Source: US Congressional Budget Office
H.R. 5953 would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to waive certain debts owed to the United States stemming from assistance improperly provided by the agency to an individual or household following a major disaster declared under the Stafford Act. Recouped amounts are deposited in the Disaster Relief Fund and subsequently spent, without appropriation, on recovery costs for future disasters. CBO estimates that about $36 million in improper payments that are in the process of being recouped would no longer be collected under H.R. 5953, increasing direct spending. However, because those amounts would have been available to FEMA for spending, fewer collections would reduce outlays. Because outlays lag recoveries, enacting the bill would increase outlays by $4 million in 2021 and $2 million over the 2021-2025 period but would result in no net effect on direct spending over 2021-2030 period.