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FEMA administrator Brock Long. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

FEMA administrator Brock Long announced Wednesday that he is resigning from his post. Peter Gaynor will serve as acting administrator.

The big picture: Long had been criticized and investigated by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general for allegedly misusing government vehicles to travel to his home in North Carolina. Though he led FEMA through a record series of natural disasters, per Bloomberg, he and the Trump administration came under significant scrutiny for their response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Statement from Long:

“It has been a great honor to serve our country as FEMA Administrator for the past two years. During my tenure, the Agency worked more than 220 declared disasters. President Trump, Vice President Pence and Secretary Nielsen have been extremely supportive of me, the FEMA workforce and our mission. The President and his entire Administration provided unprecedented support to the Agency as we led the nation through the historic 2017 hurricane and wildfire season. With this Administration’s leadership, we also improved and transformed the field of emergency management through the enactment of our Agency’s Strategic Plan and partnership with Congress on the passage of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA).
“While this has been the opportunity of the lifetime, it is time for me to go home to my family – my beautiful wife and two incredible boys. As a career emergency management professional, I could not be prouder to have worked alongside the devoted, hardworking men and women of FEMA for the past two years. Upon my departure, Mr. Peter Gaynor, will serve as Acting FEMA Administrator. I leave knowing the Agency is in good hands.”

Go deeper: All the high-profile Trump administration departures

Go deeper

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate seat ahead of inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris submitted her resignation from her seat in the U.S. Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn into her new role.

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the rest of Harris' term, which ends in 2022.

3 hours ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

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