Text: H.R.3729 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/26/1996)

[Congressional Bills 104th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 3729 Introduced in House (IH)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 3729

   To provide for the detection and interception of weapons of mass 
             destruction delivered by unconventional means.



                             June 26, 1996

  Ms. Harman (for herself, Mr. Spratt, and Mr. Taylor of Mississippi) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
 National Security, and in addition to the Committee on Transportation 
 and Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
  Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


                                 A BILL

   To provide for the detection and interception of weapons of mass 
             destruction delivered by unconventional means.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Defend America Against Weapons of 
Mass Destruction Act of 1996''.


    (a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Although the United States possesses the technological 
        means to develop and deploy defensive systems that would be 
        highly effective in countering limited ballistic missile 
        threats to its territory, its ability to detect and intercept 
        weapons of mass destruction delivered by unconventional means 
        is limited.
            (2) It is axiomatic that the incentive for the 
        unconventional delivery of weapons of mass destruction will 
        increase in direct proportion to the perceived effectiveness of 
        theater missile and other regular military defense systems.
            (3) The target of weapons of mass destruction may not be 
        military in the usual sense of the term and, as such, the 
        threat that is posed to the citizens of the United States by 
        chemical and biological weapons delivered by nonconventional 
        means is significant and growing.
            (4) Several countries that are hostile to the United 
        States, including Iraq, Libya, and Iran, have demonstrated an 
        interest in acquiring the technology necessary to manufacture 
        weapons of mass destruction.
            (5) In addition, the acquisition or the development and use 
        of weapons of mass destruction is well within the capability of 
        many extremist and terrorist movements, acting independently or 
        as proxies, and states can transfer weapons to or otherwise aid 
        such movements indirectly and with plausible deniability.
            (6) Covert or unconventional means of delivery, which may 
        be preferable to both States and non-State organizations, 
        include cargo ships, passenger aircraft, commercial and private 
        vehicles and vessels, or commercial cargo shipments routed 
        through multiple destinations.
            (7) Traditional arms control efforts assume large state 
        efforts with detectable manufacturing and weaponization 
        programs in peacetime but are ineffective in monitoring and 
        controlling the development of a capability to manufacture 
        suddenly chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons with little 
        or no warning and with nothing but commercial supplies and 
        equipment. Such efforts are also incapable of predicting and 
        tracking transfers of capabilities relating to weapons of mass 
            (8) Because of the dire consequences to the citizens of the 
        United States posed by weapons of mass destruction, and because 
        traditional arms control efforts are inadequate, it is prudent 
        to commence a coordinated effort among local, State, and 
        Federal emergency response organizations to develop 
technologies and capabilities to detect and intercept weapons of mass 
destruction, to equip and protect those emergency response 
organizations who are first on the scene, and, where necessary, to 
decontaminate areas where such weapons are manufactured or detonated.
            (9) Congress has repeatedly expressed concern about the use 
        of weapons of mass destruction, stating in November 1993 (in 
        section 1704 of the National Defense Authorization Act For 
        Fiscal Year 1994 (Public Law 103-160; 50 U.S.C. 1522 note)) 
        that ``the President should strengthen Federal interagency 
        emergency planning by the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
        and other appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies for 
        development of a capability for early detection and warning of 
        and response to--
            ``(1) potential terrorist use of chemical or biological 
        agents or weapons; and
            ``(2) emergencies or natural disasters involving industrial 
        chemicals or the widespread outbreak of disease.''.
    (b) Weapons of Mass Destruction Defined.--For purposes of this Act, 
the term ``weapons of mass destruction'' means chemical, biological, 
and nuclear weapons (whether militarized or improvised) that are 
designed to spread their contents through explosions or other 
dissemination means.


    (a) In General.--Chapter 139 of title 10, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 2375. Weapons of mass destruction: threat from attack by 
              unconventional means
    ``(a) Establishment of Program.--The Secretary of Defense shall 
carry out a research and development program to enhance the 
capabilities of the United States relating to the threat to the United 
States of an attack inside the United States by unconventional means 
involving weapons of mass destruction. In carrying out such program, 
the Secretary shall take into consideration relevant assessments and 
recommendations of any interagency task force or committee.
    ``(b) Activities To Be Included in the Program.--The activities to 
be carried out by the Secretary under the program shall include the 
            ``(1) Research, development, test, and evaluation of 
        technologies relating to any of the following:
                    ``(A) Detection of chemical, biological, and 
                nuclear weapons.
                    ``(B) Interception of such weapons.
                    ``(C) Protection against such weapons.
                    ``(D) Assistance to other Federal departments and 
                agencies and State and local agencies in responding to 
                an attack made using such weapons, including casualty 
                    ``(E) Decontamination of areas affected by an 
                attack using such weapons.
            ``(2) Training of personnel for the activities specified in 
        subparagraphs (A) through (E) of paragraph (1).
            ``(3) Identification of Federal equipment and technologies 
        that can be transferred, and training that can be provided, 
        from one Federal agency to another agency or to State and local 
        agencies consistent with the purposes of the program under this 
    ``(c) Consultation With State and Local Authorities.--In carrying 
out the program under this section, the Secretary shall consult 
regularly with, and shall seek the views of, representatives of--
            ``(1) State and local government law enforcement 
        authorities; and
            ``(2) State and local government emergency planning 
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``2375. Weapons of mass destruction: threat from attack by 
                            unconventional means.''.


    Section 201(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5131(b)) is amended by adding at 
the end the following new sentence: ``In the case of preparation by the 
States against major disasters involving weapons of mass destruction 
(as defined in section 2(b) of the Defend America Against Weapons of 
Mass Destruction Act of 1996), technical assistance under the preceding 
sentence in developing comprehensive plans and practicable programs for 
preparation against such disasters may be provided through any 
department or agency of the United States designated by the President 
for such purpose.''.


    Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this 
Act, the President shall submit to Congress a report describing the 
actions taken, and planned to be taken, to carry out section 2375 of 
title 10, United States Code, as added by section 3, and the sentence 
in section 201(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
Emergency Assistance Act added by section 4. The report shall include a 
statement of the costs of such actions.