H.R. 3875, Department of Homeland Security CBRNE Defense Act of 2015, as amended

H.R. 3875

Department of Homeland Security CBRNE Defense Act of 2015, as amended

December 10, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Thursday, December 10, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 3875, the Department of Homeland Security CBRNE Defense Act of 2015, as amended, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 3875 was introduced on November 2, 2015 by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by voice vote, on November 4, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3875 authorizes a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Office within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The CBRNE Office would consist of existing offices currently located throughout DHS.  The bill also requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO), within two years of the enactment, to prepare a report to the Congress on DHS research and development programs relating to explosives and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.


Departments and agencies across the federal government have centralized their weapons of mass destruction (WMD) defense programs to provide clear focal points for dealing with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives threats.  However, “DHS responsibilities in the CBRNE areas continue to be spread across many offices in the Department with varying authorities and functions, affecting strategic direction as well as interdepartmental and interagency coordination.”[1] H.R. 3875 is designed to streamline and improve overall DHS WMD defense activities and ensure that the Department can effectively and efficiently prepare, prevent, respond to, and mitigate CBRNE threats.

[1] See House Report 114-334 at 11.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 3875 would not significantly affect DHS spending. Based on the cost of similar reports, CBO estimates that it would cost GAO less than $1 million over the 2016 to 2017 period to prepare the report required by the bill. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.  Because enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues, 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.