The former head of the Providence and Rhode Island Emergency Management agencies was confirmed Monday by the Senate as Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Peter Gaynor has been the FEMA Deputy Administrator since 2018, and was named Acting Administrator in March, 2019 after Administrator Brock Long resigned amid questions about his use of government vehicles.
Gaynor, a retired Marine Corps Colonel was confirmed on a vote of 81-8. The eight “no” votes were cast by Democrats, while Rhode Island’s two Democratic Senators, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse both voted to confirm Gaynor.
The primary task of FEMA, an agency within the United States Department of Homeland Security is to coordinate government response to disasters. In Fiscal Year 2020, it had some 11,300 employees and a budget of $28.7 billion.