CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 1178 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Charles Dent (R-PA) on February 25, 2009.
H.R. 1178 requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the functions and capabilities of the Civil Air Patrol to support homeland security missions, including those of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as State and local governments. The study will consider aerial reconnaissance and communications capabilities, disaster response and rescue ability, and help train DHS resources for aviation threat interception.
The bill requires the Comptroller General to submit a report with these findings to Congress within 180 days. Within 90 days of that report being submitted to Congress, the Secretary of Homeland Security will report to Congress on the Department's analysis of GAO's report.
In the 110th Congress, a similar bill (H.R. 1333) was passed by the House by voice vote. The Senate never considered that legislation.
Since it was created at the beginning on World War II, the Civil Air Patrol has assisted States with emergency response during national disasters and with search and rescue missions. This legislation seeks to determine the cost-effectiveness of the Civil Air Patrol being used for homeland security missions. The report mandated in the bill also will address whether current agreements and mechanisms are sufficient to request such security support from the Civil Air Patrol, or if new agreements are necessary.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that H.R. 1178 would cost less than $1 million over the years 2009-2010.