CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The Senate Amendment to H.R. 3980 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Tuesday, September 28, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) on November 2, 2009, and approved by the House on December 2, 2009, by a 414—0 vote. The Senate approved the bill with an amendment on September 22, 2010, by unanimous consent.
The bill would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop plans to eliminate redundant rules related to reporting by grant recipients of the State Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Area Security Initiative. The bill would require FEMA to submit plans for developing performance metrics to assess the effectiveness and general performance of these programs.
Each plan for improving performance metrics would include a proposed timeline for eliminating redundancies and developing a set of quantifiable performance measures for the programs. Each assessment of the redundant reporting requirements would include a list of each item of data requested by FEMA, identification of items that are required to be submitted multiple times or to multiple systems, and items that are not necessary to be collected for FEMA to effectively administer the programs.
Under the bill, FEMA would report to Congress no later than 90 days after the measure's enactment, one year after the first report, and every two years after that.
The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act (P.L. 110-53) established within FEMA the Urban Area Security Initiative, which provides grants to high-risk urban areas for preventing and responding to acts of terrorism. That law also established the State Homeland Security Grant Program, which assists state and local governments in preventing and responding to acts of terrorism. According to this bill’s sponsor, FEMA has imposed "unnecessary" reporting requirements on the grant recipients that do little to help the agency determine how federal grants are improving the nation's preparedness.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing the measure would have no significant cost and would not affect direct spending or revenues.