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114th Congress }                                               { Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session   }                                               { 114-370

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

 
     FIRST RESPONDER IDENTIFICATION OF EMERGENCY NEEDS IN DISASTER 
                               SITUATIONS

                                _______
                                

December 7, 2015.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. McCaul, from the Committee on Homeland Security, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2795]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2795) to require the Secretary of Homeland 
Security to submit a study on the circumstances which may 
impact the effectiveness and availability of first responders 
before, during, or after a terrorist threat or event, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     3
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     3
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
Duplicative Federal Programs.....................................     4
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     5
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Preemption Clarification.........................................     5
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6

    The amendment is as follows:
    
    
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``First Responder Identification of 
Emergency Needs in Disaster Situations'' or the ``FRIENDS Act''.

SEC. 2. CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH MAY IMPACT FIRST RESPONDERS DURING A 
                    TERRORIST EVENT.

  (a) In General.--Not later than one year after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States 
shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs of the Senate a report that describes select State and local 
programs and policies, as appropriate, related to the preparedness and 
protection of first responders. The report may include information on--
          (1) the degree to which such programs and policies include 
        consideration of the presence of a first responder's family in 
        an area impacted by a terrorist attack;
          (2) the availability of personal protective equipment for 
        first responders;
          (3) the availability of home Medkits for first responders and 
        their families for biological incident response; and
          (4) other related factors.
  (b) Context.--In preparing the report required under subsection (a), 
the Comptroller General of the United States may, as appropriate, 
provide information--
          (1) in a format that delineates high risk urban areas from 
        rural communities; and
          (2) on the degree to which the selected State and local 
        programs and policies included in the report were developed or 
        are being executed with funding from the Department of Homeland 
        Security, including grant funding from the State Homeland 
        Security Grant Program or the Urban Area Security Initiative 
        under sections 2002 and 2003, respectively, of the Homeland 
        Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 603 and 604).
  (c) Homeland Security Consideration.--After issuance of the report 
required under subsection (a), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
consider the report's findings and assess its applicability for Federal 
first responders.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 2795, the ``First Responder Identification of 
Emergency Needs in Disaster Situations'' (FRIENDS Act) requires 
the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to issue a report on 
select state and local programs and policies that prepare and 
protect first responders and their families impacted by a 
terrorist attack.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    H.R. 2795 was introduced as the country neared the tenth 
anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Catastrophic emergencies like 
Hurricane Katrina and the 2014 Ebola scare in Texas impact 
entire communities that state and local first responders are 
responsible for protecting. These first responders are also 
responsible for protecting their own families impacted by 
emergencies. This bill analyzes how much is being done to 
support the needs of first responders--particularly with 
respect to concerns about their families--so that they can 
continue to do their job successfully. The FRIENDS Act provides 
Congress with relevant information about policies and programs 
at both the state and local levels that support the protection 
and preparedness of first responders and their families during 
emergencies. The National Association of State EMS Officials 
stated in a letter to Chairman McCaul, Ranking Member Thompson, 
Chairman McSally, and Ranking Member Payne on September 28, 
2015, that ``[t]his bill would provide an important report on 
the state of family support planning for the families of first 
responders.''

                                Hearings

    The Committee did not hold any hearings on H.R. 2795.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee met on November 4, 2015, to consider H.R. 
2795, and ordered the measure to be reported to the House with 
a favorable recommendation, amended, by voice vote. The 
Committee took the following actions:
    The following amendments were offered:
 An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by Ms. 
Jackson Lee (#1); was AGREED TO, as amended, by voice vote.

 An en bloc amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a 
Substitute offered by Mr. Higgins (#1A); was AGREED TO by voice 
vote.
     Consisting of the following amendments:
     Page 1, line 12, insert ``and local'' after ``State''.
     Page 1, line 13, insert ``, as appropriate,'' after ``policies''.
     Page 2, line 11, insert ``and local'' after ``State''.

     Page 2, line 4, strike ``and''
     Page 2, beginning line 5, insert the following (and redesignate 
subsequent paragraphs accordingly):
     (3) the availability of home Medkits for first responders and 
their families for biological incident response.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    No recorded votes were requested during consideration of 
H.R. 2795.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has held oversight 
hearings and made findings that are reflected in this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of Rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
2795, the First Responder Identification of Emergency Needs in 
Disaster Situations, would result in no new or increased budget 
authority, entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or 
revenues.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, December 1, 2015.
Hon. Michael McCaul,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2795, the FRIENDS 
Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2795--FRIENDS Act

    H.R. 2795 would direct the Government Accountability Office 
(GAO) to prepare a report to the Congress on selected state 
programs related to the preparedness and protection of first 
responders. The report would include information related to the 
availability of protective and medical equipment, as well as 
information on the location of first responders. Based on 
information from GAO and the cost of similar studies, CBO 
estimates the report would cost about $1 million over the 2016-
2017 period; such spending would be subject to the availability 
of appropriated funds.
    Because enacting the bill would not affect direct spending 
or revenues, pay-as-you go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 2795 would not increase direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2026.
    H.R. 2795 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 2795 contains the following 
general performance goals and objectives, including outcome 
related goals and objectives authorized.
    The Committee intends for H.R. 2795 to assess current 
policies and programs that support first responders and their 
families during a terrorist attack. The report generated from 
this legislation will provide the Department of Homeland 
Security and the Committee with a national snapshot of existing 
preparedness policies and programs and of best practices that 
can be shared. Further, this legislation will help determine 
future action needed to support first responders nationwide.

                      Duplicative Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of Rule XIII, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 2795 does not contain any provision that establishes 
or reauthorizes a program known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program.

   Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

    In compliance with Rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of the Rule 
XXI.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                        Preemption Clarification

    In compliance with section 423 of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, requiring the report of any Committee on a bill or 
joint resolution to include a statement on the extent to which 
the bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt State, 
local, or Tribal law, the Committee finds that H.R. 2795 does 
not preempt any State, local, or Tribal law.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H.R. 2795 would require no 
directed rule makings.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1.   Short Title.

    This section provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``First Responder Identification of Emergency Needs in Disaster 
Situations'' or the ``FRIENDS Act''.

Sec. 2.   Circumstances Which may Impact First Responders During a 
        Terrorist Event.

            Section 2(a)--In General.
    This subsection requires GAO to submit a report to the 
House Committee on Homeland Security and the Senate Committee 
on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs within one year 
of enactment. The International Association of Fire Chiefs 
wrote to Representative Jackson Lee in support of H.R. 2795 on 
November 3, 2015, stating that ``the welfare of first 
responders' families weighs heavily on them as they serve the 
public. It is important that federal, state, and local 
officials make plans to provide for the safety of first 
responders' families in order to ensure strong morale among 
local fire, law enforcement, and EMS officials during a major 
terrorist attack.'' The Committee intends for the report to 
include information on state and local policies and programs 
that support the preparedness and protection of first 
responders. Further, the report is authorized to include 
information on programs and policies that take into 
consideration the families of first responders impacted by a 
terrorist attack as well as the availability of personal 
protective equipment. The Committee notes that the Blue Ribbon 
Study Panel on Biodefense released a report at the end of 2015 
that recommends the provision of medkits to first responders 
and their families. The FRIENDS Act authorizes the report to 
assess whether medkits have been provided to first responders.
            Section 2(b)--Context.
    Under this subsection, the report is authorized to 
delineate whether any of the aforementioned polices or programs 
are funded by the Department of Homeland Security and whether 
the policies and programs are associated with rural communities 
or high risk urban areas.
            Section 2(c)--Homeland Security Consideration.
    The Committee intends for the Secretary of Homeland 
Security to determine if the findings from the final issued 
report have applicability to Federal first responders.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    As reported, H.R. 2795 makes no changes to existing law.