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109th Congress
                                 SENATE
                                                                 Report
 1st Session                                                     109-71
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 112


            HOMELAND SECURITY GRANT ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2005

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                 S. 21

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

TO PROVIDE FOR HOMELAND SECURITY GRANT COORDINATION AND SIMPLIFICATION, 
                         AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES




                  May 24, 2005.--Ordered to be printed
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                   SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine, Chairman
TED STEVENS, Alaska                  JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut
GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio            CARL LEVIN, Michigan
NORM COLEMAN, Minnesota              DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii
TOM COBURN, Oklahoma                 THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
LINCOLN D. CHAFEE, Rhode Island      MARK DAYTON, Minnesota
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah              FRANK LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico         MARK PRYOR, Arkansas
JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia

           Michael D. Bopp, Staff Director and Chief Counsel
                       Jonathan T. Nass, Counsel
      Joyce A. Rechtschaffen, Minority Staff Director and Counsel
                   Beth M. Grossman, Minority Counsel
                      Trina D. Tyrer, Chief Clerk
                                                       Calendar No. 112
109th Congress
                                 SENATE
                                                                 Report
 1st Session                                                     109-71

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



 
            HOMELAND SECURITY GRANT ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2005

                                _______
                                

                  May 24, 2005.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Ms. Collins, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                          [To accompany S. 21]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 21) to provide for 
homeland security grant coordination and simplification, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same reports 
favorably thereon with amendments and recommends that the bill 
do pass.

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs 
Committee (the Committee) approved S. 21, the Homeland Security 
Grant Enhancement Act of 2005 on April 13, 2005. This bill 
seeks to create a stronger, more streamlined, yet accountable 
program of federal financial assistance to State and local 
governments and first responders responsible for protecting our 
homeland.
    Nearly 4 years have passed since the attacks on September 
11, 2001 and over 2 years since the formation of the Department 
of Homeland Security. While the Senate spent more than three 
months debating the Homeland Security Act, the law contains 
virtually no guidance on how the Department is to assist those 
at the State and local level with their homeland security 
needs. Congress wrote a 187-page law creating the Department, 
yet included but a single paragraph on grant programs for first 
responders. As a result, the Department has been left with 
little guidance from Congress as to how State and local grant 
decisions should be made.
    As with so many other issues, much of the front-line 
responsibility for homeland security has fallen squarely on the 
shoulders of our State and local officials and more than 9 
million first responders. Communities across America have risen 
to this challenge and developed scores of innovative homeland 
security strategies.
    Instead of encouraging these new ideas, however, the 
tangled web of federal homeland security grant programs has the 
potential to stifle the Department's ability to foster State 
and local innovation. Instead of providing a foundation on 
which States and localities can build homeland security 
strategies tailored to specific risks, the various federal 
homeland security programs present States and communities with 
a mountain of paperwork. Instead of giving communities the 
flexibility they need, State and local officials face an 
inflexible grant structure. The current grant system is slow 
and uncoordinated. Much of this problem stems from the lack of 
planning before funds are spent.
    In February 2005, the Government Accountability Office 
issued a report entitled ``Homeland Security: Management of 
First Responder Grant Programs has Improved, but Challenges 
Remain.'' It concluded that a ``major challenge in 
administering first responder grants is balancing two goals: 
minimizing the time it takes to distribute grant funds to state 
and local first responders, and ensuring appropriate planning 
and accountability for the effective use of grant funds.'' GAO 
further opined that ``[e]ffective collaboration among ODP, 
states, and others in developing appropriate preparedness 
performance goals and measures will be essential to ensuring 
that the nation's emergency response capabilities are 
appropriately identified, assessed, and strengthened.''
    Other observers also have found that while DHS grant 
management has improved in recent years, much more needs to be 
done. For example, the Office of the Inspector General for the 
Department of Homeland Security issued a report in December 
2004 entitled ``Major Management Challenges Facing the 
Department of Homeland Security.'' Among departmental 
challenges described in the report were the management of 
homeland security grants. S. 21 takes a balanced approach to 
restructuring the homeland security grant system to fix 
systemic flaws and require resource allocation decisions to be 
based on risk, while ensuring predictable funding to address 
the most pressing homeland security needs.
    The homeland security grant system is fundamentally flawed 
because it operates backwards. For example, under the Urban 
Area Security Initiative (UASI), DHS issues funds to a limited 
number of cities, which then apply to DHS for approval to 
``drawdown'' funds for each purchase. The result is cities get 
funds before they know what they will spend them on. This is a 
backwards approach, forcing cities only after the fact to make 
decisions and draw-up plans on how to draw-down funds. This 
legislation would reverse that order and require planning 
first, and spending second. The result will be quicker and 
smarter expenditures of funds combined with better long-term 
thinking. The legislation will also require that national 
benchmarks be adopted to measure the nation's progress toward 
better terrorism preparedness and ensure that resources are 
spent wisely.
    The current system also often fails to think regionally. 
The lack of regional thinking was highlighted by a recent DHS 
decision to eliminate several cities from the UASI program. The 
list retained Minneapolis, Minnesota as eligible for urban area 
funding, but eliminated St. Paul, Minnesota from the list. The 
absurd result was half of the ``Twin Cities'' designated as at 
risk of terrorist attack such that UASI funding was 
appropriate, and the other half designated as not at risk and 
not eligible for funding. S. 21 will encourage more resource 
allocation decisions to be made on a regional basis resulting 
in better national preparedness coverage at a lower aggregate 
cost.
    This legislation would provide State and local governments 
and communities with the resources they need to protect their 
communities by establishing a predictable stream of funding to 
each and every State while at the same time directing more 
resources to the areas most at risk of a terrorist attack; 
making it easier to apply for grants; promoting flexibility in 
the use of homeland security funding; and resulting in smarter, 
more effective spending of funds.

Departmental organization

    S. 21 would reorganize the administrative process for 
obtaining selected first responder grant programs within the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The legislation would 
codify action the Secretary took in March 2004 to consolidate 
the Office for Domestic Preparedness and the Office of State 
and Local Government Coordination (SLGC).

Streamlining homeland security grant programs

    S. 21 also creates an Interagency Committee to Coordinate 
and Streamline Homeland Security Grant Programs (Interagency 
Committee) to be led by the Secretary of DHS. Among its duties, 
the Interagency Committee would identify all duplicative 
application, planning, and reporting requirements among Federal 
homeland security assistance programs; assess State and local 
needs and capabilities; and advise the DHS Secretary on 
implementing appropriate performance measures for grant 
recipients. In addition, the Interagency Committee would 
provide recommendations to Federal agencies on the coordination 
of homeland security grant programs; specifically, 
recommendations on streamlining and standardizing application, 
reporting, and planning requirements.

Information clearinghouse

    In addition, S. 21 establishes a Homeland Security 
Information Clearinghouse within the OSLGC, which would be 
maintained by the Office for Domestic Preparedness. The 
clearinghouse would be charged with providing States and 
localities with information on grant programs and the use of 
Federal funds. The clearinghouse would gather and publish 
information on best practices in homeland security and 
voluntary standards for training programs, equipment, and 
exercises. The Committee finds that the Lessons Learned 
Information Sharing network (LLIS.gov) is one effective way to 
meet this need. The Committee strongly encourages the Office of 
State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness's 
continued use of LLIS.gov, in conjunction with the Memorial 
Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, as the nationwide 
lessons learned and information-sharing network for emergency 
response providers and homeland security officials. The 
Committee also encourages SLGCP to expand the LLIS.gov model to 
address lessons learned, best practices, and information-
sharing imperatives for both the Private Sector as well as the 
American Public. Further, the committee expects the Department 
to incorporate LLIS.gov into its annual budget to ensure 
consistent resourcing of this vital program.

Voluntary consensus standards

    S. 21 requires that the Secretary support the development 
of national voluntary consensus standards for first responder 
equipment and training. Applicants for grant funds who want to 
use those funds to purchase or upgrade equipment that did not 
meet these standards would have the burden of explaining why 
such equipment would better serve their needs than equipment 
that did meet the standards.
    The Committee supports the efforts of the System Assessment 
and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) program. 
Operated by the Office for Domestic Preparedness System Support 
Division, the SAVER program provides independent equipment 
assessment and validation of commercially-available off-the-
shelf emergency responder products. The Committee supports the 
expansion of this service for first responders to cover a broad 
spectrumof first responder products and urges vigorous 
dissemination of this valuable information.
    National voluntary consensus standards would compliment 
DHS's current system for disseminating equipment and vendor 
information to grantees, while helping to ensure that first 
responders receive the quality equipment that they need and 
deserve. There is no complete list of recommended or approved 
products that DHS provides to grantees. However, venders are 
encouraged to register with a site affiliated with the LLIS 
(Lessons Learned Information Sharing)--the Responder Knowledge 
Base (http://www2.rkb.mipt.org/). By establishing national 
voluntary consensus standards, S. 21 assists DHS in providing 
all information that grantees need to spend homeland security 
dollars wisely.

Essential capabilities

    Building on the National Preparedness Goal recently issued 
by DHS, S. 21 requires that the Secretary establish ``essential 
capabilities'' for state and local governments. Essential 
capabilities are the levels and competence of emergency 
personnel, planning and equipment that are needed to prevent, 
prepare for, and respond to acts of terrorism and other 
catastrophic events. Different types of communities will have 
different essential capabilities. The bill also provides for 
the creation of a First Responder Task Force, made up of state 
and local first responders and other state and local officials, 
to advise the Secretary on the establishment and periodic 
updating of these essential capabilities.
    The Committee does not intend for DHS to take a ``back-to-
the-drawing-board'' approach in implementing this provision. 
Rather, the Committee expects the Department to use the 
National Preparedness Goal as a starting point from which, 
working with first responders and other experts, it is to 
develop essential capabilities. The Committee strongly 
encourages the Department to broadly solicit comment from first 
responders and others to understand how the National 
Preparedness Goal, the National Preparedness Guidance, and 
associated guidance and standards developed by the Department 
are working at the state and local level, so that the 
Department may take these lessons into account in establishing 
essential capabilities.
    The establishment of essential capabilities will provide 
important guidance to states and localities trying to improve 
their terrorism preparedness, as well as benchmarks for 
measuring both state and national progress in achieving that 
preparedness. Essential capabilities, moreover, would be 
intimately tied to the grant decision making process by 
requiring consideration of how funding decisions will help 
accomplish key preparedness goals, and thereby providing a 
basis for prioritizing among needs. The establishment of 
essential capabilities also creates an important barrier to 
wasteful and inappropriate spending, as states and regions, in 
applying for and allocating homeland security grant funds, will 
have to demonstrate that the funds are being used to achieve 
specific capabilities.

Homeland security grants

    S. 21 authorizes formula based and discretionary homeland 
security grants to States and regions for first responder 
preparation activities, such as emergency planning, risk 
assessments, mutual aid agreements, equipment, training, and 
exercises. Funding would be provided for overtime expenses 
incurred during periods of heightened alerts, for training 
activities, and for certain activities in support of federal 
border protection. To be eligible for a homeland security 
grant, States would be required to complete a State Homeland 
Security Plan that addresses matters including interoperable 
communications, incident command systems, regional 
coordination, response planning, and training exercises. The 
plan must also include a three-year strategy for allocating 
funding to localities based on risk, capability, and need, as 
well as an assessment of the shortfall between existing and 
needed response capabilities. The bill provides basic 
guidelines for States to use in developing their plans, 
including mandatory input from local officials, first 
responders, and the private sector.

Accountability

    Considerable attention has been devoted to the alleged 
misuse of homeland security grant funding. S. 21 contains a 
variety of tools to preserve the integrity of these programs. 
S. 21 includes a number of other provisions designed to 
increase accountability and ensure the appropriate use of 
homeland security grant funds. These include:
          1. Independent Audit: An annual GAO audit and report 
        on Homeland Security grants to states.
          2. Robust Reporting Requirements: Grant recipients 
        will be required annually to report to the Secretary on 
        how funds were spent and on progress toward achieving 
        essential capabilities. Currently, states report 
        spending in broad categories, which means that wasteful 
        expenditures easily could be missed.
          3. Tying Spending to Standards: A requirement that 
        states distribute and spend Homeland Security funding 
        only in ways that measurably help state, local, or 
        tribal jurisdictions meet preparedness standards and 
        achieve essential capabilities to be set by the 
        Department (i.e., funds cannot be spent on leather 
        jackets or garbage trucks unless they demonstrably 
        increase preparedness and essential capabilities as 
        defined by DHS).
          4. Providing Remedies for Non-Compliance: Authorizes 
        the Secretary of Homeland Security to terminate or 
        reduce grant payments if a state or locality fails to 
        comply with the bill's accountability requirements.
          5. Coordinating Expenditures of Federal Funds: 
        Establishes an interagency committee to ensure that 
        federal homeland security dollars from all sources are 
        spent in a coordinated manner, avoiding purchases of 
        duplicative equipment or services, or the purchase of 
        incompatible equipment.

State and local flexibility

    The needs of our States, localities, and first responders 
vary widely across the nation. This legislation would ensure 
that federal homeland security assistance is sufficiently 
flexible to meet these diverse needs.
    Prior to the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations 
Act of 2003, the Office for Domestic Preparedness allocated the 
same percentage of each State's funds for training, equipment, 
exercises, and planning, thus leaving no room to accommodate 
different States' priorities. In each and every State, 70 
percent of the federal funds were required to be spent for 
equipment, 18 percent for exercises, 7 percent for planning, 
and 5 percent for training. In allocating funds this way, the 
federal government effectively said that Maine must spend 
exactly the same portion of its homeland security dollars on 
training as Ohio and Hawaii. Moreover, States could not 
transfer surplus funds from one category to another to meet 
their needs.
    The bill would give State and local governments greater 
flexibility with previously appropriated ODP grant funds by 
allowing grant recipients to request and the Secretary to 
approve funding transfers among different activities, including 
equipment, training, exercises, and planning. For new funding, 
State and local governments have even more flexibility in 
funding, provided that such spending is consistent with State 
homeland security plans.

Smuggling weapons of mass destruction

    The bill would impede the smuggling of weapons of mass 
destruction into the United States using vehicles that carry 
municipal solid waste. Approximately 180 municipal trash trucks 
from Canada cross the U.S. border every day, for example, to 
deposit cargo in Michigan landfills. Because the dense and 
variable cargo in these vehicles, sometimes including sludge, 
resists analysis using the mechanical inspection devices 
typically at U.S. border crossings, and because discovery of 
illegal drugs on one such Canadian vehicle confirmed the 
truck's use in smuggling, serious questions have arisen about 
the effectiveness of current border screening procedures for 
detecting chemical, nuclear, biological or radiological 
materials that could be concealed on these vehicles.
    The bill would bar further entry of these vehicles into the 
United States unless and until the Secretary certifies to 
Congress that the methods and technologies being used to screen 
these vehicles for such weapons are as effective as the methods 
and technologies being used to screen for such weapons in other 
items of commerce entering the United States via other 
commercial vehicle transport. This provision is intended to 
prompt a thorough re-evaluation of the screening procedures now 
being used for vehicles carrying municipal solid waste, and to 
strengthen U.S. border protections against efforts to use these 
vehicles to secretly transport chemical, nuclear, biological or 
radiological materials into the country.

                             II. Background

    At present, State and local governments receive assistance 
for homeland security activities from a range of Federal 
departments and agencies as well as DHS. Despite the diffuse 
origins of funding, these Federal programs share a similar 
goal: To assist State and local governments in their efforts to 
enhance the capabilities of first responders to prepare for and 
respond to terrorist attacks, particularly attacks involving 
weapons of mass destruction.
    The vast majority of these activities fall into the 
categories of emergency planning, training, equipment, and 
exercises. Congress has also provided limited funding for 
personnel compensation and overtime expenses incurred during 
times of heightened alert through these entities and programs.
    Federal assistance is also available from programs that are 
not specifically oriented to first responders or terrorism 
preparedness. State and local governments may seek emergency 
preparedness assistance in the form of block grants and 
categorical grants from programs administered by the 
Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Justice (DOJ), 
and Transportation (DOT), and the Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA).
    Since the terrorist attacks of September 2001, both 
Congress and the President have given increased attention to 
the role of first responders in the nation's homeland security 
efforts. This attention is evident in the funding Congress 
provided in fiscal year 2004 where $2.925 billion was 
appropriated for the programs authorized in S. 21. Additional 
funds were provided to first responders under other programs 
such as the FIRE Act grants and Emergency Management 
Performance grants. The Administration and Congress have made 
numerous proposals to restructure existing first responder 
assistance programs. Thus far, none has been enacted into law.
    A wide range of policy concerns led to the development of 
S. 21. These concerns are not limited to first responder 
preparedness programs. Rather, they are pertinent to the 
broader debate over Federal assistance for State and local 
homeland security efforts. A number of such policy concerns are 
discussed briefly below.

Complexity of grant applications and planning requirements

    At present, State and local governments seeking Federal 
assistance for their homeland security efforts, and emergency 
preparedness in general, may apply to DOJ, DOT, EPA, and HHS, 
as well as to entities within DHS, such as ODP and the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This multitude of programs 
presents a complex array of application requirements. Nearly 
all applications contain planning requirements that are 
intended to promote the effective use of funds, but they also 
create an overwhelming amount of paperwork for State and local 
officials. The various application and planning requirements 
are often duplicative, calling for similar assessments, 
analyses, and spending plans. State and local officials have 
told the Committee that each program requires numerous 
administrative steps. For example, to receive funds from ODP's 
State Homeland Security Grant Program, States must go through 
as many as 12 steps in order to obtain approval.
    S. 21 would address this problem in two ways. First, the 
bill creates an Interagency Committee to identify duplicative 
application and planning requirements in emergency preparedness 
programs and make recommendations on streamlining those 
requirements. Second, the bill sets up a single, clear set of 
goals for the Threat-Based Homeland Security Grant Program, the 
predecessors of which have, in the past, subjected State and 
local governments to annual changes in planning and application 
requirements.

Coordination of information within DHS

    The Committee supports coordination of programs and 
information within DHS. The Committee directs the Office for 
Domestic Preparedness to work with the Science and Technology 
Directorate and the Information Analysis and Infrastructure 
Protection Directorate to ensure that State and local 
governments and first responders receive information regarding 
threat, vulnerability assessments, and mitigation technologies 
for high risk sites in their jurisdictions, such as 
manufacturing facilities using chemicals and hazardous 
shipments.

Allocation of funds

    The State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), the Law 
Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP) and the Urban 
Area Security Initiative (UASI) currently comprise the core 
terrorism-related first responder grant programs. Created in 
the wake of the September11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the SHSGP 
grants (which provide funding for first responder training and 
equipment to all states) and LETPP grants (which provides funding for 
the terrorism prevention activities of state and local law enforcement) 
have roots in section 1014 of the USA PATRIOT Act (42 U.S.C. 
Sec. 3714), which directed the Office for Domestic Preparedness (then 
in the Department of Justice) to make a grant to each state ``to 
enhance the capability of State and local jurisdictions to prepare for 
and respond to terrorist acts.'' The Patriot Act provision, however, 
provides virtually no additional guidance on the structure or 
priorities for such grant programs. Funds for the UASI program, which 
provides grants to a limited number of urban areas deemed to be high-
risk, have been provided for in homeland security appropriations acts, 
but UASI is otherwise unmentioned in statute.
    To date, all funds under the SHSGP and LETPP programs have 
been distributed in accordance with a funding formula. Pursuant 
to section 1014 of the Patriot Act, each state (as well as the 
District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) receives 0.75% of the 
total available funds, with four territories each receiving a 
0.25% share; together, these allocations account for 40% of the 
total. In the absence of further statutory guidance and likely 
not yet in a position to meaningfully assess relative risks, 
DHS chose, in previous years, to distribute the remaining 60% 
of SHSGP and LETPP funds to states in direct proportion to the 
states' population. For FY 2005, Congress effectively ratified 
this approach by requiring, in the DHS appropriations Act, that 
the Department allocate funding under these programs ``in the 
same manner as fiscal year 2004.''
    At the other end of the spectrum, the allocation of UASI 
grants has been left almost entirely to the discretion of the 
Secretary. DHS on its own determines the number of cities that 
are to receive UASI grants, the identities of those cities and 
the amount each is to receive, based on a largely nonpublic 
methodology that has changed each year. The ``application'' 
process consists of providing various pieces of information and 
making certifications to the Department only after the 
allocation decisions have been made. The program's ``black 
box'' approach to grant distribution has the potential to 
create an impression of arbitrariness. While few would question 
DHS's decision to award the most substantial UASI grants to the 
obviously high-threat cities of New York City and Washington, 
D.C., there is a lack of transparency about the overall process 
for allocating (and not allocating) UASI grants.
    In awarding UASI grants, moreover, DHS has focused narrowly 
on individual cities, rather than looking at the full regions 
that are likely to be seriously affected by, and required to 
respond to, any attack. Perhaps the most obvious example of 
this was DHS's decision in FY2005 to award a UASI grant to 
Minneapolis but not to St. Paul, ignoring the fact that the so-
called ``Twin Cities'' form a single, interdependent 
metropolitan area. This practice can also potentially lead DHS 
to focus on one city of a certain size while overlooking a 
region of an equal geographic size and with an equal number of 
people that happens to be divided into several different towns 
(a not uncommon political geography in New England, for 
example)--though both areas may be subject to similar risks. In 
FY2005, DHS for the first time also imposed a population 
threshold for UASI grants, thereby precluding cities that did 
not meet this threshold (which was measured solely within the 
city limits) from even being considered for any UASI funds, 
regardless of the actual risk the city might otherwise face.
    S. 21 would replace SHSGP, LETPP and UASI with a new 
homeland security grant program, the Threat-Based Homeland 
Security Grant Program, aimed at supporting the nation's first 
responders and preventers. The new program would not affect 
first responder grant programs in existence prior to September 
11, 1991, including Emergency Management Performance Grants and 
Firefighter Assistance Grants. Nor does the new program 
encompass targeted critical infrastructure grants, such as 
grants for port security or transit security, which are 
intended to remain separate and distinct programs.
    The grant program created by S. 21 strives to create a 
better and more effective balance between formula funding and 
discretionary grants. S. 21 allocates a substantially larger 
share of funds to discretionary, threat-based grants than has 
previously been the case, but at the same time provides each 
state with a significant level of baseline funding. The 
Committee believes that maintaining a meaningful level of 
baseline funding is necessary to ensure that, as a nation, we 
make progress toward achieving an adequate level of nationwide 
preparedness. On 9-11, terrorists attacked high-profile targets 
in two of our great cities, and no reasonable person would 
doubt that terrorists continue to be drawn to such targets. But 
it is also true that terrorists around the world have attacked 
``soft targets'' and less prominent places: in Bali, Indonesia, 
terrorists targeted a discotheque; in Beslan, Russia, they 
targeted a school; in Madrid, they targeted a commuter train; 
in Oklahoma City, a government building. We simply cannot know 
with certainty where terrorists will strike next, and we would 
be foolish to leave whole swaths of the country unprotected. 
Moreover, the effects of certain kinds of potential attacks, 
such as biological weapons attacks or attacks on the nation's 
food supply, are unlikely to neatly limit themselves to a 
single, circumscribed geographic area. Finally, much of the 
money provided from this grant program, like its predecessors, 
will be used to help states and localities build long-term 
capacity to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks, including 
the procurement of equipment over time, and the systematic and 
ongoing training of first responder personnel. A predictable, 
reasonable level of baseline funding facilitates state planning 
and encourages states and localities to invest in these 
necessary long-term efforts by helping ensure that funding will 
continue to be available to them each year.
    S. 21 provides a sliding-scale baseline amount of funding 
to each state. Each state would receive a minimum of 0.55% of 
the total funds appropriated under the Threat-Based Homeland 
Security Grant Program. Because states that are larger and/or 
more densely populated face greater risks and greater costs in 
preparing for and responding to a terrorist attack, such states 
receive higher baseline amounts, based on a formula that 
combines population and population density.
    All funds beyond those necessary to cover the baseline 
allocations--over 60% of the total--would be distributed based 
on the relative threat, vulnerability, and consequences faced 
by the area from a terrorist attack. In dollar amounts, this 
means that S. 21 would distribute twice the money based on risk 
as was the case in FY05. From this funding pool, the Secretary 
can make threat-based grants to both states and to metropolitan 
regions. Grants to regions can comprise up to 50% of the total 
threat-based grant funding. All funds are to be distributed to 
assist states or region to achieve essential capabilities to 
prevent, prepare for, and respond to acts of terrorism and 
other catastrophic events.
    Encouraging regional cooperation and a regional perspective 
on preparedness, S. 21 moves the focus of local funding from 
individual cities to metropolitan regions. Unlike the current 
``black box'' situation under UASI, moreover, where DHS simply 
announces a list of cities it hasselected to fund, S. 21 would 
establish an application process for metropolitan region funding. In 
applying for funding, communities are given considerable flexibility in 
forming regions that make the most sense locally: a region must simply 
be made up of two or more contiguous municipalities, counties, parishes 
or Indian tribes, and must include the largest city in the metropolitan 
area. To place some limits on the number of regional applications DHS 
would have to review, only regions within the 100 largest metropolitan 
statistical areas (MSAs) would be automatically eligible to apply, 
though other regions could apply with the consent of the Governor of 
the relevant state or states and of the Secretary.
    S. 21 requires that grants to regions be prioritized based 
on threat, vulnerability and consequences from a terrorist 
attack, with the Secretary directed to give consideration to 
such factors as population; population density; the presence of 
critical infrastructure and key assets in the region or in 
nearby jurisdictions; proximity to international borders and 
coastlines; the presence of at-risk sites or activities in 
nearby jurisdictions; whether there has been a prior terrorist 
attack in the eligible metropolitan region; whether any part of 
the eligible metropolitan region has ever had a higher threat 
level under the Homeland Security Advisory System than the 
threat level for the United States as a whole; and the extent 
of unmet essential capabilities in the region. The bill also 
directs the Secretary to take into account the extent to which 
all the jurisdictions in the metropolitan area are 
participating in the regional application; regions that include 
more of the jurisdictions in their metropolitan area are to be 
given priority in funding--encouraging and rewarding regional 
cooperation. The bill also prohibits DHS from establishing a 
population threshold for regions that would exclude areas from 
consideration that otherwise faced significant threats, 
vulnerabilities or consequences from terrorism.
    All funds beyond the baseline allocations that are not 
given out in grants to regions would be distributed to states, 
based on the threat, vulnerability and consequence faced by the 
state from a terrorist attack. As with regional grants, there 
would be a competitive application process, and the Secretary 
is to consider similar factors in allocating state threat-based 
grants: population density; coastline; international borders; 
the presence of critical infrastructure and key assets; threats 
and vulnerabilities related to at-risk sites or activities in 
adjacent jurisdictions; having had a prior terrorist attack in 
the State or in a metropolitan region that is wholly or partly 
in the state; any part of the state having ever had a higher 
threat level under the Homeland Security Advisory System than 
the threat level for the nation as a whole; and the extent to 
which the state has unmet essential capabilities. Eighty 
percent of all state grant funds would have to be passed 
through to local governments within 60 days.
    S. 21 authorizes $2.925 billion for grants in FY06 and FY07 
and such sums as are necessary thereafter. This is the same 
level of funding appropriated for SHSGP, LETPP and UASI grants 
in FY04. In FY05, funds for these grant programs were reduced 
to $2.385 billion and the President's FY06 budget has proposed 
that the programs be reduced further to $2.04 billion. The 
Committee does not believe that such decreases in first 
responder funding are justified. Indeed, evaluations such as 
that conducted by a task force of the Council on Foreign 
Relations have found that significantly more rather than less 
funding is necessary to ensure adequate levels of first 
responder preparedness.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Warren Rudman, Richard Clarke, Jaime Metzl, et al., 
``Drastically Underfunded, Dangerously Unprepared: Report of an 
Independent Task Force Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations,'' 
Council on Foreign Relations (2003), available at http://www.cfr.org/
pdf/Responders_TF.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Additional allocation considerations

    The bill recognizes the importance of continued support for 
terrorism prevention efforts at the state and local level by 
providing for up to 25% of the total funding under the bill to 
be used for Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program 
purposes. These purposes include information sharing to preempt 
terrorist attacks; target hardening; threat recognition; 
interoperable communications systems; and overtime expenses 
associated with providing enhanced law enforcement operations 
in support of Federal Agencies for increased border security 
and border crossing enforcement. The Committee approves of the 
activities conducted under Operation Stonegarden as an 
important method to buttress federal border protection 
activities using state and local law enforcement personnel.
    The Committee recognizes that threat, risk, and 
vulnerability related to critical infrastructure or key 
national assets, as identified in the State Homeland Security 
Plan or as identified by the Secretary can take many different 
forms. Key national assets include national nuclear weapons 
laboratories; nuclear power plants; land and sea ports of 
entry; US military bases, service academies and other defense 
assets; homeland security training centers; chemical 
industries; and maritime centers. The Committee particularly 
notes the national interest in the securing of the national 
food systems from threats of terrorist attack. The Committee 
commends the work conducted by 11 mid-western states to 
collaborate on efforts to prevent agroterrorism in the 
Multistate Partnership for Security in Agriculture. The 
Committee feels that this is the type of collaborative state 
initiative and participation that S. 21 seeks to foster and 
encourage elsewhere in the country.
    In allocating discretionary grants to states and 
metropolitan regions, the Committee also strongly urges the 
Secretary to consider military, tourist, and commuter 
populations that may be present in an area at any given time. 
Although generally not included in the official population 
figures for a state or metropolitan area, these transient 
populations can be substantial--Las Vegas, NV, for example, 
hosts an average of nearly 300,000 short-term residents on any 
given day--and require similar protection to other residents in 
the event of a terrorist attack or other catastrophic event. In 
the past, DHS has considered some locations at risk of a 
potential terrorist attack because of their increased short-
term populations; at a minimum, these additional populations 
place increased burdens on state and local first responders and 
preventers. It is important that regions and states with 
substantial short-term populations have sufficient resources to 
ensure the safety of these visitors.

Funding applications and distribution

    Under S. 21, discretionary, threat-based grants to both 
metropolitan regions and states would be given out in a 
competitive, application-based process. This reverses the 
current process and would, sensibly, require applications and 
planning before homeland security grant funds are awarded.
    States are required to submit to the Secretary applications 
for grants that detail how the requested funds will be used to 
achieve essential capabilities. In order to receive grants, 
statesmust also have an approved state homeland security plan, 
developed with the input of local officials and first responders, that 
addresses how the state will respond to terrorist attacks and other 
catastrophic events and includes priorities for the allocation of 
funding to local governments, based on the localities' risks, 
capabilities and needs. By requiring states to plan how they will 
distribute money before they receive grants, the Committee hopes to 
speed up the actual obligation and disbursement of funds to localities 
once the grants are awarded, and so help address an issue that has been 
a continuing source of frustration for some local governments.
    In order to ensure statewide coordination and consistency 
with state plans, eligible metropolitan regions intending to 
apply for threat-based grants must submit their application to 
DHS through the Governor of each state within which the 
metropolitan region is a part. The Governor is given the 
opportunity to notify the Secretary if the Governor believes 
that the application is inconsistent with the state plan or if 
the Governor otherwise does not support the application, but 
the Governor may not prevent the application from being 
considered by DHS and must transmit the application to the 
Secretary within 30 days of receipt.
    A number of State and local organizations, including the 
National Conference of State Legislatures, the National 
Governors Association, the National Association of Counties, 
the Council of State Governments, and the International City/
County Management Association support State coordination of the 
first responder grant program, with 80 percent of the resources 
being distributed by the States to units of local government. 
The Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for 
Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, established in 
accordance with Section 1405 of the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999, Public Law 105-261, 
agreed with this approach. In its fourth annual report to 
Congress, the Advisory Panel, also known as the Gilmore 
Commission, concluded that States must have discretion over the 
use of grant funds to ensure the allocation of resources on the 
basis of assessed needs.
    The Committee agrees that state-wide coordination in 
homeland security planning is needed, but also cautions that 
funding must reach the local level in a timely manner. S. 21 
would require States, consistent with their state homeland 
security plans, to provide 80 percent of all grant funds to 
local governments. This approach would allow states to 
coordinate their homeland security plans with local entities 
and to retain funds for initiatives and planning that is more 
effectively accomplished on a state-wide basis, while ensuring 
that the large majority of homeland security funding is 
provided to localities. For grants received pursuant to an 
award to an eligible metropolitan region wholly or partly 
within the state, the state must use any of the money it 
retains on items or services that benefit the eligible 
metropolitan region. Furthermore, States would be required to 
distribute all funds to localities within 60 days of receipt.
    S. 21 requires funds to be allocated based on the State 
Homeland Security Plan approved by the Secretary. The Committee 
understands, however, that in certain cases state and local 
officials and first responders should be authorized to address 
security needs, such as those required to protect large public 
events, not foreseen during the development of the homeland 
security plan. The Secretary should ensure that state and local 
governments and first responders have sufficient flexibility to 
meet these immediate security needs, should they arise.

Existing regional mechanism

    The Committee recognizes that there is a long-standing, 
well established network of councils of governments, regional 
planning commissions, regional planning organizations, 
development districts and other multi-purpose associations of 
local governments that have the capability and expertise 
necessary to coordinate regional emergency response plans. The 
composition of these entities varies widely. These 
organizations, collectively known as Regional Councils, are 
multi-purpose, multi-jurisdictional public organizations 
created by local governments to respond to Federal and State 
programs. Many of them are bi-state or even tri-state and are 
officially recognized in the states and localities they serve. 
Regional Councils have a long history of working with each 
other on projects that cross regions and cross state lines. 
Having more than 40 years of experience in planning economic 
development, disaster recovery, and transportation and 
infrastructure analysis, they serve as conveners that bring 
together the public, private, and civic sectors. These Regional 
Councils may already be in a unique position to fill a void in 
planning and coordinating homeland security plans across 
jurisdictional boundaries while providing an unbiased and 
apolitical environment capable of analyzing needs based on 
merit alone without creating another layer of government 
bureaucracy. The Committee urges the Department to fully 
utilize Regional Councils in the grant-making process.

Distribution of funds to tribes

    The Committee recognizes that Indian tribes, authorized 
tribal organizations, and Alaska Native villages play an 
important role in protecting our communities from terrorist 
incidents. The Committee is concerned by reports that 
sufficient homeland security funding is not being allocated to 
the tribal governments by the states.
    At least twenty-eight Indian tribes inhabit land on or 
easily accessible to the Mexican and Canadian borders. In some 
areas, the international border is guarded by wooden or barbed-
wire fences or has no barrier. Numerous pieces of critical 
infrastructure, including energy resources that serve county 
and state governments, are located in Indian Country. The 
Committee is concerned that, even though the critical 
infrastructure, international borders, and populations that 
reside on tribal land are incorporated in state homeland 
security plans and grant applications, most states do not 
allocate a corresponding level of funding to the tribes.
    Many Indian tribal governments have entered into Memoranda 
of Understanding or inter-governmental agreements with county, 
state, and local law enforcement to address criminal activity 
and civil disorder on Indian lands. However, numerous counties 
and states have historic disputes with tribes on law 
enforcement and jurisdictional issues that hamper the ability 
to enter into such agreements. Consequently, some Indian tribes 
are not included in state homeland security planning and do not 
receive resources to enhance their ability to respond 
immediately to terrorist threats that may affect infrastructure 
and resources located on or adjacent to Indian lands.
    The Committee intends for states to provide homeland 
security funding allocations to tribes in the same manner local 
governments are provided funding. S. 21 holds States 
accountable for providing the necessary resources to help 
tribal communities achieve essential capabilities. Thebill 
further directs that tribes do not have to go through a local 
government to receive funding, but rather should receive funding 
directly from the State.
    The Committee is troubled by reports that some States are 
using tribal sovereignty as a reason to refuse to allocate 
funds to tribes. For the purposes of homeland security planning 
and funding, the Committee directs State governments to respect 
tribal sovereignty by providing funding to tribes so that 
tribes may exercise their responsibility for tribal lands 
located within State borders. However, the Committee respects 
the separate sovereign status and jurisdictional authority of 
tribes and is not implying that tribes are local governments 
for purposes of homeland security.

Flexibility of Homeland Security grant funds

    At present, terrorism preparedness programs generally fund 
four broad categories of assistance: planning, training, 
equipment, and exercises. In some instances, funding may also 
be used for personnel compensation, overtime, and construction. 
Prior to the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act 
of 2003, ODP's formula program, which is the largest grant for 
terrorism preparedness, gave recipients separate allocations 
for planning, training, equipment, and exercises, but did not 
give them discretion to transfer funds among these activities.
    Many State and local officials have told the Committee that 
the range of eligible activities should be expanded to give 
State and local recipients broad discretion in the use of 
funds. Specifically, they have asked for the flexibility to 
transfer past funds among different activities (i.e., planning, 
training, equipment, and exercises) and for overtime expenses 
incurred during times of heightened alert.
    S. 21 would give State and local governments greater 
discretion over the use of terrorism preparedness grant funds. 
Section 4 would allow grants to be used to fund overtime 
expenses relating to training activities and increased security 
during times of heightened alert status, as determined by the 
Secretary.
    The Committee is concerned by testimony that local 
jurisdictions have been unable to take advantage of WMD 
training for first responders due to the cost of `backfilling' 
positions of employees assigned to training. The Committee 
directs ODP to allow the use of formula grant funds for 
overtime costs that are directly attributable to participation 
in ODP-funded first responder training.

Communications system grants

    S. 21, as amended, includes International Border Community 
Interoperable Communications Demonstration Project, a program 
to examine solutions to the daunting problem of cross border 
interoperability. In selecting communities for participation, 
the Committee strongly urges the Secretary to select sites 
along the borders that reflect a variety of conditions, 
including at least one site with significant border crossings 
(at least 8,000,000 crossings per year), commerce activity (at 
least $50,000,000,000 in commerce per year and other economic 
activities), and critical infrastructure, such as bridges, 
railways, pipelines and water resources.

                        III. Legislative History

    S. 21 builds upon a bill first introduced in the last 
Congress, S. 1245, the Homeland Security Grant Enhancement Act 
of 2003 which was introduced on June 12, 2003 by Senator Susan 
M. Collins of Maine. S. 1245 was offered as an amendment to the 
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 in 
October of 2004. It passed the Senate by voice vote, but 
ultimately, it was not included in the enacted legislation.
    S. 21, the Homeland Security Grant Enhancement Act of 2005 
was introduced on January 21, 2005. Senators Lieberman, Carper, 
Akaka, Feingold, and Voinovich joined as original cosponsors. 
Senators Chafee and Coburn followed as cosponsors thereafter.
    On April 13, 2005, the Committee met in a business session 
to consider S. 21. An amendment in the nature of a substitute 
was offered by Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Lieberman. 
The substitute was adopted by voice vote.
    The Committee adopted by voice vote an amendment offered by 
Senator Levin and co-sponsored by Senators Collins and 
Lieberman to authorize a demonstration project for cross border 
interoperable communications.
    The Committee opposed, in a 15-1 roll call vote, an 
amendment sponsored by Senator Lautenberg to add as a finding 
to the bill selected portions of a 9/11 Commission 
recommendation.
    The Committee adopted by voice vote an Amendment sponsored 
by Senators Lautenberg and Warner to add to the list of 
criteria to be considered in allocating threat-based funds to 
states and eligible metropolitan regions two additional 
factors: first, whether an area has been previously attacked by 
terrorists; and second, whether an area has been issued a DHS 
alert level that is higher than the rest of the country.
    S. 21 was then reported out of Committee by voice vote.

                         IV. Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short Title

    Section 1 sets the short title of S. 21 as the ``Homeland 
Security Grant Enhancement Act of 2005.''

Section 2. Interagency Committee To Streamline Grant Programs

    Subsection (a) would amend the Homeland Security Act of 
2002 by inserting section 802.

HSA section 802--Interagency committee to coordinate and streamline 
        homeland security grant programs

            Establishment
    Establishes the Interagency Committee to Coordinate and 
Streamline Homeland Grant Programs to ensure coordination of 
separate federal department or agency grant programs. The 
Interagency Committee would also ensure coordination among DHS 
grant programs for State and local preparedness.
            Composition
    The Committee shall include representatives of the 
Department of Homeland Security (including the U.S. Fire 
Administration), the Department of Health and Human Services, 
the Department of Transportation, the Department of Justice, 
the Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal 
government representatives determined to be necessary by the 
President.
            Responsibilities
    Provides that the Interagency Committee shall consult with 
State and local governments and emergency response providers 
regarding their homeland security needs and capabilities. This 
Interagency Committee would also advise the Secretary on the 
development of performance measures for homeland security grant 
programs. The Interagency Committee would report any findings 
to the information clearinghouse established under section 
801(c).
    No later than 1 year after enactment, the Interagency 
Committee must develop a proposal to streamline and standardize 
planning requirements to eliminate duplication, ensure 
accountability, and promote coordination in homeland security 
assistance programs.
    The section also requires the Interagency Committee to 
report to Congress and the President on these studies.

Section 3. Streamlining Federal Homeland Security Grants Administration

    Section 3 codifies existing practice by establishing the 
Office for State and Local Government Coordination and 
Preparedness (OSLGCP) within the Office of the Secretary. It 
creates a presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed position 
of Executive Director of this office. It also moves the Office 
for Domestic Preparedness from the Directorate of Border and 
Transportation Security into OSLGCP, provides that the Director 
of the Office for Domestic Preparedness report to the Executive 
Director of OSLGCP and eliminates the requirement that the 
Director be Presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed.
            Homeland Security Information Clearinghouse
    Subsection (d) of section 3 would amend section 801 of the 
Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.) by 
establishing a Homeland Security Information Clearinghouse, 
within the Office of State and Local Government Coordination 
and Preparedness. It would have the Clearinghouse assist State 
and local governments, and first responders by creating or 
enhancing a web site, a toll-free number, and a single 
publication containing information on homeland security grant 
programs.
    Under this section, the Clearinghouse, in consultation with 
the Interagency Committee, would coordinate any Federal 
agency's technical assistance to State and local governments to 
conduct threat and vulnerability assessments. The Clearinghouse 
would also establish templates for conducting threat analyses 
and vulnerability assessments.
    This section instructs the Clearinghouse to work with State 
and local governments, first responders, the National Domestic 
Preparedness Consortium, the National Memorial Institute for 
the Prevention of Terrorism, and private organizations to 
gather and validate best practices in State and local homeland 
security programs and practices. Information on equipment, 
training, and other services acquired with Federal funds under 
the homeland security grant programs would be gathered by the 
Clearinghouse and made available to State and local governments 
and first responders. Information regarding voluntary standards 
of training, equipment, and exercises would also be provided to 
State and local governments and first responders. The section 
further instructs the Clearinghouse to provide States, 
localities, and first responders with any other information the 
Secretary determines necessary.

Section 4. Essential Capabilities for First Responders and the Threat-
        based Homeland Security Grant Program

    Section 4 would amend Homeland Security Act of 2002 by 
adding sections 1801-1808.

HSA section 1801--Definitions

    ``Metropolitan regions'' are defined as the 100 largest 
metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the country, or 
combined statistical areas that include those MSAs. Both MSAs 
and combined statistical areas are as defined by the Office of 
Management and Budget.
    ``Eligible metropolitan regions'' are defined as a 
combination of two or more municipalities, counties, parishes 
or Indian tribes within a metropolitan region that includes the 
largest city in the metropolitan region, or, alternatively, any 
other combination of contiguous local governments that is 
formally certified by the Secretary and has the consent of the 
state(s) in which the local governments are located.
    ``Essential Capabilities'' are defined as the levels, 
availability, and competence of personnel, planning, training 
and equipment needed to effectively and efficiently prevent, 
prepare for and respond to threatened or actual domestic 
terrorist attacks and other catastrophic events.
    ``Sliding-scale baseline allocation'' is an index used to 
calculate a state's allocation under the sliding scale baseline 
distribution in HSA section 1804(f)(1) and is defined as 0.001 
multiplied by the sum of (a) the value of a State's population 
relative to that of the most populous of the 50 States, where 
the population of such States has been normalized to a maximum 
value of 100 and (b) \1/4\ of the value of a State's population 
density relative to that of the most densely populated of the 
50 States, where the population density of such States has been 
normalized to a maximum value of 100. Normalizing population 
and population density means that both values are put on a 
scale of 0-to-100, so that the most populous state (or in the 
case of population density, the most densely populated state) 
has a value of 100, a state with half the population of the 
most populous state has a value of 50, a state with a quarter 
of the population of the most populous state has a value of 25, 
and so on.
    This section also defines the terms ``Indian Tribe'', 
``Population'', ``Population Density'', and ``Threat-based 
Homeland Security Grant program''.

HSA section 1802--Preservation of pre-9/11 grant programs for 
        traditional first responder missions.

    This section excludes the programs that follow from 
amendment under this Act: the Firefighter Assistance Program 
(including grants awarded under the SAFER Act); the Emergency 
Management Performance Grant Program, the Urban Search and 
Rescue Grant Program, the Justice Assistance Grants, the Public 
Safety and Community Policing Grant Program, grant programs 
under the Public Health Service Act, and the Emergency Response 
Assistance Program.

HSA section 1803--Essential capabilities for first responders

            Establishment
    This section would require the Secretary to establish 
clearly defined essential capabilities for State and local 
government preparedness needs. The Secretary would be required 
to build upon the National Preparedness Goal and must consult 
with the Task Force on Essential Capabilities, appropriate 
federal agencies, State and local emergency response providers, 
State and local officials, and relevant consensus-based 
standards making organizations. The Secretary must ensure 
descriptions of the essential capabilities are provided to the 
States and Congress. The States must make them available to 
local governments.
            Objectives
    This section provides that the essential capabilities must 
meet the objectives that follow:
          Specificity--The essential capabilities must 
        specifically describe the training, planning, 
        personnel, and equipment that different types of 
        communities should possess or have access to in order 
        to meet the Department's goals for preparedness. 
        Essential capabilities are to be tailored to address 
        the different requirements of different types of 
        communities.
          Flexibility--The essential capabilities must be 
        sufficiently flexible to allow State and local 
        government officials to set priorities based on local 
        or regional needs.
          Measurability--The essential capabilities must be 
        designed to enable measurement of progress toward 
        specific terrorism preparedness goals.
          Comprehensiveness--The essential capabilities must be 
        made within the context of a comprehensive State 
        emergency management system.
            Factors to be considered
    Essential capabilities will be different for different 
types of communities. A very large and densely populated high-
risk city like New York will have a different level of 
essential capabilities that it needs to attain than will a 
small, remotely located town. Similarly, a community with a 
nuclear power plant or with a port will need to have 
capabilities to deal with the particular consequences of 
potential attacks on those types of facilities that a community 
without such facilities will not need to have. This section 
requires that in establishing essential capabilities for 
different types of communities, the Secretary must specifically 
consider variables of threat, vulnerability, and consequences 
with respect to population (including transient commuting and 
tourist populations), population density, critical 
infrastructure, coastline, and international borders, as well 
as other factors the Secretary deems important.
            Task force on essential capabilities for first responders
    This section would establish an advisory body to assist the 
Secretary in formulating the essential capabilities. It would 
ensure that the Task Force does not terminate within two years 
as generally required under the HSA, and instead requires the 
Task Force to terminate in 5 years unless theSecretary extends 
it. Within 9 months of enactment, and every three years thereafter, the 
Task Force must submit a report to the Secretary on its recommendations 
for essential capabilities for preparedness related to acts of 
terrorism. This section provides that the membership of the Task Force 
shall consist of 25 members appointed by the Secretary and include 
members from emergency response field, health professionals, experts 
from Federal, State and local governments and the private sector, and 
State and local officials with expertise in terrorism preparedness. 
Finally, this section mandates compliance with the Federal Advisory 
Committee Act.

HSA section 1804--Threat-based Homeland Security grant program

            Establishment
    Establishes a new grant program, the Threat-Based Homeland 
Security Grant Program, which replaces the State Homeland 
Security Grant Program, the Law Enforcement Terrorism 
Prevention Program and the Urban Area Security Initiative. 
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to States and eligible 
metropolitan regions under this program to enhance homeland 
security. Provides that the grants made under this section are 
to be governed by the terms of this section and not by any 
other provision of law, and that any requirement of section 
1014 of the USA Patriot Act shall be deemed to be satisfied by 
this grant program.
            Use of funds
    Provides that grants are to be used to address homeland 
security matters related to acts of terrorism or catastrophic 
events or to address shortfalls in essential capabilities. Sets 
forth permissible uses for grant funds, including planning; 
purchasing and upgrading equipment; conducting emergency 
preparedness exercises; training; the payment of overtime 
expenses related to training or an increase in the threat 
level; terrorism prevention activities traditionally permitted 
under the LETPP program; and other approved activities related 
to achieving essential capabilities.
    Subsection (b)(3) prohibits the use of grant funds to 
acquire land or construct buildings or other physical 
facilities, except for those described in section 611 of the 
Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5196). The Committee 
understands that section 611 would cover construction to alter 
or remodel existing buildings for the purpose of making them 
secure against terrorist attack or able to withstand or protect 
against chemical, radiological or biological attack, such as by 
altering HVAC systems or providing secure testing and treatment 
facilities in public health laboratories or in hospitals; and 
that grants under this bill could therefore be used for such 
construction. To the extent that grants under this bill are 
used to construct buildings or facilities as described in 
section 611, all of the terms of section 611 will be applicable 
and the Committee expects them to be fully complied with.
            Equipment standards
    Provides that grant applicants who propose to use grant 
funds to purchase equipment that does not meet applicable 
national voluntary consensus standards must include in their 
application an explanation of why such equipment will better 
serve their needs than equipment that does meet the standards.
            Application
    Provides for grant application procedures for States and 
metropolitan regions. State applicants must explain how the 
requested funds would be used to achieve essential 
capabilities; must have an approved homeland security plan; and 
must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward achieving 
essential capabilities. Eligible metropolitan regions (defined 
in HSA Section 1801) must include in their applications an 
explanation of how the requested funds would be used to achieve 
essential capabilities; and how the use of the funds would be 
consistent with relevant state homeland security plans. Where 
not all the local jurisdictions in a metropolitan region are 
participating in the application, the applicants must explain 
why the eligible metropolitan region, as constituted, is an 
appropriate unit to receive grants to prevent, prepare for, and 
respond to terrorism. Requires that eligible metropolitan 
regions submit their applications to the relevant governor(s) 
for the governor's review. If the governor does not support the 
regional application or finds it inconsistent with the state 
plan, the governor is to notify the Secretary of that fact.
            Homeland Security plan
    States applying for grants are required to have a 3-year 
state homeland security plan. This section requires that the 
plan include a 3-year strategy for achieving various goals; 
measures to assess the extent to which those goals have been 
achieved; and priorities for allocating grant funds to local 
governments based on risk, capabilities and needs. It also 
provides that states are to complete a comprehensive risk 
assessment and an assessment of capabilities and needs. The 
section provides further that states are to coordinate state 
planning activities with the activities of local governments 
and are to seek input from local stakeholders through the 
establishment of an advisory committee made up of local 
officials and emergency response providers.
            Allocation
    Provides for an initial baseline distribution of grant 
funds to states. Each state would receive the greater of either 
(1) 0.55% of all appropriated funds or (2) the state's sliding 
scale baseline allocation (defined in Section 1801) multiplied 
by 28.62% of the total amount appropriated for the Threat-Based 
Homeland Security Grant Program. The District of Columbia would 
receive a fixed 0.55% share, Puerto Rico 0.35%, and the 
remaining territories, 0.055% each. The sliding-scale figure in 
option 2), above, represents each state's weighted share (where 
weighting is done based on a combination of population and 
population density) of the pot of money (28.62%) that results 
from adding together the 0.55% minimum distribution to each 
state, plus the amounts allocated for the District of Columbia 
and the remaining territories.
    After the initial baseline distribution, the section 
provides for up to 50% of the remaining fundsto be used to 
provide grants to eligible metropolitan regions to assist in achieving 
essential capabilities. In making such grants, the Secretary is to 
prioritize among regional applications by considering the relative 
threat, vulnerability, and consequences faced by the eligible 
metropolitan region from a terrorist attack, including consideration of 
whether there has been a prior terrorist attack in the eligible 
metropolitan region; whether any part of the eligible metropolitan 
region has ever had a higher threat level under the Homeland Security 
Advisory System than the threat level for the nation as a whole; the 
eligible metropolitan region's population; its population density; the 
degree of threat, vulnerability and consequence related to the presence 
of critical infrastructure in the region or in nearby jurisdictions; 
whether the eligible metropolitan region has a coastline bordering 
ocean or international waters; whether it is at or near an 
international border; the extent to which the eligible metropolitan 
region includes all municipalities, counties, parishes and Indian 
tribes within the region; and the extent to which the eligible region 
has unmet essential capabilities. Grants to eligible metropolitan 
regions are to be distributed through the state or states in which the 
region is located. The state or states provide not less than 80% of the 
funds to the eligible metropolitan region, and any funds retained by 
the state must be expended on items or services that benefit the 
eligible metropolitan region.
    The section provides that all remaining funds are to be 
used to provide grants to each state to assist in achieving 
essential capabilities. It requires the Secretary to prioritize 
among state applications by considering the relative threat, 
vulnerability, and consequences faced by the state from a 
terrorist attack, including consideration of whether there has 
been a prior terrorist attack in the State or in a metropolitan 
region that is wholly or partly in the State; whether any part 
of the State has ever had a higher threat level under the 
Homeland Security Advisory System than the threat level for the 
nation as a whole; the percent of a State's population residing 
in MSAs; threat, vulnerability and consequence related to the 
presence of critical infrastructure; whether the state has an 
international border; whether the state has a coastline 
bordering ocean or international waters; threats, 
vulnerabilities and consequences related to at-risk sites or 
activities in adjacent states; and the extent to which the 
state has unmet essential capabilities. It further requires 
that, in prioritizing among states applications that the 
Secretary balance the competing goals of ensuring that the 
essential capabilities of the highest-risk areas are achieved 
quickly and that basic levels of preparedness are achieved 
nationwide.
    This section provides that the State must make available to 
local governments not less than 80% of the grant funds the 
state receives and must do so within 60 days. It requires that 
grant funds supplement and not supplant other state and local 
government funds.
    This section provides that the Secretary may designate not 
more than 25% of the total amounts appropriated to be used for 
the LETPP program, to provide grants to law enforcement to 
enhance capabilities for terrorism prevention.
            Report on Homeland Security spending
    Requires that all grant recipients annually submit a report 
to the Secretary of DHS that contains an accounting of how 
grants funds were spent and the progress the recipient is 
making in achieving essential capabilities.
            Accountability
    Provides that any grant recipient that expends $500,000 or 
more in a fiscal year is to submit to the Secretary an 
organization-wide financial and compliance audit report.
            Remedies for non-compliance
    Provides that, where the Secretary finds that a grant 
recipient has failed to substantially comply with any provision 
in the section, the Secretary shall terminate or reduce 
payments or limit the use of funds to activities not affected 
by the failure to comply. This section also provides that, 
where a state fails to comply, including failing to provide 
grants funds to local governments in a timely fashion, local 
governments may petition for funds to be provided directly to 
the local government.
            Reports to Congress
    Requires that the Secretary submit an annual report to 
Congress that provides an accounting on how resources provided 
to state and local governments were expended and evaluating the 
progress of States and local governments in achieving essential 
capabilities.
            Authorization of appropriations
    Authorizes $2.925 billion for fiscal years 2006 and fiscal 
year 2007 and such sums as are necessary for each fiscal year 
thereafter.

HSA section 1805--Eliminating Homeland Security fraud, waste and abuse

    Section (a) requires an annual Government Accountability 
Office audit of the Threat-Based Homeland Security Grant 
Program and a report to Congress of the results. Section (b) 
requires the Secretary to conduct reviews of grants authorized 
under this Act to ensure that recipients allocate funds 
consistent with the guidelines established by the Department.

HSA section 1806--Flexibility in unspent Homeland Security funds

    This section would allow for reallocation of funds among 
different categories of uses, upon request of a State and with 
the approval of the Director of the Office of Domestic 
Preparedness.

HSA section 1807--National standards for first responder equipment and 
        training

    The section requires that the Secretary support the 
development of national voluntary consensus standards for first 
responder equipment and training. Applicants for grant funds 
who want to use those funds to purchase or upgrade equipment 
that did not meet these standards would have the burden of 
explaining why such equipment would better serve their needs 
than equipment that meets the standards.

HSA section 1808--Certification relative to the screening of municipal 
        solid waste

    This section requires the Bureau of Customs and Border 
Protection to submit a report to Congress examining the 
methodologies and technologies used to screen municipal solid 
waste entering the United States for chemical, nuclear, 
biological or radiological weapons. If those methods and 
technologies are less effective than those used to screen other 
commercial commerce, the report must detail what actions the 
Bureau will take to achieve the same level of effectiveness in 
the screening of solid waste. If the Bureau fails to implement 
the additional actions, if required, the Secretary must deny 
entry into the U.S., vehicles carrying solid waste until it can 
be reported to Congress that the screening technologies for 
solid waste are as effective as those used to screen other 
types of commercial cargo.

Section 5. Communication System Grants

    This section establishes the International Border Community 
Interoperable Communications Demonstrations Project. The 
Demonstration Project would involve at least six communities, 
three on each border, to foster interoperable communications 
among Federal, State, local, and tribal government agencies in 
the United States with similar agencies in Canada or Mexico.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Paragraph 11(b)(1) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of 
the Senate requires that each report accompanying a bill 
evaluate the ``regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out this bill.'' Carrying out S. 21 would have no 
regulatory impact.

                      VI. Changes to Existing Law

    Pursuant to Paragraph 12, Rule XXVI of the Standing Rules 
of the Senate, this section describes changes to existing law.
    Title VIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 
361 et seq.) is amended by inserting Section 802 to establish 
an Interagency Committee to Coordinate and Streamline Homeland 
Security Grant Programs.
    Section 801(a) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 
U.S.C. 361 (a)) is amended to rename ``the Office for State and 
Local Government Coordination'' ``the Office for State and 
Local Governmental Coordination and Preparedness.'' Subsection 
(a) is further amended by inserting paragraph (2) providing for 
this Office to be headed by the Executive Director of State and 
Local Government Coordination Preparedness, who is to be 
appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent 
of the Senate.
    Section 430 (a) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 
U.S.C. 430) is amended by striking the provisions locating the 
Office for Domestic Preparedness within the Directorate of 
Border and Transportation Security. The remaining provisions of 
this section are moved to the newly designated Section 803. 
Subsection (b) of Section 803 is further amended by striking 
``who shall be appointed by the President'' and inserting ``who 
shall report directly to the Executive Director of State and 
Local Government Coordination and Preparedness.'' Technical 
amendments are made to clarify that the transferred office 
would no longer be located within a specific Directorate and to 
assign the management of the Homeland Security Information 
Clearinghouse to the Office for Domestic Preparedness.
    Section 801 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 
361) is amended by adding section (c) at the end to establish a 
Homeland Security Information Clearinghouse.
    The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.) is 
amended by inserting Title XVIII Essential Capabilities for 
First Responders and Threat-Based Homeland Security Grant 
Program at the end of the Act.
    Section 2(6) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 
101(6)) is amended by inserting ``(including fire services)'' 
after ``local emergency public safety''.

             VII. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate


S. 21--Homeland Security Grant Enhancement Act of 2005

    Summary: S. 21 would authorize the Secretary of the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to change the criteria 
used to distribute funding for three existing first-responder 
grant programs established after September 11, 2001--the State 
Homeland Security, the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention, 
and the Urban Area Security Initiative grant programs. Under 
the bill, these three grant programs would be governed by the 
provisions of a new initiative known as the Threat-Based 
Homeland Security Grant Program. In addition, this bill would 
authorize the appropriation of $2.9 billion for first-responder 
grants for both 2006 and 2007, and such sums as are necessary 
for each subsequent year for first responder grants.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized and estimated 
amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost 
about $9.9 billion over the 2006-2010 period. Enacting S. 21 
would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    S. 21 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). 
The bill would provide several benefits to state, local, and 
tribal governments. Assuming the authorized amounts are fully 
appropriated, the bill would increase funding for existing aid 
programs while changing conditions for receiving those funds; 
any costs to state, local, or tribal governments would be 
incurred voluntarily.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 21 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--
                                 ---------------------------------------
                                   2006    2007    2008    2009    2010
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

First-responder grant program: a
    Estimated authorization        2,925   2,925   2,989   3,054   3,123
     level......................
    Estimated outlays...........     293   1,375   2,282   2,931   2,962
Border interoperability
 demonstration project:
    Estimated authorization            5       5       5       0       0
     level......................
    Estimated outlays...........       1       3       5       4       2
Total changes:
    Estimated authorization        2,930   2,930   2,994   3,054   3,123
     level......................
    Estimated outlays...........     294   1,378   2,287   2,935  2,964
------------------------------------------------------------------------
a Under current law, such sums as necessary are authorized to be
  appropriated for 2006 and 2007 for first-responder grants.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
21 will be enacted near the start of fiscal year 2006 and that 
the specified and estimated amounts will be appropriated for 
each year. CBO estimates that implementing S. 21 would cost 
about $9.9 billion over the 2006-2010 period.

Threat-based Homeland Security grant program

    The Office of Domestic Preparedness (within DHS) derives 
its primary authority to distribute grants to states and 
localities to prepare and respond to terrorism from the USA 
PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56). Almost $9 billion has been 
appropriated for these first-responder grants since fiscal year 
2003, including about $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2005. That 
law authorizes the appropriation of such sums as necessary for 
first-responder grants through fiscal year 2007. S. 21 would 
replace this authorization of appropriations with a specific 
authorization level of just over $2.9 billion annually in 2006 
and 2007. The bill also would extend the authority for such 
grants after 2007 at whatever level is necessary. For this 
estimate, CBO assumes that the authorized amount will be 
appropriated for 2006 and 2007 and that the program will 
continue at that level with adjustments for anticipated 
inflation.
    For this estimate, CBO assumes that states would need to 
update their State Homeland Security Plans for approval by DHS 
to reflect new grant requirements. After that update, we expect 
that spending under the bill would follow historical spending 
patterns for existing state and local grant programs for 
emergency management activities. CBO estimates that 
implementing the Threat-Based Homeland Security grant program 
would cost about $9.9 billion over the 2006-2010 period.

Demonstration program

    S. 21 would authorize the appropriation of such sums as are 
necessary over the 2006-2008 period for an International Border 
Community Interoperable Communications Demonstration Project. 
Under this provision, DHS would select six communities, at 
least three on the southern border and three on the northern 
border, to serve as demonstration projects to address issues 
concerning communications across the nation's borders. The 
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 
(Public Law 108-458) established the Office for 
Interoperability and Compatibility within DHS's Directorate of 
Science and Technology. For this estimate, we assume that this 
new office would manage the international demonstration project 
as well as a domestic interoperability program. Based on 
information from DHS, CBO estimates that $5 million would be 
needed each year over the 2006-2008 period. Assuming 
appropriation of the necessary funds, CBO estimates that 
implementing this provision would cost $15 million over the 
2006-2010 period.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 21 contains 
no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in 
UMRA. Section 4 of the bill would deny entry of commercial 
motor vehicles carrying municipal solid waste into the United 
States unless the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection 
certifies to the Congress that the methodologies and 
technologies used to screen such vehicles for weapons are as 
effective as the screening of other commercial materials 
entering the United States. The Bureau of Customs and Border 
Protection indicates that such certification would be provided 
before the deadline specified in the bill. CBO believes, 
therefore, there would be no interruption of service, and thus 
no mandate.
    The bill would make several changes to existing grant 
programs for state, local, and tribal governments. First, it 
would consolidate at least three current programs--the State 
Homeland Security Grant, the Law Enforcement Terrorism 
Prevention Program, and the Urban Area Security Initiative--and 
authorize the appropriation of almost $15 billion over the 
2006-2010 period. Second, it would change how those funds are 
allocated. While some states would receive less funding than in 
previous years and others would receive more, assuming 
authorizedfunds are fully appropriated, there would be a small 
increase in total funding, and each state would receive a minimum of 
0.55 percent of available funds. This bill would allow certain 
metropolitan areas to apply for funds directly and would expand 
eligible activities to include covering the costs of some overtime 
activities during heightened threat alerts and training activities.
    The bill also would authorize DHS to transfer funds 
directly to the local recipients, reduce the portion of grants 
retained by the state, or impose additional restrictions if 
states fail to provide funds to local first responders in a 
timely manner. States would be required to provide 80 percent 
of the funds or resources to local recipients within 60 days of 
receipt. If states fail to comply with that requirement, funds 
would be allocated directly to local jurisdictions. Any costs 
to state, local, or tribal governments as a result of these 
changes to the grant programs would be incurred voluntarily.
    State, local, and tribal governments would benefit from 
several other provisions of the bill that require DHS to 
create, with input from local first responders and trade 
representatives, essential capabilities and voluntary standards 
for equipment and training for first responders; a 
demonstration project for interoperable communication systems; 
and a Homeland Security Information Clearinghouse.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Julie Middleton; 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Melissa 
Merrell; Impact on the Private Sector: Paige Piper/Bach.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                 ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF SENATOR CARL LEVIN

    This legislation includes language that I offered that will 
assist our first responders by creating demonstration projects 
at our northern and southern borders. The amendment provides 
that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish at 
least six International Border Community Interoperable 
Communications Demonstration Projects--no fewer than three of 
these demonstration projects shall be on the northern border, 
and no fewer than three of these demonstration projects shall 
be on the southern border. These Interoperable Communications 
Demonstrations will address the interoperable communications 
needs of police officers, firefighters, emergency medical 
technicians, National Guard, and other emergency response 
providers at our borders.
    Further, this bill contains language I proposed that 
requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to deny entry of 
any commercial motor vehicle carrying municipal solid waste 
from Canada until the Secretary certifies that the methods and 
technology used to inspect the vehicles for potential weapons 
of mass destruction as well as biological, chemical and nuclear 
materials, are as efficient as the methods and technology used 
to inspect other commercial vehicles.
    Each month, thousands of trucks of solid municipal waste 
are being brought into the United States for disposal in U.S. 
landfills. The large size and dense character of these 
shipments provide opportunities for malicious individuals or 
groups who may wish to evade detection as they attempt to 
smuggle dangerous contraband into our country. This language 
will help to ensure the effective screening for weapons of mass 
destruction in shipments of solid municipal waste.
                                   Carl Levin.

              ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF SENATOR DANIEL K. AKAKA

    The Homeland Security Grant Enhancement Act provides for a 
fair and equitable distribution of funds between the States. 
However, I am concerned about the lack of access tribal 
governments have to this funding. In the current funding 
mechanism, federal homeland security grants are allocated to 
States, which in turn are supposed to direct at least 80 
percent of the funding to local and tribal governments. 
However, more often than not, Indian tribes are being passed 
over by the States.
    Even though the population, critical infrastructure, and 
international borders that lie on tribal land are incorporated 
in State homeland security plans and grant applications, most 
States do not allocate a corresponding level of funding to the 
tribes. For example, the Tohono O'odham Nation has received 
less than $100,000 from the State of Arizona over the past 
three years, yet the Nation is responsible for securing 75 
miles of border between the United States and Mexico. As 
security tightens up along the rest of the Arizona border, more 
and more illegal immigrants are choosing to cross through 
Indian country because of the lack of border enforcement.
    I do not believe this problem will be solved simply by 
directing States to include tribal governments in the funding 
allocation process since States know there will be no 
significant consequences if they ignore such a direction. 
Numerous counties and States have historic disputes with Indian 
tribes over jurisdictional and funding issues which can impede 
the funding pass-through process. In addition, there are 
reports that States are using tribal sovereignty as a reason to 
refuse allocation of funds to tribes. In order for the 
international borders and critical infrastructure that lie on 
tribal land to be adequately protected, tribes must be allowed 
to bypass State governments and apply directly to the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for funding.
                                   Daniel K. Akaka