H.R. 3583, Promoting Resilience and Efficiency in Preparing for Attacks and Responding to Emergencies (PREPARE) Act, as amended

H.R. 3583

Promoting Resilience and Efficiency in Preparing for Attacks and Responding to Emergencies (PREPARE) Act, as amended

Date
April 26, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 3583, the Promoting Resilience and Efficiency in Preparing for Attacks and Responding to Emergencies (PREPARE) Act, under suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on September 22, 2015, by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, in addition to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The Committee on Homeland Security ordered the bill reported, as amended, by voice vote, on September 30, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3583 seeks to enhance accountability and increase coordination at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Office of Emergency Communications, and Office of Health Affairs. Major provisions provided by the bill include:

  • $55 million annually for Operation Stonegarden, a grant program for state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance border security;
  • $163 million annually for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, which provides training to state, local, and tribal emergency response providers;
  • $5 million annually for the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consolidation program to provide training to emergency response providers for rural communities;
  • A pilot program between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services to provide anthrax vaccines from the Strategic National Stockpile to first responders;
  • A requirement that FEMA leverage experts within DHS to develop policy and guidance for $1.2 billion in annual grants for the State Homeland Security Grant Program and Urban Security Initiative;
  • Reforms and increased oversight of the Office of Emergency Communications;
  • The establishment of a Chief Medical Office for the Department;
  • Management reforms within FEMA to ensure proper mission support is provided, information technology systems are modernized, and the development of a strategic human capital plan; and
  • Reforms for the flood insurance claims process.

Background

FEMA is tasked with sustaining our nation’s capacity to prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from all disasters, natural and man-made. In coordinating the federal government’s role in mitigating disasters, FEMA oversees a multitude of grant, training, exercise, and coordination programs that augment the government’s disaster preparedness. In addition to these programs, FEMA assists state and local first responders with emergency communications and medical preparedness.[1]

The Department’s Homeland Security Grant Program is comprised of three interconnected grant programs, including the State Homeland Security Program, the Urban Area Security Initiative, and Operation Stonegarden. These programs fund a range of preparedness activities, including planning, organization, equipment purchases, training, exercises, and management.[2]

The Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) supports and promotes communications used by emergency responders and government officials during disaster or emergency situations. OEC is responsible for the nation’s operable and interoperable communications efforts, and provides training, coordination, tools, and guidance to Federal, state, local, and tribal partners.[3]

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs guides DHS leaders on medical and public health issues related to national security, including chemical and biological threats, pandemics, and coordination of medical resources during incidents.[4]

The House previously considered legislation addressing FEMA and first responders, provisions of which are included in H.R. 3583. They include:

  • H.R. 2206, the State Wide Interoperable Communications Enhancement Act (July 27, 2015)
  • H.R. 1300, the First Responder Anthrax Preparedness Act (July 29, 2015)
  • H.R. 4509, the State and High-Risk Urban Area Working Group Act (April 13, 2016)

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[1] See http://www.fema.gov/about-agency
[2] See https://www.fema.gov/fiscal-year-2016-homeland-security-grant-program
[3] See https://www.dhs.gov/office-emergency-communications
[4] See https://www.dhs.gov/office-health-affairs

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing HR 3583 would cost $505 million over the 2016-2020 period. Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation because it would not affect direct spending or revenues. The authorizations in the bill mirror the current level of appropriations.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jason Grassie with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-3021.