority due to excessive error rate
If the Inspector General determines, with respect to any 12-month period, that the percentage of covered assistance that is distributed based on an error by the Federal Emergency Management Agency exceeds 4 percent of the total amount of covered assistance distributed—
the Inspector General shall—
notify the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the determination; and
publish the determination in the Federal Register; and
with respect to debts owed in relation to covered assistance provided for a major disaster or emergency declared after the date on which the determination is published under subparagraph (A)(ii), the waiver authority under subsection (a) of this section shall not apply.
Covered assistance defined
In this section, the term covered assistance means assistance provided—
under section 408 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174); and
in relation to a major disaster or emergency declared by the President under such Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) on or after October 30, 2012.
Limitation on recovery
Notwithstanding section 3716(e) of title 31, United States Code, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, unless there is evidence of fraud, shall not initiate any action, in any forum, to recover—
assistance provided to an individual or household under section 408 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174) more than 3 years after the last date on which the assistance was provided; or
amounts owed by an individual or household in relation to assistance provided under such section more than 3 years after the date on which the amounts were determined to be owed.