CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 3978 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) on November 2, 2009.
The House passed the bill under suspension of the rules on December 15, 2009, by a vote of 413—1. The Senate passed an amended version of the bill by unanimous consent on August 5, 2010.
The bill would authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to accept and use non-monetary gifts and donations for otherwise authorized activities of the Center for Domestic Preparedness that are related to the preparedness for, and response to, a natural disaster, terrorism or other man-made disasters. Gifts could include property or services, such as guest lecturers.
The bill would prohibit DHS from accepting a gift if it determined that the use of property or services would compromise the integrity of a program or individual within DHS. The bill would require DHS to report annually to Congress on any gifts accepted in the preceding year, how such gifts contributed to the mission of the center, and the amount of federal savings that were generated from the acceptance of such gifts.
Lastly, the measure would also allow the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to accept and use gifts of property, both real and personal, and to accept services for authorized purposes.
The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act (P.L. 110-53) established a National Domestic Preparedness Consortium within DHS to develop and deliver training to state and local emergency response providers. The consortium consists of the Center for Domestic Preparedness and research and training sites throughout the U.S.
The Senate made several minor additions to the bill. Some include the expansion of the permitted uses of gifts, a prohibition on gifts if they compromise the integrity of DHS, and an extension of the policy to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementing H.R. 3978 would have no significant cost over five years.