H.R. 2390, Homeland Security University-based Centers Review Act, as amended

H.R. 2390

Homeland Security University-based Centers Review Act, as amended

Sponsor
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson

Date
June 23, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, June 23, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 2390, the Homeland Security University-based Centers Review Act, as amended, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 2390 was introduced on May 18, 2015, by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, and in addition, to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.  The Homeland Security Committee ordered the bill reported by voice vote on May 20, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2390 requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO), not later than 120 days after enactment, to initiate a study to assess the university-based centers for homeland security program and provide recommendations for improving the program to certain House and Senate committees.  The bill specifies the matters the study must include and also requires the Secretary, not later than one year after enactment, and annually thereafter, to include additional information in an existing report about these Centers.

Background

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, acting through the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, to designate university-based centers for homeland security.  The purpose of these centers is to “establish a coordinated, university-based system to enhance the Nation’s homeland security.”[1]  The criteria for designating such centers includes, but is not limited to, demonstrated expertise in: the training of first responders; responding to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction and biological warfare; emergency and diagnostic medical services; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear countermeasures or detection; animal and plant health and diagnostics; food safety; water and wastewater operations; port and waterway security; multi-modal transportation; information security and information engineering; engineering; educational outreach and technical assistance; border transportation and security; and the public policy implications and public dissemination of homeland security related research and development.”[2]  These Centers of Excellence to which they are referred “develop “multidisciplinary, customer-driven, homeland security science and technology solutions and train the next generation of homeland security experts.”[3]

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[1] Section 308(b)(2)
[2] Section 308(b)(2)(B)
[3] https://www.hsuniversityprograms.org/centers-of-excellence-network/

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that preparing the reports required by H.R. 2390 would cost less than $500,000 in 2016 and over the 2016 to 2020 period, assuming availability of appropriated funds.  Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.