Text: H.R.5171 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/28/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 5171


To create a program under which qualified and available United States construction workers and appropriate equipment can be sent to Haiti to assist Haitians in the rebuilding of their country after the devastating January 12, 2010, earthquake, as requested by the Government of Haiti, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 28, 2010

Mr. Gary G. Miller of California introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


A BILL

To create a program under which qualified and available United States construction workers and appropriate equipment can be sent to Haiti to assist Haitians in the rebuilding of their country after the devastating January 12, 2010, earthquake, as requested by the Government of Haiti, and for other purposes.

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 ““Partnership With America” Rapid Rebuilding of Haiti Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

The Congress finds the following:

(1) On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced a 7.0 magnitude earthquake centered approximately 15 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

(2) Following the initial earthquake came 50 aftershocks, all higher than a magnitude of 4.0, within 24 hours.

(3) The Government of Haiti reports an estimated 230,000 deaths and 300,000 injured.

(4) Additionally, 1.2 million people have been displaced as a result of the earthquake.

(5) Damage caused by the earthquake is estimated to be between $8 billion and $14 billion.

(6) According to an Inter-American Development Bank report, the episode “… is the most destructive event a country has ever experienced when measured in terms of the number of people killed as a share of the country’s population”.

(7) Given the ongoing economic recession in which more than 8 million people have lost their jobs in the United States, many qualified construction industry employees in the United States are currently unemployed or significantly underemployed and therefore could be available to provide immediate expertise and labor to facilitate the rapid rebuilding of Haiti.

SEC. 3. Partnership With America.

(a) In general.—Not later than the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury, working through the Infrastructure Finance Experts Corps of the Office of Technical Assistance, shall develop and begin carrying out, together with the Government of Haiti, a program to be called the “Partnership With America” program, under which United States construction and reconstruction experts and workers who currently are unemployed or significantly underemployed shall begin work in Haiti on an organized and coordinated plan to help Haitians rebuild the infrastructure of Haiti, including roads, airports, energy facilities, schools, hospitals, and other services fundamental to economic development, including permanent housing for persons who lost their housing because of the earthquake.

(b) Program guidelines.—In developing the Partnership With America program, the Secretary, working through the Infrastructure Finance Experts Corps of the Office of Technical Assistance, shall—

(1) provide the Congress with an estimate of the funding needs of such program, including proposed funding sources;

(2) develop a plan for transporting the United States workers and appropriate construction equipment to Haiti;

(3) develop a plan for the United States workers to mentor Haitian workers while effecting a rapid rebuilding of important Haitian infrastructure to help the country recover from the January 12, 2010, earthquake as quickly as possible while anticipating the needs of a Haitian economy that does not merely return to pre-earthquake levels but grows fast enough to provide jobs for Haitians and raise the overall standard of living in that country;

(4) ensure that various infrastructure projects are coordinated as well as possible to minimize waste, fraud, and abuse;

(5) seek to employ to the greatest extent possible United States experts and qualified workers who are unemployed or significantly underemployed, and be flexible enough to cycle workers to and from Haiti in such a way that allows them to return to the United States quickly to fill new jobs, while still completing their stated missions in rebuilding Haiti;

(6) develop a public-private partnership for effecting the goals of the program, using available Government transportation and logistical resources while providing rapid rebuilding of Haiti using qualified and available American workers;

(7) establish centers of excellence through which available construction industry experts from the United States provide specialized training to Haitians on construction industry best practices and leading methodologies and technologies to facilitate the transfer of deep expertise, including knowledge on earthquake-resistant infrastructure;

(8) seek to ensure that the United States workers do not take the place of Haitian workers, but instead supplement, coordinate, and mentor Haitian construction workers, and train them so that an adequate and adequately trained Haitian construction force is left in place to accommodate the hoped-for future growth of the Haitian economy;

(9) include adequate controls to ensure that United States contractors subcontract substantial amounts of work to local Haitian companies; and

(10) ensure that clear performance metrics and incentives are provided to those entities participating in the program.

(c) Termination.—The Partnership With America program shall terminate on the date that is the end of the 36-month period following the date of the enactment of this Act, so the program assists Haiti in rebuilding but does not supplant the jobs of Haitians over the longer term.