H.R.3729 - Defend America Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996104th Congress (1995-1996)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Harman, Jane [D-CA-36] (Introduced 06/26/1996)|
|Committees:||House - National Security; Transportation and Infrastructure|
|Latest Action:||House - 07/22/1996 Executive Comment Requested from DOD. (All Actions)|
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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)] 104th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 3729 To provide for the detection and interception of weapons of mass destruction delivered by unconventional means. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 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, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Defend America Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND DEFINITION. (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 destruction. (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. SEC. 3. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM. (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 following: ``(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 treatment. ``(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 section. ``(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 authorities.''. (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.''. SEC. 4. PRE-EVENT PLANNING ASSISTANCE UNDER STAFFORD ACT. 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.''. SEC. 5. REPORT TO CONGRESS. 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. <all>