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                                                       Calendar No. 274
107th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                    107-120

======================================================================



 
                    DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

                                _______
                                

               December 10, 2001.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Jeffords, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [to accompany S. 1622]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 1622), to extend the period of availability 
of unemployment assistance under the Robert T. Stafford 
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in the case of 
victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon and recommends 
that the bill do pass.

                               Background

    On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked the Pentagon and 
the World Trade Center. These horrible events marked the first 
time since the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that the United 
States has suffered an attack on domestic soil. The magnitude 
and enormity of these attacks are unprecedented in our nation's 
history. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives. 
Thousands more lost their homes, their businesses, their jobs, 
their livelihoods.
    In New York, the attack left in its wake a mountain of 
debris, damaged buildings and lost jobs. Over the next 2 years, 
New York City will lose an estimated $105 billion as a result 
of the September 11th attack. The attack damaged or destroyed 
nearly 25 million square feet of office space, roughly 
equivalent to 20 percent of all the office space in downtown 
New York. The attack has caused the loss of 110,000 jobs and 
further put at risk 270,000 jobs in the New York City area.
    Northern Virginia also will feel the effects of the attack 
for years to come. The attack on the Pentagon caused National 
Airport to close for 3 weeks. Many sectors of the Northern 
Virginia economy are facing significant job cuts due to the 
terrorist attack. According to the Washington Post, the attack 
has caused the loss of 18,700 jobs. State and local sales tax 
revenues have been reduced by $22 million. Travel spending in 
the Northern Virginia/Washington DC metro area is down $247 
million.
    S. 1622 responds to the overwhelming needs of individuals 
who lost their employment as a result of the September 11th 
attack. The bill would not amend the Robert T. Stafford 
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), 
but it would extend the period of availability of unemployment 
assistance under the Stafford Act from 26 weeks to 52 weeks for 
victims of September 11th.
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers 
the disaster unemployment assistance program to provide 
unemployment assistance to victims of major disasters. The 
program currently provides disaster unemployment assistance to 
qualifying individuals for a period not to exceed 26 weeks. The 
26-week eligibility period begins on the date of the major 
disaster declaration Individuals are eligible for disaster 
unemployment assistance only if they are not receiving other 
types of unemployment assistance.
    The President declared a major disaster in New York on 
September 11, 2001, and in Northern Virginia on September 21, 
2001.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Extension of Unemployment Assistance

                                Summary

    Section 1 extends disaster unemployment assistance 
available under the Stafford Act for an additional 26 weeks.

                               Discussion

    In the case of Presidential declaration of a major 
disaster, section 410(a) of the Stafford Act gives the 
President authority to provide disaster unemployment assistance 
to an eligible recipient until that individual finds suitable 
employment, but for no longer than 26 weeks after a major 
disaster declaration. The President may provide this assistance 
only when an individual is not entitled to any other 
unemployment compensation (as that term is defined in section 
85(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).
    This bill does not propose to amend the Stafford Act, it 
extends the availability period of disaster unemployment 
assistance for victims of the September 11th attack from 26 
weeks to 52 weeks. This bill does not change in any way the 
qualifications established by FEMA for the provision of 
disaster unemployment assistance under the Stafford Act. The 
Committee does not anticipate that FEMA will change the current 
regulatory scheme for administration of the disaster 
unemployment assistance program beyond offering an additional 
26 weeks of assistance to victims of the attack.

                          Legislative History

    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton introduced S. 1622 on 
November 1, 2001. The committee held a legislative hearing to 
receive testimony on the proposed legislation on November 1, 
2001. The committee reported S. 1622 by voice vote on November 
8, 2001.

                                Hearings

    On November 1, 2001, the committee held a legislative 
hearing on S. 1622, a bill to extend the period of availability 
of unemployment assistance under the Robert T. Stafford 
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in the case of 
victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, 
receiving testimony from Michael Brown, Deputy Director, 
Federal Emergency Management Agency; Joe Moravec, Commissioner, 
Public Building Service, General Services Administration; Dr. 
David Sampson, Assistant Secretary for Economic Development, 
Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of 
Commerce; Richard Meserve, Chairman, Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission; Herbert Mitchell, Associate Administrator for 
Disaster Assistance, Small Business Administration; and 
Marianne L. Horinko, Assistant Administrator. Office of Solid 
Waste and Emergency Response, Environmental Protection Agency.

                             Rollcall Votes

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to 
consider S. 1622 on November 8, 2001 and agreed to report the 
bill by voice vote.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee makes evaluation of 
the regulatory impact of the reported bill.
    The bill does not create any additional regulatory burdens, 
nor will it cause any adverse impact on the personal privacy of 
individuals.

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that S. 1622 would 
impose no unfunded mandates on local, State, or tribal 
governments.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
control Act requires that a statement of the cost of the 
reported bill, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, be 
included in the report. That statement follows:
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, December 6, 2001.

Hon. James Jeffords, Chairman,
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has prepared 
the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1622, a bill to extend the 
availability of unemployment assistance under the Robert T. 
Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in the 
case of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Julie 
Middleton, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                             Dan L. Crippen
                              ----------                              

    S. 1622, A bill to extend the period of availability of 
unemployment assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in the case of victims of 
the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as ordered 
reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public 
Works on November 8, 2001

                                SUMMARY

    S. 1622 would require the Federal Emergency Management 
Agency (FEMA) to extend the amount of time from 26 weeks to 52 
weeks that victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks 
would be eligible to receive disaster unemployment assistance. 
CBO estimates that extending the period of eligibility would 
cost the federal government about $4 million over the 2002-2006 
period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. S. 
1622 would not affect direct spending or receipts, therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
    S. 1622 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on the budgets of State, local, or 
tribal governments.

                ESTIMATED COST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

    The estimated budgetary impact of S. 1622 is shown in the 
following table. The costs of this legislation fall within 
budget function 450 (community and regional development).


                 By Fiscal Year, in Millions of Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   2002    2003    2004    2005    2006
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO
          APPROPRIATION
Estimated Authorization Level...       4       0       0       0       0
Estimated Outlays...............       3       1       0       0       0
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                           BASIS OF ESTIMATE

    For this estimate, CBO assumes S. 1622 will be enacted 
early in fiscal year 2002 and the necessary funds will be 
appropriated. Under current law, victims of disasters are 
eligible to receive disaster unemployment assistance from FEMA 
for up to 26 weeks, though the average length of time for such 
assistance is 13 weeks. FEMA estimates that the total number of 
disaster unemployment assistance claims stemming from the 
September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will be about 2,500. CBO 
expects that the total number of recipients receiving 
assistance would decrease each week by 5 percent over the 52-
week period of eligibility. We estimate that under this bill, 
the victims would receive an average rate of $250 a week for an 
average of about 20 weeks.
    Based on information from FEMA and information about the 
past costs of extending federal unemployment compensation, CBO 
estimates that extending the period of eligibility for disaster 
unemployment benefits would cost about $4 million over the 
2002-2006 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary 
funds. That is the difference between an estimated cost of 
about $8 million for assistance up to 26 weeks (under current 
law) and an estimated cost of about $12 million for extended 
assistance up to 52 weeks.

Pay-As-You-Go Considerations: None.

              INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND PRIVATE-SECTOR IMPACT

    S. 1622 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on the 
budgets of State, local, or tribal governments.

Estimate Prepared By: Federal Costs: Julie Middleton; Impact on 
State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Leo Lex; Impact on the 
Private Sector: Lauren Marks.

Estimate Approved By: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate, provides that reports to the Senate should show changes 
in existing law made by the bill as reported. Passage of this 
bill will make no changes to existing law.