Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

114th Congress   }                                     {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                     {       114-436

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



 
              FEMA DISASTER ASSISTANCE REFORM ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

 February 29, 2016.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1471]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1471) to reauthorize the programs 
and activities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose of Legislation...........................................    11
Background and Need for Legislation..............................    11
Hearings.........................................................    23
Legislative History and Consideration............................    25
Committee Votes..................................................    25
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................    25
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................    25
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................    25
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................    30
Advisory of Earmarks.............................................    30
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    30
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................    30
Federal Mandate Statement........................................    31
Preemption Clarification.........................................    31
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    31
Applicability of Legislative Branch..............................    31
Section-by-Section Analysis of Legislation.......................    31
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............    33

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``FEMA Disaster 
Assistance Reform Act of 2015''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

                     TITLE I--FEMA REAUTHORIZATION

Sec. 101. Reauthorization of Federal Emergency Management Agency.

       TITLE II--COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF DISASTER COSTS AND LOSSES

Sec. 201. Comprehensive study of disaster costs and losses.

               TITLE III--STAFFORD ACT AND OTHER PROGRAMS

Sec. 301. Reauthorization of urban search and rescue response system.
Sec. 302. Reauthorization of emergency management assistance compact 
grants.
Sec. 303. Nonprofit facilities.
Sec. 304. Statute of limitations.
Sec. 305. Action plan to improve field transition.
Sec. 306. Simplified procedures.
Sec. 307. Management costs.
Sec. 308. Debts owed to the United States related to disaster 
assistance.
Sec. 309. Statute of limitations for debts owed to the United States 
related to disaster assistance.
Sec. 310. Technical assistance and recommendations.
Sec. 311. Local impact.
Sec. 312. Proof of insurance.

              TITLE IV--WILDFIRE PREVENTION AND MITIGATION

Sec. 401. Wildfire mitigation assistance.
Sec. 402. Additional activities.

                     TITLE I--FEMA REAUTHORIZATION

SEC. 101. REAUTHORIZATION OF FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY.

  Section 699 of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 
2006 (Public Law 109-295; 6 U.S.C. 811) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``administration and operations'' each place 
        it appears and inserting ``management and administration''; and
          (2) in paragraph (2), by striking ``; and'';
          (3) in paragraph (3), by striking the period and inserting 
        ``; and''; and
          (4) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(4) for fiscal year 2016, $946,982,000;
          ``(5) for fiscal year 2017, $946,982,000; and
          ``(6) for fiscal year 2018, $946,982,000.''.

       TITLE II--COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF DISASTER COSTS AND LOSSES

SEC. 201. COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF DISASTER COSTS AND LOSSES.

  (a) Establishment.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency shall commence, through the National Advisory 
Council, a comprehensive study related to disaster costs and losses 
(referred to in the subsection as the ``Study'').
  (b) Additional Membership.--For the purposes of the Study, as soon as 
practicable after the date of enactment of this section, the 
Administrator shall appoint additional qualified members to the 
National Advisory Council from the following:
          (1) Individuals that have the requisite technical knowledge 
        and expertise on issues related to disaster costs and losses.
          (2) Representatives of the insurance industry.
          (3) Experts in and representatives of the construction and 
        building industry.
          (4) Individuals nominated by national organizations 
        representing local governments and personnel.
          (5) Academic experts.
          (6) Vendors, developers, and manufacturers of systems, 
        facilities, equipment, and capabilities for emergency 
        management services.
          (7) Representatives of such other stakeholders and interested 
        and affected parties as the Administrator considers 
        appropriate.
  (c) Consultation With Nonmembers.--The National Advisory Council 
shall consult with other relevant agencies and groups that are not 
represented on the National Advisory Council to consider research, 
data, findings, recommendations, innovative technologies and 
developments, including--
          (1) entities engaged in federally funded research; and
          (2) academic institutions engaged in relevant work and 
        research.
  (d) Recommendations.--Not later than 120 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the National Advisory Council shall convene to 
evaluate the following topics and develop recommendations for reducing 
disaster costs and losses:
          (1) Disaster losses.--
                  (A) Cost trends.--Trends in disaster costs including 
                loss of life and injury, property damage to 
                individuals, the private sector, and each level of 
                government (State, local and tribal) since the 
                enactment of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
                Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), to 
                the extent data is available.
                  (B) Contributing factors.--Contributing factors such 
                as shifting demographics and aging infrastructure and 
                their impacts on the trends in disaster losses and 
                costs.
          (2) Disaster costs.--
                  (A) Trends in declarations.--Trends in disaster 
                declarations, including factors contributing to the 
                trends.
                  (B) Disaster assistance.--Disaster assistance 
                available from all Federal sources, including 
                descriptions of programs, eligibility and authorities, 
                where assistance has been used geographically, how 
                quickly the funds are used, how that assistance is 
                coordinated among the various agencies and departments, 
                and recommendations for ways to improve the 
                effectiveness and efficiency of the delivery of such 
                assistance.
                  (C) Costs.--Disaster costs borne by the private 
                sector and individuals.
          (3) Disaster roles and responsibility.--Fundamental 
        principles that should drive national disaster assistance 
        decision making, including the appropriate roles for each level 
        of government, the private sector and individuals.
          (4) Reduction of costs and losses.--
                  (A) Mechanisms and incentives.--Mechanisms and 
                incentives, including tax incentives, to promote 
                disaster cost reduction, mitigation, and recovery, 
                including cost data, projections for the return on 
                investment, and measures of effectiveness.
                  (B) Identification of challenges.--Identify 
                fundamental legal, societal, geographic and 
                technological challenges to implementation.
          (5) Legislative proposals.--Legislative proposals for 
        implementing the recommendations in the report compiled 
        pursuant to the requirement in section 1111 of the Sandy 
        Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-2).
  (e) Report to Administrator and Congress.--Not later than 1 year 
after the date of enactment of this section, the National Advisory 
Council shall submit a report containing the data, analysis, and 
recommendations developed under subsection (d) to--
          (1) the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management 
        Agency;
          (2) the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the 
        House of Representatives; and
          (3) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
        Affairs of the Senate.
The Administrator shall make the data collected pursuant to this 
section publically available on the Agency's website.

               TITLE III--STAFFORD ACT AND OTHER PROGRAMS

SEC. 301. REAUTHORIZATION OF URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE RESPONSE SYSTEM.

  (a) In General.--Title III of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief 
and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5141 et seq.) is amended by 
adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 327. NATIONAL URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE RESPONSE SYSTEM.

  ``(a) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions apply:
          ``(1) Administrator.--The term `Administrator' means the 
        Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
          ``(2) Agency.--The term `Agency' means the Federal Emergency 
        Management Agency.
          ``(3) Hazard.--The term `hazard' has the meaning given that 
        term by section 602.
          ``(4) Nonemployee system member.--The term `nonemployee 
        System member' means a System member not employed by a 
        sponsoring agency or participating agency.
          ``(5) Participating agency.--The term `participating agency' 
        means a State or local government, nonprofit organization, or 
        private organization that has executed an agreement with a 
        sponsoring agency to participate in the System.
          ``(6) Sponsoring agency.--The term `sponsoring agency' means 
        a State or local government that is the sponsor of a task force 
        designated by the Administrator to participate in the System.
          ``(7) System.--The term `System' means the National Urban 
        Search and Rescue Response System to be administered under this 
        section.
          ``(8) System member.--The term `System member' means an 
        individual who is not a full-time employee of the Federal 
        Government and who serves on a task force or on a System 
        management or other technical team.
          ``(9) Task force.--The term `task force' means an urban 
        search and rescue team designated by the Administrator to 
        participate in the System.
  ``(b) General Authority.--Subject to the requirements of this 
section, the Administrator shall continue to administer the emergency 
response system known as the National Urban Search and Rescue Response 
System.
  ``(c) Functions.--In administering the System, the Administrator 
shall provide for a national network of standardized search and rescue 
resources to assist States and local governments in responding to 
hazards.
  ``(d) Task Forces.--
          ``(1) Designation.--The Administrator shall designate task 
        forces to participate in the System. The Administration shall 
        determine the criteria for such participation.
          ``(2) Sponsoring agencies.--Each task force shall have a 
        sponsoring agency. The Administrator shall enter into an 
        agreement with the sponsoring agency with respect to the 
        participation of each task force in the System.
          ``(3) Composition.--
                  ``(A) Participating agencies.--A task force may 
                include, at the discretion of the sponsoring agency, 
                one or more participating agencies. The sponsoring 
                agency shall enter into an agreement with each 
                participating agency with respect to the participation 
                of the participating agency on the task force.
                  ``(B) Other individuals.--A task force may also 
                include, at the discretion of the sponsoring agency, 
                other individuals not otherwise associated with the 
                sponsoring agency or a participating agency. The 
                sponsoring agency of a task force may enter into a 
                separate agreement with each such individual with 
                respect to the participation of the individual on the 
                task force.
  ``(e) Management and Technical Teams.--The Administrator shall 
maintain such management teams and other technical teams as the 
Administrator determines are necessary to administer the System.
  ``(f) Appointment of System Members Into Federal Service.--
          ``(1) In general.--The Administrator may appoint a System 
        member into Federal service for a period of service to provide 
        for the participation of the System member in exercises, 
        preincident staging, major disaster and emergency response 
        activities, and training events sponsored or sanctioned by the 
        Administrator.
          ``(2) Nonapplicability of certain civil service laws.--The 
        Administrator may make appointments under paragraph (1) without 
        regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, 
        governing appointments in the competitive service.
          ``(3) Relationship to other authorities.--The authority of 
        the Administrator to make appointments under this subsection 
        shall not affect any other authority of the Administrator under 
        this Act.
          ``(4) Limitation.--A System member who is appointed into 
        Federal service under paragraph (1) shall not be considered an 
        employee of the United States for purposes other than those 
        specifically set forth in this section.
  ``(g) Compensation.--
          ``(1) Pay of system members.--Subject to such terms and 
        conditions as the Administrator may impose by regulation, the 
        Administrator shall make payments to the sponsoring agency of a 
        task force--
                  ``(A) to reimburse each employer of a System member 
                on the task force for compensation paid by the employer 
                to the System member for any period during which the 
                System member is appointed into Federal service under 
                subsection (f)(1); and
                  ``(B) to make payments directly to a nonemployee 
                System member on the task force for any period during 
                which the non-employee System member is appointed into 
                Federal service under subsection (f)(1).
          ``(2) Reimbursement for employees filling positions of system 
        members.--
                  ``(A) In general.--Subject to such terms and 
                conditions as the Administrator may impose by 
                regulation, the Administrator shall make payments to 
                the sponsoring agency of a task force to reimburse each 
                employer of a System member on the task force for 
                compensation paid by the employer to an employee 
                filling a position normally filled by the System member 
                for any period during which the System member is 
                appointed into Federal service under subsection (f)(1).
                  ``(B) Limitation.--Costs incurred by an employer 
                shall be eligible for reimbursement under subparagraph 
                (A) only to the extent that the costs are in excess of 
                the costs that would have been incurred by the employer 
                had the System member not been appointed into Federal 
                service under subsection (f)(1).
          ``(3) Method of payment.--A System member shall not be 
        entitled to pay directly from the Agency for a period during 
        which the System member is appointed into Federal service under 
        subsection (f)(1).
  ``(h) Personal Injury, Illness, Disability, or Death.--
          ``(1) In general.--A System member who is appointed into 
        Federal service under subsection (f)(1) and who suffers 
        personal injury, illness, disability, or death as a result of a 
        personal injury sustained while acting in the scope of such 
        appointment shall, for the purposes of subchapter I of chapter 
        81 of title 5, United States Code, be treated as though the 
        member were an employee (as defined by section 8101 of that 
        title) who had sustained the injury in the performance of duty.
          ``(2) Election of benefits.--
                  ``(A) In general.--If a System member (or, in the 
                case of the death of the System member, the System 
                member's dependent) is entitled--
                          ``(i) under paragraph (1) to receive benefits 
                        under subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, 
                        United States Code, by reason of personal 
                        injury, illness, disability, or death, and
                          ``(ii) to receive benefits from a State or 
                        local government by reason of the same personal 
                        injury, illness, disability, or death,
                the System member or dependent shall elect to receive 
                either the benefits referred to in clause (i) or (ii).
                  ``(B) Deadline.--A System member or dependent shall 
                make an election of benefits under subparagraph (A) not 
                later than 1 year after the date of the personal 
                injury, illness, disability, or death that is the 
                reason for the benefits or until such later date as the 
                Secretary of Labor may allow for reasonable cause 
                shown.
                  ``(C) Effect of election.--An election of benefits 
                made under this paragraph is irrevocable unless 
                otherwise provided by law.
          ``(3) Reimbursement for state or local benefits.--Subject to 
        such terms and conditions as the Administrator may impose by 
        regulation, in the event that a System member or dependent 
        elects benefits from a State or local government under 
        paragraph (2)(A), the Administrator shall reimburse the State 
        or local government for the value of those benefits.
  ``(i) Certain Benefits.--In the case of a death or disability, a 
System member (or in the case of the death of the System member, the 
System member's dependent) shall be able to apply for the Public Safety 
Officers' Benefits program (as described in subpart 1 of part L of 
title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 
U.S.C. chapter 46, subchapter XII) if the System member meets the 
requirements of a `public safety officer' as defined in section 1204 of 
the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 
3796b).
  ``(j) Liability.--A System member appointed into Federal service 
under subsection (f)(1), while acting within the scope of the 
appointment, is deemed an employee of the Federal Government under 
section 1346(b) of title 28, United States Code, and chapter 171 of 
that title, relating to tort claims procedure.
  ``(k) Employment and Reemployment Rights.--With respect to a System 
member who is not a regular full-time employee of a sponsoring agency 
or participating agency, the following terms and conditions apply:
          ``(1) Service.--Service as a System member is deemed `service 
        in the uniformed services' for purposes of chapter 43 of title 
        38, United States Code, relating to employment and reemployment 
        rights of individuals who have performed service in the 
        uniformed services (regardless of whether the individual 
        receives compensation for such participation). All rights and 
        obligations of such persons and procedures for assistance, 
        enforcement, and investigation shall be as provided for in such 
        chapter.
          ``(2) Preclusion.--Preclusion of giving notice of service by 
        necessity of appointment under this section is deemed 
        preclusion by `military necessity' for purposes of section 
        4312(b) of title 38, United States Code, pertaining to giving 
        notice of absence from a position of employment. A 
        determination of such necessity shall be made by the 
        Administrator and shall not be subject to judicial review.
  ``(l) Licenses and Permits.--If a System member holds a valid 
license, certificate, or other permit issued by any State or other 
governmental jurisdiction evidencing the member's qualifications in any 
professional, mechanical, or other skill or type of assistance required 
by the System, the System member is deemed to be performing a Federal 
activity when rendering aid involving such skill or assistance during a 
period of appointment into Federal service under subsection (f)(1).
  ``(m) Advisory Committee.--
          ``(1) In general.--The Administrator shall establish and 
        maintain an advisory committee to provide expert 
        recommendations to the Administrator in order to assist the 
        Administrator in administering the System.
          ``(2) Composition.--The advisory committee shall be composed 
        of members from geographically diverse areas, and shall 
        include--
                  ``(A) the chief officer or senior executive from at 
                least three sponsoring agencies;
                  ``(B) the senior emergency manager from at least two 
                States that include sponsoring agencies; and
                  ``(C) at least one representative recommended by the 
                leaders of the task forces.
          ``(3) Inapplicability of termination requirement.--Section 
        14(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) 
        shall not apply to the advisory committee under this 
        subsection.
  ``(n) Preparedness Cooperative Agreements.--
          ``(1) In general.--Subject to the availability of 
        appropriations for such purpose, the Administrator shall enter 
        into an annual preparedness cooperative agreement with each 
        sponsoring agency. Amounts made available to a sponsoring 
        agency under such a preparedness cooperative agreement shall be 
        for the following purposes:
                  ``(A) Training and exercises, including training and 
                exercises with other Federal, State, and local 
                government response entities.
                  ``(B) Acquisition and maintenance of equipment, 
                including interoperable communications and personal 
                protective equipment.
                  ``(C) Medical monitoring required for responder 
                safety and health in anticipation of and following a 
                major disaster, emergency, or other hazard, as 
                determined by the Administrator.
          ``(2) Availability of appropriations.--Notwithstanding 
        section 1552(b) of title 31, United States Code, amounts made 
        available for cooperative agreements under this subsection that 
        are not expended shall be deposited in an agency account and 
        shall remain available for such agreements without fiscal year 
        limitation.
  ``(o) Response Cooperative Agreements.--The Administrator shall enter 
into a response cooperative agreement with each sponsoring agency, as 
appropriate, under which the Administrator agrees to reimburse the 
sponsoring agency for costs incurred by the sponsoring agency in 
responding to a major disaster or emergency.
  ``(p) Obligations.--The Administrator may incur all necessary 
obligations consistent with this section in order to ensure the 
effectiveness of the System.
  ``(q) Authorization of Appropriations.--
          ``(1) In general.--There is authorized to be appropriated to 
        carry out the System and the provisions of this section 
        $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018.
          ``(2) Administrative expenses.--The Administrator may use not 
        to exceed 6 percent of the funds appropriated for a fiscal year 
        pursuant to paragraph (1) for salaries, expenses, and other 
        administrative costs incurred by the Administrator in carrying 
        out this section.''.
  (b) Conforming Amendments.--
          (1) Applicability of title 5, united states code.--Section 
        8101(1) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--
                  (A) in subparagraph (D) by striking ``and'' at the 
                end;
                  (B) by moving subparagraph (F) to appear after 
                subparagraph (E);
                  (C) in subparagraph (F)--
                          (i) by striking ``United States Code,''; and
                          (ii) by adding ``and'' at the end; and
                  (D) by inserting after subparagraph (F) the 
                following:
                  ``(G) an individual who is a System member of the 
                National Urban Search and Rescue Response System during 
                a period of appointment into Federal service pursuant 
                to section 327 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
                Relief and Emergency Assistance Act;''.
          (2) Inclusion as part of uniformed services for purposes of 
        userra.--Section 4303 of title 38, United States Code, is 
        amended--
                  (A) in paragraph (13) by inserting ``, a period for 
                which a System member of the National Urban Search and 
                Rescue Response System is absent from a position of 
                employment due to an appointment into Federal service 
                under section 327 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
                Relief and Emergency Assistance Act'' before ``, and a 
                period''; and
                  (B) in paragraph (16) by inserting after ``Public 
                Health Service,'' the following: ``System members of 
                the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System 
                during a period of appointment into Federal service 
                under section 327 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
                Relief and Emergency Assistance Act,''.

SEC. 302. REAUTHORIZATION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT 
                    GRANTS.

  (a) In General.--Subtitle A of title VI of the Robert T. Stafford 
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5196 et seq.) 
is amended by adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 617. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT GRANTS.

  ``(a) In General.--The Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency may make grants to provide for implementation of the 
Emergency Management Assistance Compact consented to by Congress in the 
joint resolution entitled `Joint resolution granting the consent of 
Congress to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact' (Public Law 
104-321; 110 Stat. 3877).
  ``(b) Eligible Grant Recipients.--States and the Administrator of the 
Emergency Management Assistance Compact shall be eligible to receive 
grants under subsection (a).
  ``(c) Use of Funds.--A grant received under this section shall be 
used--
          ``(1) to carry out recommendations identified in the 
        Emergency Management Assistance Compact after-action reports 
        for the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons;
          ``(2) to administer compact operations on behalf of States, 
        as such term is defined in the compact, that have enacted the 
        compact;
          ``(3) to continue coordination with the Federal Emergency 
        Management Agency and appropriate Federal agencies;
          ``(4) to continue coordination with States and local 
        governments and their respective national organizations; and
          ``(5) to assist State and local governments, emergency 
        response providers, and organizations representing such 
        providers with credentialing the providers and the typing of 
        emergency response resources.
  ``(d) Coordination.--The Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency shall consult with the Administrator of the Emergency 
Management Assistance Compact to ensure effective coordination of 
efforts in responding to requests for assistance.
  ``(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $2,000,000 for each of the 
fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018. Such sums shall remain available 
until expended.''.
  (b) Repeal.--Section 661 of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management 
Reform Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-295; 6 U.S.C. 761) is repealed.

SEC. 303. NONPROFIT FACILITIES.

  (a) Definition of Private Nonprofit Facility.--Section 102(11)(B) of 
the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 
U.S.C. 5122(11)(B)) is amended to read as follows:
                  ``(B) Additional facilities.--In addition to the 
                facilities described in subparagraph (A), the term 
                `private nonprofit facility' includes any private 
                nonprofit facility that provides essential services of 
                a governmental nature to the general public (including 
                museums, zoos, performing arts facilities, community 
                arts centers, libraries, homeless shelters, senior 
                citizen centers, rehabilitation facilities, shelter 
                workshops, public broadcasting facilities, and 
                facilities that provide health and safety services of a 
                governmental nature), as defined by the President.''.
  (b) Repair, Restoration, and Replacement of Damaged Facilities.--
Section 406(a)(3)(B) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5172(a)(3)) is amended by striking 
``communications,'' and inserting ``communications (including public 
broadcasting),''.

SEC. 304. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.

  (a) In General.--Section 705(a)(1) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5205) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``Except'' and inserting ``Notwithstanding 
        section 3716(e) of title 31, United States Code, and except''; 
        and
          (2) by striking ``report for the disaster or emergency'' and 
        inserting ``report for project completion as certified by the 
        grantee''.
  (b) Applicability.--
          (1) In general.--With respect to disaster or emergency 
        assistance provided to a State or local government on or after 
        January 1, 2004--
                  (A) no administrative action may be taken to recover 
                a payment of such assistance after the date of 
                enactment of this Act if the action is prohibited under 
                section 705(a)(1) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
                Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 
                5205(a)(1)), as amended by subsection (a); and
                  (B) any administrative action to recover a payment of 
                such assistance that is pending on such date of 
                enactment shall be terminated if the action is 
                prohibited under section 705(a)(1) of that Act, as 
                amended by subsection (a).
          (2) Limitation.--This section, including the amendments made 
        by this section, may not be construed to invalidate or 
        otherwise affect any administration action completed before the 
        date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 305. ACTION PLAN TO IMPROVE FIELD TRANSITION.

  (a) In General.--Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management 
Agency shall report to the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate regarding the 
plans the agency will undertake to provide the following:
          (1) Consistent guidance to applicants on FEMA disaster 
        funding procedures during the response to an emergency.
          (2) Appropriate record maintenance and transfer of documents 
        to new teams during staff transitions.
          (3) Accurate assistance to applicants and grantees to ease 
        the administrative burden throughout the process of obtaining 
        and monitoring assistance.
  (b) Maintaining Records.--The report shall also include a plan for 
implementing operating procedures and document retention requirements 
to ensure the maintenance of appropriate records throughout the 
lifecycle of the disaster.
  (c) New Technologies.--Finally, the report shall identify new 
technologies that further aid the disaster workforce in partnering with 
State, local, and tribal governments and private nonprofits in the wake 
of a disaster or emergency to educate, assist, and inform applicants on 
the status of their disaster assistance applications and projects.

SEC. 306. SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURES.

  Section 422(a) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5189) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``$35,000'' the first place it appears and 
        inserting ``$1,000,000''; and
          (2) by striking the second sentence.

SEC. 307. MANAGEMENT COSTS.

  Section 324 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5165b) is amended--
          (1) in subsection (a) by striking ``any administrative 
        expense, and any other expense not directly chargeable to'' and 
        inserting ``direct administrative cost, and any other 
        administrative expense associated with''; and
          (2) in subsection (b)--
                  (A) by striking ``Notwithstanding'' and inserting the 
                following:
          ``(1) In general.--Notwithstanding''.
                  (B) by striking ``establish'' and inserting the 
                following: ``implement the following:''; and
                  (C) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(2) Specific management costs.--The Administrator shall 
        provide the following percentage rates, in addition to the 
        eligible project costs, to cover direct and indirect costs of 
        administering the following programs:
                  ``(A) Hazard mitigation.--A grantee under section 404 
                may be reimbursed not more than 15 percent of the total 
                amount of the grant award under such section of which 
                not more than 10 percent may be used by the grantee and 
                5 percent by the subgrantee for such costs.
                  ``(B) Public assistance.--A grantee under sections 
                403, 406, 407, and 502, may be reimbursed not more than 
                10 percent of the total award amount under such 
                sections, of which not more than 6 percent may be used 
                by the grantee and 4 percent by the subgrantee for such 
                costs.''.

SEC. 308. DEBTS OWED TO THE UNITED STATES RELATED TO DISASTER 
                    ASSISTANCE.

  (a) Definition.--In this section, the term ``covered assistance'' 
means assistance provided--
          (1) under section 408 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
        Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174); and
          (2) in relation to a major disaster or emergency declared by 
        the President under section 401 or 501 of the Robert T. 
        Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 
        U.S.C. 5170; 42 U.S.C. 5191) on or after October 30, 2012.
  (b) Waiver Authority.--Notwithstanding section 3716(e) of title 31, 
United States Code, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency--
          (1) subject to paragraph (2), may waive a debt owed to the 
        United States related to covered assistance provided to an 
        individual or household if--
                  (A) the covered assistance was distributed based on 
                an error by the Federal Emergency Management Agency;
                  (B) there was no fault on behalf of the debtor; and
                  (C) the collection of the debt would be against 
                equity and good conscience; and
          (2) may not waive a debt under paragraph (1) if the debt 
        involves fraud, the presentation of a false claim, or 
        misrepresentation by the debtor or any party having an interest 
        in the claim.
  (c) Monitoring of Covered Assistance Distributed Based on Error.--
          (1) In general.--The Inspector General shall monitor the 
        distribution of covered assistance to individuals and 
        households to determine the percentage of such assistance 
        distributed based on an error.
          (2) Removal of waiver authority based on excessive error 
        rate.--If the Inspector General determines, with respect to any 
        12-month period, that the amount of covered assistance 
        distributed based on an error by the Federal Emergency 
        Management Agency exceeds 4 percent of the total amount of 
        covered assistance distributed--
                  (A) the Inspector General shall notify the 
                Administrator and publish the determination in the 
                Federal Register; and
                  (B) with respect to any major disaster declared by 
                the President under section 401 of the Robert T. 
                Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act 
                (42 U.S.C. 5170) after the date of the determination, 
                the authority of the Administrator to waive debt under 
                subsection (b) shall no longer be effective.

SEC. 309. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR DEBTS OWED TO THE UNITED STATES 
                    RELATED TO DISASTER ASSISTANCE.

   Notwithstanding section 3716(g) of title 31, United States Code, and 
unless there is evidence of civil or criminal fraud, the Administrator, 
on behalf of the President, shall not initiate new administrative 
action in any forum to recover--
          (1) payments made to an individual or household under section 
        408 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
        Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174) more than 3 years after the 
        last date on which such payments were made; or
          (2) funds owed by an individual or household for assistance 
        provided under section 408 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
        Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5174) more than 
        3 years after the last date on which such funds were determined 
        to be owed.

SEC. 310. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND RECOMMENDATIONS.

  (a) Technical Assistance.--The Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency shall provide technical assistance to a common 
interest community that provides essential services of a governmental 
nature on actions that a common interest community may take in order to 
be eligible to receive reimbursement from a grantee that receives funds 
from the Agency for certain activities performed after an event that 
results in a disaster declaration.
  (b) Recommendations.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall provide recommendations 
to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the 
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on how 
common areas of condominiums and housing cooperatives may be eligible 
for assistance, including any progress the Agency has made in its 
explorations of this issue and the potential challenges identified 
since the Agency issued its report on May 22, 2014.

SEC. 311. LOCAL IMPACT.

  In making recommendations to the President regarding a major disaster 
declaration, the Administrator shall give greater weight and 
consideration to severe localized impact. Further, the Administrator 
shall make corresponding adjustments to the Agency's policies and 
regulations. Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this 
section, the Administrator shall report to the Committees on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and 
the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the 
Senate on the changes made to regulations and policies and the number 
of declarations that have been declared based on the new criteria.

SEC. 312. PROOF OF INSURANCE.

  A State shall be deemed to have proven that an applicant has 
satisfied the purchase of insurance requirements under the Robert T. 
Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 
et. seq.) when an encumbrance requiring the purchase and maintenance of 
insurance has been placed on the title of the property receiving the 
benefit of the grant or assistance. This section in no way removes or 
reduces the insurance requirements on an applicant under the Act and in 
no way limits the requirement that assistance provided under the 
Stafford Act be reduced or eliminated when the requirements are not 
met.

              TITLE IV--WILDFIRE PREVENTION AND MITIGATION

SEC. 401. WILDFIRE MITIGATION ASSISTANCE.

  (a) In General.--Section 420 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5187) is amended--
          (1) by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (e); and
          (2) by inserting after subsection (c) the following:
  ``(d) Hazard Mitigation Assistance.--Whether or not a major disaster 
is declared, the President may provide hazard mitigation assistance in 
accordance with section 404 in any area affected by a fire for which 
assistance was provided under this section.''.
  (b) Conforming Amendments.--The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief 
and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) is amended--
          (1) in section 404(a) (42 U.S.C. 5170c(a))--
                  (A) by inserting before the first period ``, or any 
                area affected by a fire for which assistance was 
                provided under section 420''; and
                  (B) in the third sentence by inserting ``or event 
                under section 420'' after ``major disaster'' each place 
                it appears; and
          (2) in section 322(e)(1) (42 U.S.C. 5165(e)(1)), by inserting 
        ``or event under section 420'' after ``major disaster'' each 
        place it appears.
  (c) Authority to Transfer.--For major disaster relief funds made 
available to the Disaster Relief Fund for the specified purpose of 
wildfire suppression activities on Federal lands, the Administrator of 
the Federal Emergency Management Agency may authorize transfer of these 
funds to the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture.

SEC. 402. ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES.

  Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170c) is amended by adding at the end the 
following:
  ``(f) Use of Assistance.--Recipients of hazard mitigation assistance 
provided under this section and section 203 may use the assistance to 
conduct the following activities to help reduce the risk of future 
damage, hardship, loss, or suffering in any area affected by--
          ``(1) a wildfire, including--
                  ``(A) reseeding ground cover with quick-growing or 
                native species;
                  ``(B) mulching with straw or chipped wood;
                  ``(C) constructing straw, rock, or log dams in small 
                tributaries to prevent flooding;
                  ``(D) placing logs and other erosion barriers to 
                catch sediment on hill slopes;
                  ``(E) installing debris traps to modify road and 
                trail drainage mechanisms;
                  ``(F) modifying or removing culverts to allow 
                drainage to flow freely;
                  ``(G) adding drainage dips and constructing emergency 
                spillways to keep roads and bridges from washing out 
                during floods;
                  ``(H) planting grass to prevent the spread of noxious 
                weeds;
                  ``(I) installing warning signs;
                  ``(J) establishing defensible space measures; and
                  ``(K) reducing hazardous fuels; and
          ``(2) earthquake hazards, including--
                  ``(A) improvements to regional seismic networks in 
                support of building a capability for earthquake early 
                warning;
                  ``(B) improvements to geodetic networks in support of 
                building a capability for earthquake early warning; or
                  ``(C) seismometers, GPS receivers, and associated 
                infrastructure in support of building a capability for 
                earthquake early warning.''.

                         Purpose of Legislation

    H.R. 1471, as amended, would reauthorize the programs and 
activities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

                  Background and Need for Legislation


Federal Emergency Management Agency: history and reauthorization

    FEMA was established in 1979 by Executive Order 12148 by 
President Jimmy Carter in response to a number of massive 
disasters in the 1960's and 1970's. As a result of states 
trying to manage these disasters, the National Governors 
Association and others made a proposal to streamline and cut 
the number of agencies states were required to work with 
following a disaster. Prior to the creation of FEMA, the 
federal government's emergency response mechanisms were 
scattered among many agencies throughout government. The 
creation of FEMA helped to centralize these authorities and the 
coordination of the federal government's response to a 
disaster. The Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-288), 
which constituted the statutory authority for most federal 
disaster response activities, especially of FEMA, was later 
amended by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
Assistance Act, also known as the Stafford Act (Public Law 100-
707). Following more than two decades as an independent agency, 
the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296) created 
the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), placed FEMA within 
DHS, and FEMA's functions were dispersed among various offices 
and directorates within DHS.
            Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006
    In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf 
Coast. Following the poor response that occurred, several 
investigations and congressional hearings took place to examine 
the preparation for, response to, and later recovery from these 
hurricanes. In particular, the Select Bipartisan Committee to 
Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane 
Katrina was formed and culminated in the issuance of a report 
entitled, ``A Failure of Initiative: The Final Report of the 
Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for 
and Response to Hurricane Katrina'' on February 15, 2006.
    Not long after the issuance of this report, Congress 
enacted the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 
2006 (Public Law 109-295) (PKEMRA), which gave FEMA clear 
guidance on its mission and priorities, and provided it with 
the authorities and tools needed to become a more effective and 
efficient agency and a better partner to state, local, 
territorial, and tribal governments. PKEMRA authorized FEMA for 
the first time in legislation.
            Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013
    On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall at New 
Jersey as a ``post-tropical cyclone'' with hurricane-force 
winds of up to 80 mph, colliding with a nor'easter and creating 
``Superstorm Sandy.'' The superstorm brought with it storm 
surges of more than 11 feet, killing more than 100 people, 
destroying or damaging thousands of homes, and leaving more 
than eight million people without power.
    In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Congress enacted 
reforms to the disaster recovery process as part of the Sandy 
Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-2) (SRIA). The 
reforms included in SRIA were based on previous Committee 
hearings and investigations related to streamlining, speeding 
up and reducing the costs of rebuilding following major 
disasters. These reforms had also been incorporated into H.R. 
2903, the FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2012, which passed the 
House on September 19, 2012.
    The intent of SRIA, enacted on January 29, 2013, was to 
speed up and streamline Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts, 
reduce costs, and improve the effectiveness of several disaster 
assistance programs authorized by the Stafford Act: the Public 
Assistance Program, the Individual Assistance Program, and the 
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. SRIA grants FEMA greater 
flexibility to speed up recovery efforts, reduce overall costs 
of projects, and reduce the administrative burden and costs.
    Major reforms in SRIA included: expediting debris removal 
and public assistance procedures; expediting hazard mitigation 
funding to ensure mitigation is effectively incorporated in the 
rebuilding process; establishing a limited dispute resolution 
pilot program to resolve disputes over assistance more quickly 
and drive projects to closure and avoid cost overruns; 
simplifying the review for environmental and historic 
requirements for rebuilding damaged infrastructure; and 
providing for disaster declarations for tribal governments.

FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015

    H.R. 1471, the FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015, 
establishes a comprehensive study to assess disaster costs and 
develop recommendations for reducing those costs, reauthorizes 
FEMA's overall management and administration through fiscal 
year 2018, and reauthorizes and authorizes other programs 
important to disaster preparedness, response, recovery and 
mitigation.
            Comprehensive Study for Disaster Costs and Losses
    Disaster costs and losses continue to increase and H.R. 
1471 would require a complete assessment of those losses, what 
is driving those losses, what federal disaster assistance is 
available to individuals and the public and private sectors, 
the appropriate roles of each of those parties, and what public 
policy changes would result in fewer disaster losses and lower 
disaster costs.
    The study will be undertaken through the existing National 
Advisory Council established by FEMA pursuant to section 508 of 
the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (6 
U.S.C. 318). The Administrator is required to appoint 
additional members for the purpose of the study to ensure that 
the full array of public and private sector stakeholders are 
involved and contributing. The Committee does not intend for 
these additional members to become permanent members of the 
National Advisory Council, but are to participate fully until 
the completion of the study and recommendations.
    FEMA is to be wholly transparent throughout the study by 
posting data, findings and other materials on their website, to 
the extent that the data and information does not include 
private, sensitive or secure information. Periodic updates 
should be given to the Committee.
            Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) System
    Currently, there are 28 FEMA USAR Task Forces located 
throughout the continental United States that are trained and 
equipped by FEMA. These teams are comprised of firefighters, 
engineers, medical professionals, canine/handler teams, and 
emergency managers with special training in urban search and 
rescue. These teams serve as a national resource for disaster 
response and represent partnerships between state fire 
departments and law enforcement agencies, federal and local 
governmental entities and private companies.
    Typically, the teams are trained to conduct physical search 
and rescue missions in collapsed buildings, provide emergency 
medical care to trapped victims, assess and control gas, 
electric service and hazardous materials, and evaluate and 
stabilize damaged structures. If a disaster event warrants 
national USAR support, FEMA will deploy the three closest task 
forces within six hours of notification and additional teams as 
necessary. The role of these task forces is to support state 
and local emergency responders' efforts to locate victims and 
manage response operations.
            Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC)
    EMAC is a national interstate agreement approved by 
Congress that provides an effective avenue by which states can 
provide one another mutual aid in the event of a disaster. 
Through EMAC, a state impacted by a disaster can request and 
receive assistance from other member states more quickly and 
efficiently, by addressing concerns with regard to liability 
and reimbursement.
            Statute of Limitations
    H.R. 1471 re-institutes a three year statute of limitations 
and establishes that this statute shall begin to toll when each 
project has been concluded. FEMA's existing regulations for 
``payment of claims'' requires that each subgrantee notify the 
state when all projects have been completed. The Committee 
understands FEMA does not have a consistent form for how this 
notification is provided. Therefore, FEMA should accept 
reasonable notifications submitted to meet this requirement as 
satisfaction of meeting the requirement to submit an 
``expenditure report for project completion as certified by the 
grantee.'' This can include a final letter indicating 
completion or other written communication that funds have been 
expended and the project is complete. The Committee urges FEMA 
to work closely with grantees to encourage the timely closeout 
of projects. The Committee also encourages FEMA to develop a 
uniform process and clear guidance for grantees and subgrantees 
to meet this requirement.
    This legislative change should be applied to any action 
FEMA has pending against a state, local or tribal government to 
recover disaster assistance payments where the grantee has not 
received a final agency determination (e.g., the applicant has 
not exhausted all administrative remedies and their appeals 
have not concluded).
            Action Plan to Improve Field Transition
    Even after the Hurricane Katrina investigations, multiple 
Office of Inspector General and General Accountability Office 
reports, and amended legislative authorities, the Committee 
continues to hear about challenges with FEMA's disaster 
workforce. State and local emergency managers raise concerns 
about frequent turnover, the loss of paperwork, and 
inconsistent guidance which results in project delays, 
increased administrative expenses, frustration, and, in the 
worst-cases, the loss of recovery funds that are ultimately 
recouped by FEMA.
    FEMA has implemented several new technologies for its full-
time managers and staff, but it does not appear that the same 
efforts have been undertaken for field and temporary disaster 
response personnel. The Committee requires the Administrator to 
develop an action plan for issuing consistent guidance to 
applicants, ensuring the maintenance of appropriate records, 
and easing the administrative burden of obtaining and 
monitoring assistance from FEMA. FEMA must articulate an action 
plan for implementing proper operating procedures and document 
retention requirements in the field to ensure the maintenance 
of appropriate records throughout the lifecycle of the 
disaster. Finally, FEMA must identify new technologies that 
would further aid the disaster workforce in partnering with 
state, local and tribal governments and private non-profits in 
the wake of a disaster or emergency.
            Simplified Procedures
    In order to lower the cost of administering small repair 
projects, Congress granted FEMA the authority to expedite 
assistance based on estimates for certain projects through 
simplified procedures in the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 
(P.L. 106-390). FEMA testified on January 27, 2015, that 
increasing the simplified procedures threshold would result in 
lower administrative costs, faster project completions, and 
eliminate federal responsibility for project cost overruns.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. ``Rebuilding 
after the Storm: Lessening Impacts and Speeding Recovery,'' January 27, 
2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee expects that FEMA will continue to report on 
cost-effectiveness, speed of recovery, capacity of grantees, 
past performance and accountability measures, as currently 
required by statute.
            Management Costs
    The Committee expects this change to result in lower 
federal costs to administer disaster programs. The Committee 
requests FEMA provide periodic updates as savings are realized.
            Debts Owed to the United States Related to Disaster 
                    Assistance
    In the wake of a Presidential major disaster declaration, 
FEMA may provide financial assistance to individuals who have 
necessary expenses and serious needs they are unable to meet by 
other means through the individual and households program. To 
date, FEMA has provided $1.4 billion to Hurricane Sandy 
disaster survivors. While FEMA has implemented controls to 
avoid improper payments, errors are made. The current error 
rate for Hurricane Sandy is two percent.
    H.R. 1471 grants the Administrator authority to waive debts 
incurred as a result of improper payments where there is no 
evidence of fraud. However, if FEMA's error rate exceeds four 
percent in a 12-month period, the Administrator will no longer 
have the discretion to waive the debts and they must be 
enforced on a disaster by disaster basis. The Committee expects 
the error rate calculation to be based on the calendar year and 
that the authority to waive debts to be reinstated once the 
error rate for that calendar year has been reduced below four 
percent. H.R. 1471 also institutes a three year statute of 
limitation ensuring that any collection actions are initiated 
as quickly as possible.
            Technical Assistance and Recommendations
    The bill includes language to address long-standing 
ambiguities in eligibility for FEMA assistance, specifically 
for housing cooperatives, condominium associations, and 
community associations. The Stafford Act does not include a 
definition of condo or co-op. This ambiguity has led to 
significant confusion about their eligibility for assistance 
and made it nearly impossible for residents of condos and co-
ops to make the common areas of their buildings habitable. 
Language was included in the fiscal year 2014 Homeland Security 
Appropriations bill directing FEMA to advise Congress on the 
eligibility of condos and co-ops for disaster assistance, 
including recommendations for how Congress could change the 
statute to make condos and co-ops eligible. In their response, 
FEMA failed to provide Congress with any concrete 
recommendations. Their response stated they were ``exploring 
the program implications surrounding Stafford Act changes that 
would authorize FEMA'' to assist condos and co-ops with repairs 
to common areas and would need to ``explore the challenges such 
a change would likely present.'' That answer was unresponsive 
to Congress' question.
    H.R. 1471 directs FEMA to update the House and Senate 
committees on the status of those explorations and the 
recommendations they have for providing FEMA assistance to 
condos and co-ops for common areas after a disaster. FEMA's 
answer should focus on proposed statutory changes to the 
Stafford Act but also discuss administrative or regulatory 
changes and guidance or internal recommendations the agency 
could make to address the gap. This report will continue our 
discussions with FEMA in a constructive way.
            Localized Impact
    In recent years, there has been more evidence of devastated 
small and rural communities not receiving disaster assistance 
in a fair and equitable manner compared to other, larger 
communities and neighboring states.
    For example, on November 17, 2013, 15 counties in Illinois 
were hit by the fourth largest November tornado outbreak in the 
history of the United States. The storm system produced 67 
tornadoes throughout the Midwest, 24 of which touched down in 
Illinois, causing widespread destruction throughout the state. 
Six fatalities and at least 180 injuries resulted. The damage 
in neighboring states of Missouri and Kentucky received federal 
disaster assistance, but Illinois did not.
    In another example from the year before, a tornado outbreak 
hit the Midwest on February 28-29, 2012 causing substantial 
damage in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois. The most 
powerful tornado during this outbreak hit Harrisburg, IL which 
was especially devastated after an EF-4 Tornado killed 8 people 
and destroyed hundreds of buildings and homes. In this case, 
FEMA declared Indiana and Kentucky federal disaster areas, 
while denying disaster assistance for Ohio and Illinois.
    FEMA takes into account several factors when determining 
the recommendation for a major disaster declaration to the 
President. However, there is currently no standard to determine 
which factor is more important than another. FEMA is prohibited 
by law from using a mathematical formula to determine 
eligibility for a major disaster declaration.
    H.R. 1471 directs the Administrator to give greater weight 
and consideration to severe localized impact in making 
recommendations to the President for public and individual 
assistance through a major disaster declaration.
            Proof of Insurance
    Recipients of FEMA hazard mitigation assistance to mitigate 
structures are required to obtain and maintain flood insurance 
to protect the federal investment in that property. Each state 
is required to show FEMA evidence that the required insurance 
has been obtained and maintained by the grant recipients. H.R. 
1471 allows for the state to use an encumbered title in 
satisfaction of the required documentation to illustrate that 
the insurance requirement is being enforced. The title for 
property receiving the benefit of the hazard mitigation grant 
must carry a requirement that flood insurance be purchased and 
maintained in perpetuity.
    H.R. 1471 in no way reduces or removes the flood insurance 
requirement. FEMA will continue to reduce or eliminate future 
disaster assistance for specific properties that have failed to 
meet the requirement to purchase and maintain flood insurance.
            Wildfire Prevention, Suppression and Mitigation
    The Predictive Services of the National Interagency Fire 
Center predicts many areas of the Nation will experience above 
normal wildland fire potential in 2015. At the beginning of 
2015, the Center noted that some areas of the country remain in 
states of extreme to exceptional drought. In addition, many 
areas experienced low snowfall during the winter of 2014-2015. 
Combining the low snowpack and extreme drought with the higher 
than average temperatures predicted for April through June and 
a likely result is increased wildfires this season.
    According to data from federal and state agencies, in 2014 
there were 63,212 wildfires that burned approximately 3.6 
million acres. In 2013, approximately 47,579 wildfires on state 
and federal lands burned over 4.3 million acres of land, sixty-
eight percent (approximately 2.9 million acres) of which were 
federal lands. Data indicates that during 1983 to 2014, the 
number of reported wildfires has remained constant while the 
number of acres burned has steadily increased.
    FEMA's Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) program 
provides a tool to help states and local governments respond to 
wildfires and prevent them from becoming major disasters. FMAG 
provides aid in responding to the fire, but does not fund 
mitigation or recovery operations. After a fire has been 
extinguished, the after-effects can still threaten a community. 
For example, wildfires make communities more vulnerable to 
flash floods and mudslides caused by rainstorms. State and 
local jurisdictions can take actions to prevent flooding, 
mudslides and future wildfires, such as installing erosion and 
flood barriers, re-seeding burned ground, re-planting trees, 
and creating defensible space to protect chronically at-risk 
structures. Unfortunately, states that receive grants from FMAG 
do not receive increased hazard mitigation assistance to help 
communities protect themselves from the threat of post-wildfire 
flooding, mudslides, or future fires. The Committee believes 
that States should receive hazard mitigation assistance from 
FEMA when a fire triggers FMAG assistance. The Committee urges 
FEMA to encourage states receiving increased hazard mitigation 
assistance, because it received a FMAG, to allocate this 
assistance to help communities that were affected by the 
wildfires that were covered by the grant.
    In addition, the Committee notes that in many states 
located in the western part of the Nation, the federal 
government is often one of the largest landowners. For example, 
in the State of Oregon forty-eight percent, or thirty million 
acres, of the State's sixty-three million acres are forest 
lands. Of the thirty million acres of forest lands, sixty 
percent are owned by the federal government. The federal 
government, through the Forest Service at the Department of 
Agriculture and the Department of the Interior, is responsible 
for suppressing wildfires on federal lands while states are 
responsible for fighting fires on state and private lands.
    Wildfire suppression on Federal lands is funded through 
wildfire management accounts at both the Forest Service within 
the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior. 
For fiscal years 2011 through 2015, the combined amount 
appropriated by Congress to these two agencies for wildfire 
management averaged $3.3 billion per year. These suppression 
accounts fund activities, such as firefighter salaries, 
aviation asset operations, incident support functions, 
temporary emergency firefighters, and aircraft flight 
operations that help to suppress fires that threaten lives and 
property. Between fiscal years 2012 to 2014, suppression 
obligations accounted for 22 percent to 30 percent of the 
Forest Service's total obligations.
    Both agencies use a ten-year suppression average to 
estimate the amount requested annually. Although the estimates 
have fallen short in some years, the estimates are used by 
Congress to determine how much to fund wildfire suppression. 
When all wildfire suppression funds have been used, both 
agencies are authorized to transfer funds from other programs 
and accounts if necessary to continue funding wildfire 
suppression. Typically, the accounts borrowed from are 
replenished in the following fiscal year's appropriations act. 
But the borrowing that occurs when wildfire suppression funds 
have been depleted impacts the agencies' other programs, as 
well as affects local governments and tribes. In a 2004 report, 
GAO noted the negative impact transferring funds from other 
accounts has on the ability of the agencies to fulfill their 
other mission as well as on the agencies' relationships with 
State, local, and tribal governments.
            Earthquake Hazard Mitigation
    Over the last five years, there have been at least six 
catastrophic earthquakes globally. On May 12 and April 25, 
2015, just two weeks apart, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake and a 
7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 
magnitude earthquake jolted Honshu, Japan. In 2010, there were 
two powerful earthquakes within a month of each other--the 
January 12 earthquake in Haiti and the February 27, 8.8 
magnitude earthquake in Chile. Combined, these earthquakes 
caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries and a 
tremendous amount of property damage. Some caused tsunamis that 
washed away towns and resulted in damage in other countries. 
Here in the United States, the most recent devastating 
earthquakes were over 20 years ago in California: the October 
17, 1989, Loma Prieta 6.9 earthquake, which resulted in 63 
deaths and thousands of injuries and the January 17, 1994, 
Northridge 6.7 earthquake, which resulted in 57 deaths, more 
than 5,000 injured, and an estimated $20 billion in property 
damage.
    Every state has the potential for earthquakes, and the 
Geological Survey estimates that ``42 of the 50 states have a 
reasonable chance of experiencing damaging ground shaking from 
an earthquake in 50 years (the typical lifetime of a 
building).''\2\ Earthquakes pose a national challenge because 
75 million Americans live in areas of significant seismic risk. 
Unlike hurricanes, tornados, and other storms, earthquakes 
strike without warning and may trigger devastating secondary 
effects, such as landslides, fires, tsunamis, and nuclear 
meltdowns. The damage wrought by earthquakes has a significant 
impact on people, infrastructure, and the economy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/new-insight-
on-the-nations-earthquake-hazards/
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 1471 clarifies that activities to help reduce the risk 
of future damage, hardship, loss or suffering in an area 
affected by earthquake hazards are eligible for hazard 
mitigation grant program assistance from FEMA. The Committee 
urges FEMA to encourage states at high risk from earthquake 
hazards to allocate hazard mitigation assistance to communities 
to conduct activities to reduce potential earthquake damage and 
loss. More specifically, the Committee clarifies that hazard 
mitigation assistance may be used to improve regional seismic 
and geodetic networks in support of building a capability for 
earthquake early warning, include seismometers, GPS receivers, 
and associated infrastructure.

Other issues

            Fuel Delivery in the Wake of Disasters
    The lack of accessible aviation, diesel and unleaded fuel 
in the first hours of disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina and 
Superstorm Sandy, results in delayed response times for first 
responders and other critical resources. After action reports 
from each of these incidents identify the lack of 
uncontaminated mobile fuel as one of the biggest challenges 
throughout the entire disaster response, yet little has been 
done to address the issue in a substantive manner.
    FEMA's current model of providing bulk fuel to its regions 
to meet fuel demands during disasters has proved woefully 
inadequate. To address this shortfall, the 2006 White House 
Report on ``Hurricane Katrina Lessons Learned'' specifically 
stated: ``FEMA's pre-positioned supplies proved inadequate to 
meet these demands throughout the region after landfall.'' The 
same report highlighted the consequence: ``Emergency responders 
conducting life-saving operations demanded additional supplies 
and fuel.'' The situation during Hurricane Sandy was no better 
as multiple C-130 aircraft were used to fly fuel supplies into 
the region when FEMA efforts proved insufficient.
    The Committee requests a briefing from FEMA on the policies 
and procedures enacted, or progress made, to address these 
critical shortcomings in its preparedness and how it intends to 
make mobile aviation, diesel and unleaded fuel available during 
disasters within the first 72-hours and throughout the duration 
of the response and recovery period. The Committee would also 
like to hear the specific steps FEMA is taking to develop 
doctrine that will, among other things, aid in the development 
of policies and procedures that allow for the effective 
accountability of mobile fuel distribution assets including 
real-time tracking and monitoring of fuel levels and 
distribution rates as well as how contaminated fuel in the 
affected area can be filtered, transported and distributed 
within affected areas throughout disaster recovery.
            Office of National Capital Region Coordination
    The Committee finds that unlike other parts of the country, 
a disaster in the National Capital Region affects not a city or 
a region, but the Nation itself because the National Capital 
Region is the seat of the federal government, including the 
Capitol, the Supreme Court, the White House, the headquarters 
of its agencies, and many secure facilities and iconic 
monuments. Even after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 
2001, which targeted the National Capital Region, the region 
has faced several unprecedented emergencies, including the so-
called ``snowmageddon'' in 2010 that shut down the region for 
days, the earthquake of 2011, Hurricane Sandy, the Navy Yard 
shooting on September 16, 2013, and other emergencies that have 
affected the federal government as a whole. These emergencies 
have also impacted public and private entities in Maryland, the 
District of Columbia, and Virginia, including residents and 
visitors. Major natural disasters and terrorist attacks 
occurring anywhere in the National Capital Region require a 
significant coordinated response.
    The Committee recognizes that for this reason, Congress, in 
the wake of 9/11, created the Office of National Capital Region 
Coordination (ONCRC), now located under FEMA. The ONCRC helps 
develop and coordinate strategic plans to improve the National 
Capital Region's ability to prevent, prepare for, respond to, 
and recover from natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The 
term ``National Capital Region'' is defined in section 
2674(f)(2) of title 10 of the United States Code as the 
geographic area located within the boundaries of the District 
of Columbia; Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in the 
State of Maryland; Arlington, Fairfax, Loudon, and Prince 
William Counties and the City of Alexandria in the Commonwealth 
of Virginia; and all cities and local units of government in 
these geographic areas.
    The Committee is concerned that on July 2, 2013, FEMA 
announced that it would realign the ONCRC and relocate the 
office to the FEMA Region 3 office in Philadelphia, PA, 
hundreds of miles away. Not only was this decision wholly 
inconsistent with legislative direction provided by Congress, 
but the proposed realignment was developed without any 
stakeholder input. The realignment also proposed to reduce 
ONCRC staff and budget by over 30 percent. This move would 
weaken this office, which has been under scrutiny for years for 
failing to meet its mission of assisting emergency management 
officials in the National Capital Region. For example, a recent 
GAO report found that the ONCRC failed to assist regional 
officials in developing performance measures or in identifying 
funding for preparedness investments.
    Congress was so concerned by this proposal that it directed 
FEMA to cease all realignment activities, assess the office, 
and develop a plan for meeting the statutory mandate of the 
ONCRC, as laid out in the Homeland Security Act. The Committee 
requests FEMA fully inform it of any proposed restructuring 
before the office is relocated.
            Flooding on Agricultural lands
    The Committee understands that some areas of the Wallkill 
River in New York are subject to frequent and severe flooding, 
resulting in billions of dollars in damage. Orange County, New 
York has sought to use hazard mitigation funds, made available 
through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, to mitigate 
this flood issue. The Committee requests FEMA to determine 
which funds may be used to assist these communities in their 
mitigation efforts, including but not limited to the funds 
available through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act.
            Issues in Indian country
    Disasters that occur in Indian country often involve lands 
administered by the Department of the Interior (DOI). Many DOI 
agencies may have resources available that could be used to 
assist in disaster response and recovery. The Committee has 
received testimony indicating that better coordination between 
FEMA and DOI agencies, specifically the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs, could improve response and immediate recovery 
operations to future disasters in Indian country, specifically 
coordination in acquisition of response and recovery supplies 
and resources. The Committee encourages FEMA to enter into 
Memoranda of Agreements or revisit existing protocols with DOI 
to ensure that appropriate accounting, reimbursement 
mechanisms, and other issues are in place for Indian tribes to 
obtain the necessary supplies they may need in future 
disasters.
    The Committee has also received testimony indicating that 
confusion exists among regional FEMA personnel regarding 
disaster that occur on tribal lands. Specifically, when FEMA 
calculates initial damage thresholds to determine whether a 
disaster declaration should be made or the type of assistance 
to provide improvements and structures on lands held in trust 
for Indian tribes are being excluded. The Committee urges FEMA 
to provide guidance to regional FEMA personnel clarifying that 
improvements and structures on Indian trust land should be 
included in calculating all applicable damages thresholds.
            Disaster Declarations
    The Committee understands that when the regional 
administrators of FEMA recommend disapproval of a major 
disaster declaration request (pursuant to 44 CFR 206.37) the 
rationale behind such recommendation may not be available to 
the requesting Governor. The Committee urges FEMA to provide 
such rationale to the relevant Governor(s) for the purposes of 
ensuring there is appropriate transparency in the process and 
an understanding on the part of the Governor in making 
determinations associated with future disasters.
            Guidance to States on Emergency Declaration
    The Stafford Act, as originally drafted and carefully 
amended to maintain, ensures that FEMA has broad authority and 
flexibility to assist state, tribal and local governments in 
the wake of a disaster or emergency, when necessary. In the 
past year, the Nation has seen multiple scenarios that are 
poised to challenge the federal government's traditional 
definitions of disasters and emergencies, as well as the 
assistance that might be eligible under the Stafford Act 
programs. The Committee recommends that FEMA develop clear 
guidance to inform states on how to work with FEMA in these 
``nontraditional'' events and, when necessary, what information 
should be included in a disaster or emergency request. FEMA 
should also include in that guidance information on specific 
assistance that may be available or eligible for reimbursement, 
as lessons are learned from these responses.
    For example, in January 2014, a chemical leaked into the 
Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia. While the President 
issued an emergency declaration, it was limited to direct 
federal assistance. It was clear from the response that this 
was a unique situation for FEMA. Over time, FEMA has developed 
its rules, regulations and guidance based on other 
``traditional'' types of incidents requiring emergency 
declarations, and, as a result FEMA interpreted its rules, 
regulations and guidance during the Elk River chemical leak in 
a limited and narrow manner. The Committee recommends FEMA 
ensure that its rules, regulations, and guidance are 
interpreted in manner that makes it possible to provide 
disaster assistance to local governments who are addressing the 
unique challenges of something like a chemical spill. For 
example, the State of West Virginia is very concerned that they 
were unable to obtain reimbursements for the costs to test the 
water to ensure the safety of local residents. This sort of 
assistance would likely have been viewed as an eligible, 
reimbursable expense under other declarations. The unique 
nature of the Elk River chemical spill should also be viewed by 
FEMA as a case study in how to respond to future chemical 
spills nationwide, whether intentional or otherwise.
            Report on Disaster Resistant Construction
    The Committee requests FEMA report to the Committee on 
specific guidance for disaster resistant construction 
techniques intended to reduce the impact of major disasters or 
hazards. The report should focus on the methods that can be 
employed to create disaster resistant communities to reduce 
loss of life and property and should include a summary of 
existing guidance and policies, the hazards against which they 
are intended to mitigate, and, FEMA's process for reviewing and 
updating its guidance. In addition, the report should make use 
of existing Building Science Branch guidance and identify any 
gaps that exist. The Committee further believes it is important 
to ensure such guidance is readily available to key 
stakeholders. The Committee requests that the report be made 
available to all state governments to ensure such guidance can 
be considered and applied where appropriate.
            Pre-Disaster Mitigation
    The Committee continues to support the Pre-Disaster 
Mitigation (PDM) program to reduce the costs of future 
disasters. The Congressional Budget Office and the National 
Institute of Building Sciences concluded in separate studies 
that mitigation projects significantly reduce disaster losses 
and future federal disaster spending. Pre-disaster Mitigation 
grant projects are particularly cost effective because they are 
selected through a national competitive process. As a result, 
PDM projects are most likely to result in the largest 
reductions in federal flood insurance and disaster payments.
            Mitigation Policies and Planning
    The Committee remains committed to smart mitigation 
policies. The Committee expects FEMA to require mitigation 
plans based on cost-beneficial projects that are established 
through measurable, reliable, empirical data. The amount of 
available mitigation funding is significantly less than the 
number of potential projects and should be directed towards 
projects with the highest cost benefit rates.
    The Committee is concerned about FEMA's recently issued 
policy, ``Limits on Subsurface Uses of Hazard Mitigation 
Assistance Acquired Lands'' (FP 302-405-46-1). This policy 
limits the ability of owners of repetitive flood loss 
properties to participate in home buyout programs. Home buyouts 
have the highest cost to benefit ratio because FEMA's program 
completely and permanently removes structures from harm's way 
to eliminate future disaster payments for those properties.
            Disaster Resilient Universities Network
    Colleges and universities are critical to the economic 
health of their surrounding communities. Often serving as 
regional if not national hubs for innovation and research, 
their ability to resume operations quickly following a disaster 
greatly speeds the recovery of the entire community. In 2000, 
six schools participated in the FEMA Disaster Resistant 
Universities pilot initiative. The intent of FEMA's initiative 
was to support university efforts to reduce and manage 
vulnerability to hazards. The pilot initiative yielded a grant 
program and a how-to guide focused on mitigation and risk 
reduction. The grant program was short-lived--there was only 
one funding cycle, and fewer than 20 schools received grant 
funding for campus mitigation planning.
    Several institutions of higher education kept the core 
concept of the Disaster Resilient Universities (DRU) alive. 
They saw the need for a practical, peer-to-peer network to 
support emergency management and disaster planning on their 
campuses. In 2005, the University of Oregon started the 
Disaster Resilient Universities (DRU) listserv with 35 members. 
The listserv quickly became the cornerstone of the DRU Network 
and served as a multidisciplinary, practitioner-based 
communication resource. The goal was simple: facilitate open 
communication, discussion, and resource sharing among 
university and college practitioners charged with making the 
Nation's campuses more disaster resilient. As of 2015, there 
are over 1,200 members on the DRU listserv.
    The DRU concept has continued to evolve over time. Key to 
the evolution was the formation of the University and College 
Caucus (UCC) under the International Association of Emergency 
Managers. The DRU Network and UCC have developed a number of 
tools and resources on a peer-to-peer multidisciplinary basis. 
These include: DRU listserv and repository; Annual University 
and College Caucus workshop; regional DRU summits; 
practitioner-based training and course development in 
partnership with FEMA Emergency Management Institute; standards 
and resilience crosswalk tool; higher education guidance for 
the Emergency Management Accreditation Program, and DRU 
incident tracking system.
    Over the past year, the International Association of 
Emergency Managers--Universities and College Caucus and 
Disaster Resilient Universities network has been working to 
develop the first National Intercollegiate Mutual Aid 
Agreement. The National Intercollegiate Mutual Aid Agreement 
among colleges and universities will provide a peer-to-peer 
network for institutions of higher education to coordinate 
assistance and share resources during emergencies. The 
Committee recognizes this as a positive step forward to 
protecting the mission of our nation's universities and 
colleges and commends the DRU and UCC for advancing disaster 
resilience on our nation's campuses.

                                Hearings

    The Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, 
and Emergency Management, held the following hearings and 
roundtable discussions on subjects related to matters contained 
in H.R. 1471 during the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses:
    ``Improving the Nation's Response to Catastrophic 
Disasters: How to Minimize Costs and Streamline our Emergency 
Management Programs'' held on March 30, 2011. The purpose of 
the hearing was to examine preparedness and response as it 
related to catastrophic disasters in the wake of the earthquake 
in Japan and how costs could be minimized and the process 
streamlined.
    ``FEMA Reauthorization and Cutting the Red Tape in 
Recovery'' held on July 14, 2011. The purpose of the hearing 
was to examine the issues of communities recovering from a 
disaster in the context of FEMA reauthorization.
    ``FEMA Reauthorization: Recovering Quicker and Smarter'' 
held on September 18, 2013. The purpose of the hearing was to 
review recovery efforts to Hurricane Sandy, the tornadoes in 
Oklahoma and other disasters to ensure effective coordination 
among federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in helping 
communities to recover in a quicker and smarter way.
    ``FEMA Reauthorization: Ensuring the Nation is Prepared'' 
held on October 2, 2013. The purpose of the hearing was to 
examine FEMA's IPAWS and USAR System to evaluate the need for 
reform legislation in the context of a proposed reauthorization 
of FEMA.
    ``Disaster Mitigation: Reducing Costs and Saving Lives'' 
held on April 3, 2014. The purpose of the hearing was to review 
how disaster mitigation programs can save lives, reduce damage 
to property, and reduce costs at all levels, including costs to 
communities and individual property owners, and focus on how 
the federal government can encourage the utilization of these 
mitigation efforts at the state and local levels.
    ``Rebuilding after the Storm: Lessening Impacts and 
Speeding Recovery'' held on January 27, 2015. The purpose of 
the hearing was to launch an assessment of the rising costs of 
disasters, the cost effectiveness of disaster assistance, 
strategies to reduce disaster losses, and the appropriate roles 
of government and the private sector, and to consider reforms 
to save lives through improved alerts and warning systems and 
search and rescue.
    ``What is Driving the Increasing Costs and Rising Losses 
from Disasters?'' held on March 18, 2015. The purpose of the 
roundtable was to examine and discuss data related to disaster 
costs, the trends observed over time, and the projections for 
the future given the policies in place today.
    ``Pacific Northwest Seismic Hazards: Planning and Preparing 
for the Next Disaster'' held on May 19, 2015. The purpose of 
the hearing was to assess FEMA's role in earthquake hazard 
preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery, and to 
examine the efforts of the Pacific Northwest and seismic hazard 
experts to reduce disaster impacts and build stronger 
communities.
    ``The State of Pennsylvania and FEMA Region III are Leaders 
in Mitigating Disaster Costs and Losses'' held on May 28, 2015. 
The purpose of the roundtable was to examine disaster costs and 
losses, focus on hazards impacting Pennsylvania and the region, 
and identify best practices for mitigating and avoiding 
disaster impacts.
    ``Federal Disaster Assistance: Roles, Programs and 
Coordination'' held on June 17, 2015. The purpose of the 
roundtable was to examine and discuss federal disaster 
assistance programs, the requirements and effectiveness of 
those programs, and coordination among various agencies and 
stakeholders.

                 Legislative History and Consideration

    On March 19, 2015, Subcommittee on Economic Development, 
Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Chairman Lou 
Barletta (R-PA) introduced H.R. 1471, a bill to reauthorize the 
programs and activities of the FEMA, along with Subcommittee 
Ranking Member Andre Carson (D-IN), Chairman Bill Shuster (R-
PA) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
    On April 15, 2015, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session to consider H.R. 1471. The 
Committee considered two amendments--the amendment offered by 
Jeff Denham (R-CA) was offered and withdrawn. The Committee 
adopted one amendment by voice vote--a manager's amendment 
offered by Subcommittee Chairman Lou Barletta (R-PA). The 
Committee ordered the bill, as amended, reported favorably to 
the House by voice vote with a quorum present.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each committee report to include the 
total number of votes cast for and against on each record vote 
on a motion to report and on any amendment offered to the 
measure or matter, and the names of those members voting for 
and against. There were no recorded votes taken in connection 
with consideration of H.R. 1471, as amended, or ordering the 
measure reported. A motion to order H.R. 1471, as amended, 
reported favorably to the House was agreed to by voice vote 
with a quorum present.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1471, as amended, 
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, July 9, 2015.
Hon. Bill Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1471, the FEMA 
Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Martin von 
Gnechten.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1471--FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015

    Summary: H.R. 1471 would authorize appropriations totaling 
$3.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 
over the 2016-2018 period, CBO estimates. Those authorizations 
include about $2.8 billion for FEMA salaries and expenses. H.R. 
1471 also would expand the availability of assistance for 
mitigating hazards related to wildfires. Based on historical 
spending patterns, CBO estimates that implementing the 
legislation would cost about $3 billion over the 2016-2020 
period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    Enacting this legislation would affect direct spending; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO 
estimates that there would be no net effect on direct spending 
over the 2016-2025 period. Enacting the bill would not affect 
revenues.
    H.R. 1471 would impose intergovernmental and private-sector 
mandates, as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(UMRA), by eliminating an existing right to seek compensation 
for damages and by requiring employers to allow members of the 
urban search and rescue (US&R;) response system to reclaim their 
jobs upon completing a deployment to a disaster. Based on 
information from FEMA, CBO estimates that the cost to comply 
with the mandates would fall below the annual thresholds 
established in UMRA for intergovernmental and private-sector 
mandates ($77 million and $154 million, respectively, in 2015, 
adjusted annually for inflation).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1471 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--
                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   2016       2017       2018       2019       2020    2016-2020
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
FEMA Salaries and Expenses
    Authorization Level.......................        947        947        947          0          0      2,841
    Estimated Outlays.........................        758        947        947        189          0      2,841
US&R; Response System
    Authorization Level.......................         50         50         50          0          0        150
    Estimated Outlays.........................         35         50         50         15          0        150
EMAC Grants
    Authorization Level.......................          2          2          2          0          0          6
    Estimated Outlays.........................          2          2          2          *          0          6
Offset of Reduced Recoupment
    Estimated Authorization Level.............         12          8          5          0          0         25
    Estimated Outlays.........................          7          8          7          2          1         25
Wildfire Mitigation
    Estimated Authorization Level.............          6          6          6          6          6         30
    Estimated Outlays.........................          *          2          3          5          6         16
    Total Changes
        Estimated Authorization Level.........      1,017      1,013      1,010          6          6      3,052
        Estimated Outlays.....................        802      1,009      1,009        212          6      3,038
 
                                           CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDINGa
 
Forgone Recoveries of Improper Payments
    Estimated Budget Authority................         12          8          5          0          0         25
    Estimated Outlays.........................         12          8          5          0          0         25
Reduced Spending of Forgone Recoveries
    Estimated Budget Authority................        -12         -8         -5          0          0        -25
    Estimated Outlays.........................         -7         -8         -7         -2         -1        -25
    Net Change
        Estimated Budget Authority............          0          0          0          0          0          0
        Estimated Outlays.....................          5          *         -2         -2         -1          0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
aEnacting the bill would not affect direct spending in years after 2020.
Note: FEMA = Federal Emergency Management Agency; US&R; = Urban Search and Rescue; EMAC = Emergency Management
  Assistance Compact; * = less than $500,000.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted near the end of fiscal year 2015, 
that the specified and estimated amounts will be appropriated 
for each year, and that outlays will follow historical patterns 
for the affected programs.

Changes in spending subject to appropriation

    In total, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would 
cost about $3 billion over the 2016-2020 period, assuming 
appropriation of the authorized and estimated amounts.
    FEMA Salaries and Expenses. FEMA is the federal 
government's lead agency in preparing for, protecting against, 
responding to, and recovering from all hazards, including 
natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made 
disasters. For fiscal year 2015, the Congress appropriated $899 
million for salaries and expenses of the agency. H.R. 1471 
would authorize the appropriation of $947 million for each of 
fiscal years 2016 through 2018 for those expenses. CBO 
estimates that total spending for FEMA's salaries and expenses 
would total about $2.8 billion over the 2016-2020 period.
    Urban Search and Rescue Response System. The legislation 
would authorize the appropriation of $50 million in each of 
fiscal years 2016 through 2018 for the US&R; Response System. In 
2015 $35 million was appropriated for this system. The US&R; 
Response System consists of multiple task forces that assist 
local responders in the location, extrication, and initial 
medical stabilization of victims trapped in confined spaces. 
The funding authorized for those purposes would be used to 
staff and train the task forces and to maintain the equipment 
used in training and responding to a disaster. The bill also 
would direct FEMA to establish a national network of rescue and 
response resources and to enter into cooperative agreements 
with sponsoring agencies to reimburse costs incurred to operate 
the US&R; Response System. CBO estimates that implementing this 
provision would cost $150 million over the next five years.
    Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) Grants. H.R. 
1471 would authorize the appropriation of $2 million in each of 
fiscal years 2016 through 2018 for grants to administer and 
coordinate activities under EMAC; those amounts are similar to 
the funding provided in recent years. EMAC is an agreement for 
interstate mutual-aid that enables member states to share 
resources during a declared disaster and is currently 
administered by the National Emergency Management Association 
(NEMA), a private association representing state emergency 
management directors. CBO estimates that providing grants to 
NEMA and EMAC participants would cost $6 million over 2016-2020 
period.
    Additional Spending for Forgone Recoveries of Improper 
Payments. H.R. 1471 would give FEMA the discretion to waive the 
repayment of improper payments provided through the Individuals 
and Households Program (IHP) in cases where the agency was at 
fault, but not in cases involving fraud or misrepresentation by 
the recipient. Under the bill, if the estimated rate of 
improper payments reaches 4 percent of IHP spending, the 
authority to waive those repayments would expire. The bill also 
would prevent FEMA from seeking to recoup improper payments 
provided through IHP after 3 years, unless there is evidence of 
fraud.
    Based on information from FEMA about the rate of improper 
IHP payments, and amounts that FEMA is expected to recoup (and 
spend) from amounts appropriated for IHP in previous years, CBO 
estimates that offsetting receipts and related direct spending 
would decline by $25 million over the 2016-2020 period. Because 
direct spending would decline by an estimated $25 million over 
the next 3 years, an increase in appropriations of the same 
amount would be necessary to cover expected disaster relief 
payments.
    Wildfire Mitigation. H.R. 1471 would authorize assistance 
for hazard mitigation in areas affected by wildfires. Under 
current law, FEMA may provide hazard mitigation funds to areas 
where the President has declared a major disaster. Under the 
bill, FEMA would be authorized to provide funds to areas 
affected by wildfires, regardless of whether the President has 
declared a major disaster. Based on information provided by 
FEMA, CBO estimates that providing additional funds would 
require about $6 million annually, and would cost $16 million 
over the 2016-2020 period.

Changes in direct spending

    Under current law, FEMA is required to recoup any improper 
payments made during the course of providing disaster 
assistance. Improper payments can result from, among other 
things, duplication of benefits (for example, receipt of two 
insurance payments for the same damage), processing errors, or 
fraud. Upon notification from FEMA, recipients of improper 
payments must repay those amounts in full, set up a payment 
plan, or request that FEMA waive all or part of the repayment 
based on their ability to pay. If payment is not received, the 
Treasury Department assumes responsibility for collecting the 
debt (along with any applicable interest and fee charges) 
through federal and state payment deductions, administrative 
wage garnishment, or referral to a private collection agency. 
All payments received through the recoupment process are 
deposited in FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund (DRF); those funds are 
available to spend in response to future disasters without 
further appropriation.
    H.R. 1471 would give FEMA the discretion to waive the 
repayment of improper payments provided through the Individuals 
and Households Program (IHP) in cases where the agency was at 
fault, but not in cases involving fraud or misrepresentation by 
the recipient. Under the bill, if the estimated rate of 
improper payments reaches 4 percent of IHP spending, then the 
authority to waive those repayments would expire. The bill also 
would prevent FEMA from seeking recoupment of improper payments 
provided through IHP after 3 years, unless there is evidence of 
fraud.
    Based on information from FEMA about the rate of improper 
IHP payments, and amounts that FEMA is expected to recoup (and 
spend) from amounts appropriated for IHP in previous years, CBO 
estimates that enacting those provisions would reduce 
offsetting receipts by $25 million over the 2016-2018 period. 
Those forgone receipts would be offset by a reduction in direct 
spending of the same amount; thus, there would be no net effect 
on direct spending over the 2016-2025 period.
    H.R. 1471 also would affect the recoupment of payments from 
future appropriations for IHP. Based on information provided by 
FEMA, CBO estimates those amounts would total around $5 million 
dollars annually and would be offset over time by equivalent 
reductions in spending. Recent historical rates of improper 
payments have averaged almost 2 percent of IHP payments; recent 
HIP payments, excluding large disasters such as Hurricane 
Sandy, have averaged about $230 million a year. Any recouped 
amounts from improper IHP payments would be contingent on 
future appropriations, consequently no subsequent reductions in 
offsetting receipts or direct spending would be attributed to 
H.R. 1471.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. The net changes in outlays that are subject to those 
pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the following table.

  CBO ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS FOR H.R. 1471 AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE ON APRIL I5, 2015
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025  2015-2020  2015-2025
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE DEFICIT
 
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact.......................      0      5      0     -2     -2     -I      0      0      0      0      0         0          0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1471 
would impose intergovernmental and private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. CBO estimates that the cost to comply with the 
mandates by state, local, and tribal governments and the 
private sector would fall below the annual thresholds 
established in UMRA for such mandates ($77 million and $154 
million, respectively, in 2015, adjusted annually for 
inflation).
    Under current law, members of search and rescue task forces 
have protection from tort liability when participating in 
federal preparedness activities. The bill would expand that 
protection to include training exercises. Such protection would 
impose a mandate because it would eliminate an existing right 
to seek compensation for damages. According to FEMA, no claims 
for damage have been filed regarding a training exercise, nor 
does the agency expect that any such claims would be filed 
under current law. Therefore, CBO estimates that the costs, if 
any, of this mandate would be minimal.
    The bill also would require employers to allow task force 
members who are deployed to a disaster to reclaim their jobs 
upon completion of their service. According to FEMA, there are 
currently about 5,500 workers in the system; the duration of 
deployment is usually less than one month; and in general, most 
employers currently allow workers to reclaim their positions. 
Thus, CBO estimates that the cost for public and private-sector 
employers to comply with the mandate would fall below the 
annual thresholds.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Martin von Gnechten; 
Impact on state, local, and tribal governments: Melissa 
Merrell; Impact on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goal and objective of this legislation, as amended, 
is to reauthorize the programs and activities of FEMA.

                          Advisory of Earmarks

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee is required to include a list 
of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of 
rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. No 
provision in the bill, as amended, includes an earmark, limited 
tax benefit, or limited tariff benefit under clause 9(e), 9(f), 
or 9(g) of rule XXI.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to section 3(g) of H. Res. 5, 114th Cong. (2015), 
the Committee finds that no provision of H.R. 1471, as amended, 
establishes or reauthorizes a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another federal program, a program 
that was included in any report from the GAO to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    Pursuant to section 3(i) of H. Res. 5, 114th Cong. (2015), 
the Committee finds that enacting H.R. 1471, as amended, does 
not direct the completion of a specific rule making within the 
meaning of section 551 of title 5, United States Code.

                       Federal Mandate 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 (Public Law 104-4).

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires 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 states that H.R. 1471, as amended, 
does not preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    H.R. 1471, as amended, requires a comprehensive study of 
disaster costs and losses through the existing National 
Advisory Council, as established pursuant to section 508 of the 
Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (6 U.S.C. 
318). H.R. 1471, as amended, also codifies an existing advisory 
committee for the Urban Search and Rescue System within the 
meaning of section 5(b) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
(FACA) and provides for any costs associated with such 
committee be provided for from the amounts authorized in the 
legislation.

                  Applicability of Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation, as amended, 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 
(Public Law 104-1).

               Section-by-Section Analysis of Legislation


Section 1: Short title; table of contents

    Section 1 designates the short title as the ``FEMA Disaster 
Assistance Reform Act of 2015.''

                     TITLE I--FEMA REAUTHORIZATION

Section 101: Reauthorization of the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
        (FEMA)

    This section reauthorizes FEMA through Fiscal Year 2018 at 
$947 million each year, consistent with current funding levels.

       TITLE II--COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF DISASTER COSTS AND LOSSES

Section 201: Comprehensive study of disaster costs and losses

    This section directs the National Advisory Council to 
undertake a comprehensive study into the trends related to 
disaster assistance, costs and losses and provide 
recommendations to reduce the costs related to these events.

               TITLE III--STAFFORD ACT AND OTHER PROGRAMS

Section 301: Reauthorization of Urban Search and Rescue Response System 
        (USAR)

    This section reauthorizes the USAR Response System at $50 
million through fiscal year 2018. This section also codifies 
the current USAR Response System in statute and clarifies 
liabilities and compensation issues related to participants in 
the System.
    This section is intended to codify workers' compensation 
and tort liability protections for the USAR system. It also 
provides protections under the Uniformed Services Employment 
and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and establishes licensing 
protection.

Section 302: Reauthorization of Emergency Management Assistance Compact 
        Grants

    This section reauthorizes the Emergency Management 
Assistance Compacts (EMAC) Grants at $2 million each year 
through fiscal year 2018, consistent with current funding 
levels.

Section 303: Nonprofit facilities

    This section clarifies existing eligibility of certain 
facilities for disaster assistance, including towers, antennas, 
transmitters, translators, and the structures and buildings 
that house such facilities.

Section 304: Statute of limitations

    This section reinstates the three-year statute of 
limitations on FEMA's ability to reclaim funds, based on a 
change in policy determination, after a state or local 
government has spent the funds on previously-determined 
eligible projects and when there is no evidence of fraud, waste 
or abuse.

Section 305: Action plan to improve field transition

    This section directs the Administrator to provide a plan 
for the development of consistent guidance to applicants on 
FEMA disaster funding, the maintenance of records and transfer 
of information, relieving administrative burdens, and the 
implementation of new technology tools during disaster response 
and recovery operations in the field.

Section 306: Simplified procedures

    This section raises the Public Assistance small projects 
threshold to $1 million.

Section 307: Management costs

    This section establishes fixed rates to reimburse states 
and local government for direct and indirect administrative 
costs incurred to implement disaster recovery projects.

Section 308: Debts owed to the United States related to disaster 
        assistance

    This section re-establishes the authority to waive the 
collection of certain debts from individuals where it was clear 
that the collection of those debts would be against equity and 
good conscience.

Section 309: Statute of limitations for debts owed to the United States 
        related to disaster assistance

    This section re-establishes a three-year statute of 
limitation for the identification and collection of funds from 
individuals that received disaster assistance, where there is 
no evidence of fraud, waste, or abuse.

Section 310: Technical assistance and recommendations

    This section directs the Administrator of FEMA to provide 
technical assistance to common interest communities on actions 
the common interest community may take to be eligible for 
certain disaster assistance. This section also requires the 
Administrator of FEMA to provide recommendations on how common 
areas of condominiums and housing cooperatives may be eligible 
for disaster assistance.

Section 311: Local impact

    This section directs the Administrator of FEMA to give 
greater weight and consideration to severe localized impacts 
when making major disaster declaration recommendations to the 
President.

Section 312: Proof of insurance

    This section allows for a State to have met FEMA's proof of 
insurance requirements for an individual property owner when 
the title to that property has been encumbered requiring the 
purchase and maintenance of insurance.

              TITLE IV--WILDFIRE PREVENTION AND MITIGATION

Section 401: Wildfire assistance

    This section authorizes mitigation funds related to fire 
management assistance.

Section 402: Additional activities

    This section clarifies the eligibility of certain 
mitigation activities related to wildfires and earthquakes.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

          POST-KATRINA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT REFORM ACT OF 2006




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE VI--NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle C--Comprehensive Preparedness System

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                   CHAPTER 2--ADDITIONAL PREPAREDNESS


[SEC. 661. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT GRANTS.

  [(a) In General.--The Administrator may make grants to 
administer the Emergency Management Assistance Compact 
consented to by the Joint Resolution entitled ``Joint 
Resolution granting the consent of Congress to the Emergency 
Management Assistance Compact'' (Public Law 104-321; 110 Stat. 
3877).
  [(b) Uses.--A grant under this section shall be used--
          [(1) to carry out recommendations identified in the 
        Emergency Management Assistance Compact after-action 
        reports for the 2004 and 2005 hurricane season;
          [(2) to administer compact operations on behalf of 
        all member States and territories;
          [(3) to continue coordination with the Agency and 
        appropriate Federal agencies;
          [(4) to continue coordination with State, local, and 
        tribal government entities and their respective 
        national organizations; and
          [(5) to assist State and local governments, emergency 
        response providers, and organizations representing such 
        providers with credentialing emergency response 
        providers and the typing of emergency response 
        resources.
  [(c) Coordination.--The Administrator shall consult with the 
Administrator of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to 
ensure effective coordination of efforts in responding to 
requests for assistance.
  [(d) Authorization.--There is authorized to be appropriated 
to carry out this section $4,000,000 for fiscal year 2008. Such 
sums shall remain available until expended.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              Subtitle G--Authorization of Appropriations

SEC. 699. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
title and the amendments made by this title for the 
[administration and operations] management and administration 
of the Agency--
          (1) for fiscal year 2008, an amount equal to the 
        amount appropriated for fiscal year 2007 for 
        [administration and operations] management and 
        administration of the Agency, multiplied by 1.1;
          (2) for fiscal year 2009, an amount equal to the 
        amount described in paragraph (1), multiplied by 1.1[; 
        and]
          (3) for fiscal year 2010, an amount equal to the 
        amount described in paragraph (2), multiplied by 
        1.1[.]; and
          (4) for fiscal year 2016, $946,982,000;
          (5) for fiscal year 2017, $946,982,000; and
          (6) for fiscal year 2018, $946,982,000.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


    ROBERT T. STAFFORD DISASTER RELIEF AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE ACT



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE I--FINDINGS, DECLARATIONS, AND DEFINITIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                              definitions

  Sec. 102. As used in this Act--
          (1) Emergency.-- ``Emergency'' means any occasion or 
        instance for which, in the determination of the 
        President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement 
        State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives 
        and to protect property and public health and safety, 
        or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in 
        any part of the United States.
          (2) Major disaster.-- ``Major disaster'' means any 
        natural catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, 
        storm, high water, winddriven water, tidal wave, 
        tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, 
        mudslide, snowstorm, or drought), or, regardless of 
        cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of 
        the United States, which in the determination of the 
        President causes damage of sufficient severity and 
        magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance under 
        this Act to supplement the efforts and available 
        resources of States, local governments, and disaster 
        relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, 
        hardship, or suffering caused thereby.
          (3) ``United States'' means the fifty States, the 
        District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, 
        Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the 
        Northern Mariana Islands.
          (4) ``State'' means any State of the United States, 
        the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin 
        Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of 
        the Northern Mariana Islands.
          (5) ``Governor'' means the chief executive of any 
        State.
          (6) Indian tribal government.--The term ``Indian 
        tribal government'' means the governing body of any 
        Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, 
        village, or community that the Secretary of the 
        Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe under 
        the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 
        (25 U.S.C. 479a et seq.).
          (7) Individual with a disability.--The term 
        ``individual with a disability'' means an individual 
        with a disability as defined in section 3(2) of the 
        Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 
        12102(2)).
          (8) Local government.--The term ``local government'' 
        means--
                  (A) a county, municipality, city, town, 
                township, local public authority, school 
                district, special district, intrastate 
                district, council of governments (regardless of 
                whether the council of governments is 
                incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under 
                State law), regional or interstate government 
                entity, or agency or instrumentality of a local 
                government;
                  (B) an Indian tribe or authorized tribal 
                organization, or Alaska Native village or 
                organization, that is not an Indian tribal 
                government as defined in paragraph (6); and
                  (C) a rural community, unincorporated town or 
                village, or other public entity, for which an 
                application for assistance is made by a State 
                or political subdivision of a State.
          (9) ``Federal agency'' means any department, 
        independent establishment, Government corporation, or 
        other agency of the executive branch of the Federal 
        Government, including the United States Postal Service, 
        but shall not include the American National Red Cross.
          (10) Public facility.-- ``Public facility'' means the 
        following facilities owned by a State or local 
        government:
                  (A) Any flood control, navigation, 
                irrigation, reclamation, public power, sewage 
                treatment and collection, water supply and 
                distribution, watershed development, or airport 
                facility.
                  (B) Any non-Federal-aid street, road, or 
                highway.
                  (C) Any other public building, structure, or 
                system, including those used for educational, 
                recreational, or cultural purposes.
                  (D) Any park.
          (11) Private nonprofit facility.--
                  (A) In general.--The term ``private nonprofit 
                facility'' means private nonprofit educational, 
                utility, irrigation, emergency, medical, 
                rehabilitational, and temporary or permanent 
                custodial care facilities (including those for 
                the aged and disabled) and facilities on Indian 
                reservations, as defined by the President.
                  [(B) Additional facilities.--In addition to 
                the facilities described in subparagraph (A), 
                the term ``private nonprofit facility'' 
                includes any private nonprofit facility that 
                provides essential services of a governmental 
                nature to the general public (including 
                museums, zoos, performing arts facilities, 
                community arts centers, libraries, homeless 
                shelters, senior citizen centers, 
                rehabilitation facilities, shelter workshops, 
                and facilities that provide health and safety 
                services of a governmental nature), as defined 
                by the President.]
                  (B) Additional facilities.--In addition to 
                the facilities described in subparagraph (A), 
                the term ``private nonprofit facility'' 
                includes any private nonprofit facility that 
                provides essential services of a governmental 
                nature to the general public (including 
                museums, zoos, performing arts facilities, 
                community arts centers, libraries, homeless 
                shelters, senior citizen centers, 
                rehabilitation facilities, shelter workshops, 
                public broadcasting facilities, and facilities 
                that provide health and safety services of a 
                governmental nature), as defined by the 
                President.
          (12) Chief executive.--The term ``Chief Executive'' 
        means the person who is the Chief, Chairman, Governor, 
        President, or similar executive official of an Indian 
        tribal government.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE III--MAJOR DISASTER AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE ADMINISTRATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 322. MITIGATION PLANNING.

  (a) Requirement of Mitigation Plan.--As a condition of 
receipt of an increased Federal share for hazard mitigation 
measures under subsection (e), a State, local, or tribal 
government shall develop and submit for approval to the 
President a mitigation plan that outlines processes for 
identifying the natural hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities of 
the area under the jurisdiction of the government.
  (b) Local and Tribal Plans.--Each mitigation plan developed 
by a local or tribal government shall--
          (1) describe actions to mitigate hazards, risks, and 
        vulnerabilities identified under the plan; and
          (2) establish a strategy to implement those actions.
  (c) State Plans.--The State process of development of a 
mitigation plan under this section shall--
          (1) identify the natural hazards, risks, and 
        vulnerabilities of areas in the State;
          (2) support development of local mitigation plans;
          (3) provide for technical assistance to local and 
        tribal governments for mitigation planning; and
          (4) identify and prioritize mitigation actions that 
        the State will support, as resources become available.
  (d) Funding.--
          (1) In general.--Federal contributions under section 
        404 may be used to fund the development and updating of 
        mitigation plans under this section.
          (2) Maximum federal contribution.--With respect to 
        any mitigation plan, a State, local, or tribal 
        government may use an amount of Federal contributions 
        under section 404 not to exceed 7 percent of the amount 
        of such contributions available to the government as of 
        a date determined by the government.
  (e) Increased Federal Share for Hazard Mitigation Measures.--
          (1) In general.--If, at the time of the declaration 
        of a major disaster or event under section 420, a State 
        has in effect an approved mitigation plan under this 
        section, the President may increase to 20 percent, with 
        respect to the major disaster or event under section 
        420, the maximum percentage specified in the last 
        sentence of section 404(a).
          (2) Factors for consideration.--In determining 
        whether to increase the maximum percentage under 
        paragraph (1), the President shall consider whether the 
        State has established--
                  (A) eligibility criteria for property 
                acquisition and other types of mitigation 
                measures;
                  (B) requirements for cost effectiveness that 
                are related to the eligibility criteria;
                  (C) a system of priorities that is related to 
                the eligibility criteria; and
                  (D) a process by which an assessment of the 
                effectiveness of a mitigation action may be 
                carried out after the mitigation action is 
                complete.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 324. MANAGEMENT COSTS.

  (a) Definition of Management Cost.--In this section, the term 
``management cost'' includes any indirect cost, [any 
administrative expense, and any other expense not directly 
chargeable to] direct administrative cost, and any other 
administrative expense associated with a specific project under 
a major disaster, emergency, or disaster preparedness or 
mitigation activity or measure.
  (b) Establishment of Management Cost Rates.--
[Notwithstanding]
          (1) In general._Notwithstanding any other provision 
        of law (including any administrative rule or guidance), 
        the President shall by regulation [establish] implement 
        the following: management cost rates, for grantees and 
        subgrantees, that shall be used to determine 
        contributions under this Act for management costs.
          (2) Specific management costs.--The Administrator 
        shall provide the following percentage rates, in 
        addition to the eligible project costs, to cover direct 
        and indirect costs of administering the following 
        programs:
                  (A) Hazard mitigation.--A grantee under 
                section 404 may be reimbursed not more than 15 
                percent of the total amount of the grant award 
                under such section of which not more than 10 
                percent may be used by the grantee and 5 
                percent by the subgrantee for such costs.
                  (B) Public assistance.--A grantee under 
                sections 403, 406, 407, and 502, may be 
                reimbursed not more than 10 percent of the 
                total award amount under such sections, of 
                which not more than 6 percent may be used by 
                the grantee and 4 percent by the subgrantee for 
                such costs.
  (c) Review.--The President shall review the management cost 
rates established under subsection (b) not later than 3 years 
after the date of establishment of the rates and periodically 
thereafter.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 327. NATIONAL URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE RESPONSE SYSTEM.

  (a) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions 
apply:
          (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means 
        the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management 
        Agency.
          (2) Agency.--The term ``Agency'' means the Federal 
        Emergency Management Agency.
          (3) Hazard.--The term ``hazard'' has the meaning 
        given that term by section 602.
          (4) Nonemployee system member.--The term 
        ``nonemployee System member'' means a System member not 
        employed by a sponsoring agency or participating 
        agency.
          (5) Participating agency.--The term ``participating 
        agency'' means a State or local government, nonprofit 
        organization, or private organization that has executed 
        an agreement with a sponsoring agency to participate in 
        the System.
          (6) Sponsoring agency.--The term ``sponsoring 
        agency'' means a State or local government that is the 
        sponsor of a task force designated by the Administrator 
        to participate in the System.
          (7) System.--The term ``System'' means the National 
        Urban Search and Rescue Response System to be 
        administered under this section.
          (8) System member.--The term ``System member'' means 
        an individual who is not a full-time employee of the 
        Federal Government and who serves on a task force or on 
        a System management or other technical team.
          (9) Task force.--The term ``task force'' means an 
        urban search and rescue team designated by the 
        Administrator to participate in the System.
  (b) General Authority.--Subject to the requirements of this 
section, the Administrator shall continue to administer the 
emergency response system known as the National Urban Search 
and Rescue Response System.
  (c) Functions.--In administering the System, the 
Administrator shall provide for a national network of 
standardized search and rescue resources to assist States and 
local governments in responding to hazards.
  (d) Task Forces.--
          (1) Designation.--The Administrator shall designate 
        task forces to participate in the System. The 
        Administration shall determine the criteria for such 
        participation.
          (2) Sponsoring agencies.--Each task force shall have 
        a sponsoring agency. The Administrator shall enter into 
        an agreement with the sponsoring agency with respect to 
        the participation of each task force in the System.
          (3) Composition.--
                  (A) Participating agencies.--A task force may 
                include, at the discretion of the sponsoring 
                agency, one or more participating agencies. The 
                sponsoring agency shall enter into an agreement 
                with each participating agency with respect to 
                the participation of the participating agency 
                on the task force.
                  (B) Other individuals.--A task force may also 
                include, at the discretion of the sponsoring 
                agency, other individuals not otherwise 
                associated with the sponsoring agency or a 
                participating agency. The sponsoring agency of 
                a task force may enter into a separate 
                agreement with each such individual with 
                respect to the participation of the individual 
                on the task force.
  (e) Management and Technical Teams.--The Administrator shall 
maintain such management teams and other technical teams as the 
Administrator determines are necessary to administer the 
System.
  (f) Appointment of System Members Into Federal Service.--
          (1) In general.--The Administrator may appoint a 
        System member into Federal service for a period of 
        service to provide for the participation of the System 
        member in exercises, preincident staging, major 
        disaster and emergency response activities, and 
        training events sponsored or sanctioned by the 
        Administrator.
          (2) Nonapplicability of certain civil service laws.--
        The Administrator may make appointments under paragraph 
        (1) without regard to the provisions of title 5, United 
        States Code, governing appointments in the competitive 
        service.
          (3) Relationship to other authorities.--The authority 
        of the Administrator to make appointments under this 
        subsection shall not affect any other authority of the 
        Administrator under this Act.
          (4) Limitation.--A System member who is appointed 
        into Federal service under paragraph (1) shall not be 
        considered an employee of the United States for 
        purposes other than those specifically set forth in 
        this section.
  (g) Compensation.--
          (1) Pay of system members.--Subject to such terms and 
        conditions as the Administrator may impose by 
        regulation, the Administrator shall make payments to 
        the sponsoring agency of a task force--
                  (A) to reimburse each employer of a System 
                member on the task force for compensation paid 
                by the employer to the System member for any 
                period during which the System member is 
                appointed into Federal service under subsection 
                (f)(1); and
                  (B) to make payments directly to a 
                nonemployee System member on the task force for 
                any period during which the non-employee System 
                member is appointed into Federal service under 
                subsection (f)(1).
          (2) Reimbursement for employees filling positions of 
        system members.--
                  (A) In general.--Subject to such terms and 
                conditions as the Administrator may impose by 
                regulation, the Administrator shall make 
                payments to the sponsoring agency of a task 
                force to reimburse each employer of a System 
                member on the task force for compensation paid 
                by the employer to an employee filling a 
                position normally filled by the System member 
                for any period during which the System member 
                is appointed into Federal service under 
                subsection (f)(1).
                  (B) Limitation.--Costs incurred by an 
                employer shall be eligible for reimbursement 
                under subparagraph (A) only to the extent that 
                the costs are in excess of the costs that would 
                have been incurred by the employer had the 
                System member not been appointed into Federal 
                service under subsection (f)(1).
          (3) Method of payment.--A System member shall not be 
        entitled to pay directly from the Agency for a period 
        during which the System member is appointed into 
        Federal service under subsection (f)(1).
  (h) Personal Injury, Illness, Disability, or Death.--
          (1) In general.--A System member who is appointed 
        into Federal service under subsection (f)(1) and who 
        suffers personal injury, illness, disability, or death 
        as a result of a personal injury sustained while acting 
        in the scope of such appointment shall, for the 
        purposes of subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, 
        United States Code, be treated as though the member 
        were an employee (as defined by section 8101 of that 
        title) who had sustained the injury in the performance 
        of duty.
          (2) Election of benefits.--
                  (A) In general.--If a System member (or, in 
                the case of the death of the System member, the 
                System member's dependent) is entitled--
                          (i) under paragraph (1) to receive 
                        benefits under subchapter I of chapter 
                        81 of title 5, United States Code, by 
                        reason of personal injury, illness, 
                        disability, or death, and
                          (ii) to receive benefits from a State 
                        or local government by reason of the 
                        same personal injury, illness, 
                        disability, or death,
                the System member or dependent shall elect to 
                receive either the benefits referred to in 
                clause (i) or (ii).
                  (B) Deadline.--A System member or dependent 
                shall make an election of benefits under 
                subparagraph (A) not later than 1 year after 
                the date of the personal injury, illness, 
                disability, or death that is the reason for the 
                benefits or until such later date as the 
                Secretary of Labor may allow for reasonable 
                cause shown.
                  (C) Effect of election.--An election of 
                benefits made under this paragraph is 
                irrevocable unless otherwise provided by law.
          (3) Reimbursement for state or local benefits.--
        Subject to such terms and conditions as the 
        Administrator may impose by regulation, in the event 
        that a System member or dependent elects benefits from 
        a State or local government under paragraph (2)(A), the 
        Administrator shall reimburse the State or local 
        government for the value of those benefits.
  (i) Certain Benefits.--In the case of a death or disability, 
a System member (or in the case of the death of the System 
member, the System member's dependent) shall be able to apply 
for the Public Safety Officers' Benefits program (as described 
in subpart 1 of part L of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control 
and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. chapter 46, subchapter 
XII) if the System member meets the requirements of a ``public 
safety officer'' as defined in section 1204 of the Omnibus 
Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796b).
  (j) Liability.--A System member appointed into Federal 
service under subsection (f)(1), while acting within the scope 
of the appointment, is deemed an employee of the Federal 
Government under section 1346(b) of title 28, United States 
Code, and chapter 171 of that title, relating to tort claims 
procedure.
  (k) Employment and Reemployment Rights.--With respect to a 
System member who is not a regular full-time employee of a 
sponsoring agency or participating agency, the following terms 
and conditions apply:
          (1) Service.--Service as a System member is deemed 
        ``service in the uniformed services'' for purposes of 
        chapter 43 of title 38, United States Code, relating to 
        employment and reemployment rights of individuals who 
        have performed service in the uniformed services 
        (regardless of whether the individual receives 
        compensation for such participation). All rights and 
        obligations of such persons and procedures for 
        assistance, enforcement, and investigation shall be as 
        provided for in such chapter.
          (2) Preclusion.--Preclusion of giving notice of 
        service by necessity of appointment under this section 
        is deemed preclusion by ``military necessity'' for 
        purposes of section 4312(b) of title 38, United States 
        Code, pertaining to giving notice of absence from a 
        position of employment. A determination of such 
        necessity shall be made by the Administrator and shall 
        not be subject to judicial review.
  (l) Licenses and Permits.--If a System member holds a valid 
license, certificate, or other permit issued by any State or 
other governmental jurisdiction evidencing the member's 
qualifications in any professional, mechanical, or other skill 
or type of assistance required by the System, the System member 
is deemed to be performing a Federal activity when rendering 
aid involving such skill or assistance during a period of 
appointment into Federal service under subsection (f)(1).
  (m) Advisory Committee.--
          (1) In general.--The Administrator shall establish 
        and maintain an advisory committee to provide expert 
        recommendations to the Administrator in order to assist 
        the Administrator in administering the System.
          (2) Composition.--The advisory committee shall be 
        composed of members from geographically diverse areas, 
        and shall include--
                  (A) the chief officer or senior executive 
                from at least three sponsoring agencies;
                  (B) the senior emergency manager from at 
                least two States that include sponsoring 
                agencies; and
                  (C) at least one representative recommended 
                by the leaders of the task forces.
          (3) Inapplicability of termination requirement.--
        Section 14(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
        (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the advisory 
        committee under this subsection.
  (n) Preparedness Cooperative Agreements.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to the availability of 
        appropriations for such purpose, the Administrator 
        shall enter into an annual preparedness cooperative 
        agreement with each sponsoring agency. Amounts made 
        available to a sponsoring agency under such a 
        preparedness cooperative agreement shall be for the 
        following purposes:
                  (A) Training and exercises, including 
                training and exercises with other Federal, 
                State, and local government response entities.
                  (B) Acquisition and maintenance of equipment, 
                including interoperable communications and 
                personal protective equipment.
                  (C) Medical monitoring required for responder 
                safety and health in anticipation of and 
                following a major disaster, emergency, or other 
                hazard, as determined by the Administrator.
          (2) Availability of appropriations.--Notwithstanding 
        section 1552(b) of title 31, United States Code, 
        amounts made available for cooperative agreements under 
        this subsection that are not expended shall be 
        deposited in an agency account and shall remain 
        available for such agreements without fiscal year 
        limitation.
  (o) Response Cooperative Agreements.--The Administrator shall 
enter into a response cooperative agreement with each 
sponsoring agency, as appropriate, under which the 
Administrator agrees to reimburse the sponsoring agency for 
costs incurred by the sponsoring agency in responding to a 
major disaster or emergency.
  (p) Obligations.--The Administrator may incur all necessary 
obligations consistent with this section in order to ensure the 
effectiveness of the System.
  (q) Authorization of Appropriations.--
          (1) In general.--There is authorized to be 
        appropriated to carry out the System and the provisions 
        of this section $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
        2016, 2017, and 2018.
          (2) Administrative expenses.--The Administrator may 
        use not to exceed 6 percent of the funds appropriated 
        for a fiscal year pursuant to paragraph (1) for 
        salaries, expenses, and other administrative costs 
        incurred by the Administrator in carrying out this 
        section.

TITLE IV--MAJOR DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 404. HAZARD MITIGATION.

  (a) In General.--The President may contribute up to 75 
percent of the cost of hazard mitigation measures which the 
President has determined are cost-effective and which 
substantially reduce the risk of future damage, hardship, loss, 
or suffering in any area affected by a major disaster, or any 
area affected by a fire for which assistance was provided under 
section 420. Such measures shall be identified following the 
evaluation of natural hazards under section 322 and shall be 
subject to approval by the President. Subject to section 322, 
the total of contributions under this section for a major 
disaster or event under section 420 shall not exceed 15 percent 
for amounts not more than $2,000,000,000, 10 percent for 
amounts of more than $2,000,000,000 and not more than 
$10,000,000,000, and 7.5 percent on amounts of more than 
$10,000,000,000 and not more than $35,333,000,000 of the 
estimated aggregate amount of grants to be made (less any 
associated administrative costs) under this Act with respect to 
the major disaster or event under section 420.
  (b) Property Acquisition and Relocation Assistance.--
          (1) General authority.--In providing hazard 
        mitigation assistance under this section in connection 
        with flooding, the Administrator of the Federal 
        Emergency Management Agency may provide property 
        acquisition and relocation assistance for projects that 
        meet the requirements of paragraph (2).
          (2) Terms and conditions.--An acquisition or 
        relocation project shall be eligible to receive 
        assistance pursuant to paragraph (1) only if--
                  (A) the applicant for the assistance is 
                otherwise eligible to receive assistance under 
                the hazard mitigation grant program established 
                under subsection (a); and
                  (B) on or after the date of enactment of this 
                subsection, the applicant for the assistance 
                enters into an agreement with the Administrator 
                that provides assurances that--
                          (i) any property acquired, accepted, 
                        or from which a structure will be 
                        removed pursuant to the project will be 
                        dedicated and maintained in perpetuity 
                        for a use that is compatible with open 
                        space, recreational, or wetlands 
                        management practices;
                          (ii) no new structure will be erected 
                        on property acquired, accepted or from 
                        which a structure was removed under the 
                        acquisition or relocation program other 
                        than--
                                  (I) a public facility that is 
                                open on all sides and 
                                functionally related to a 
                                designated open space;
                                  (II) a rest room; or
                                  (III) a structure that the 
                                Administrator approves in 
                                writing before the commencement 
                                of the construction of the 
                                structure; and
                          (iii) after receipt of the 
                        assistance, with respect to any 
                        property acquired, accepted or from 
                        which a structure was removed under the 
                        acquisition or relocation program--
                                  (I) no subsequent application 
                                for additional disaster 
                                assistance for any purpose will 
                                be made by the recipient to any 
                                Federal entity; and
                                  (II) no assistance referred 
                                to in subclause (I) will be 
                                provided to the applicant by 
                                any Federal source.
          (3) Statutory construction.--Nothing in this 
        subsection is intended to alter or otherwise affect an 
        agreement for an acquisition or relocation project 
        carried out pursuant to this section that was in effect 
        on the day before the date of enactment of this 
        subsection.
  (c) Program Administration by States.--
          (1) In general.--A State desiring to administer the 
        hazard mitigation grant program established by this 
        section with respect to hazard mitigation assistance in 
        the State may submit to the President an application 
        for the delegation of the authority to administer the 
        program.
          (2) Criteria.--The President, in consultation and 
        coordination with States and local governments, shall 
        establish criteria for the approval of applications 
        submitted under paragraph (1). Until such time as the 
        Administrator promulgates regulations to implement this 
        paragraph, the Administrator may waive notice and 
        comment rulemaking, if the Administrator determines 
        doing so is necessary to expeditiously implement this 
        section, and may carry out this section as a pilot 
        program. The criteria shall include, at a minimum--
                  (A) the demonstrated ability of the State to 
                manage the grant program under this section;
                  (B) there being in effect an approved 
                mitigation plan under section 322; and
                  (C) a demonstrated commitment to mitigation 
                activities.
          (3) Approval.--The President shall approve an 
        application submitted under paragraph (1) that meets 
        the criteria established under paragraph (2).
          (4) Withdrawal of approval.--If, after approving an 
        application of a State submitted under paragraph (1), 
        the President determines that the State is not 
        administering the hazard mitigation grant program 
        established by this section in a manner satisfactory to 
        the President, the President shall withdraw the 
        approval.
          (5) Audits.--The President shall provide for periodic 
        audits of the hazard mitigation grant programs 
        administered by States under this subsection.
  (d) Streamlined Procedures.--
          (1) In general.--For the purpose of providing 
        assistance under this section, the President shall 
        ensure that--
                  (A) adequate resources are devoted to ensure 
                that applicable environmental reviews under the 
                National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and 
                historic preservation reviews under the 
                National Historic Preservation Act are 
                completed on an expeditious basis; and
                  (B) the shortest existing applicable process 
                under the National Environmental Policy Act of 
                1969 and the National Historic Preservation Act 
                is utilized.
          (2) Authority for other expedited procedures.--The 
        President may utilize expedited procedures in addition 
        to those required under paragraph (1) for the purpose 
        of providing assistance under this section, such as 
        procedures under the Prototype Programmatic Agreement 
        of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for the 
        consideration of multiple structures as a group and for 
        an analysis of the cost-effectiveness and fulfillment 
        of cost-share requirements for proposed hazard 
        mitigation measures.
  (e) Advance Assistance.--The President may provide not more 
than 25 percent of the amount of the estimated cost of hazard 
mitigation measures to a State grantee eligible for a grant 
under this section before eligible costs are incurred.
  (f) Use of Assistance.--Recipients of hazard mitigation 
assistance provided under this section and section 203 may use 
the assistance to conduct the following activities to help 
reduce the risk of future damage, hardship, loss, or suffering 
in any area affected by--
          (1) a wildfire, including--
                  (A) reseeding ground cover with quick-growing 
                or native species;
                  (B) mulching with straw or chipped wood;
                  (C) constructing straw, rock, or log dams in 
                small tributaries to prevent flooding;
                  (D) placing logs and other erosion barriers 
                to catch sediment on hill slopes;
                  (E) installing debris traps to modify road 
                and trail drainage mechanisms;
                  (F) modifying or removing culverts to allow 
                drainage to flow freely;
                  (G) adding drainage dips and constructing 
                emergency spillways to keep roads and bridges 
                from washing out during floods;
                  (H) planting grass to prevent the spread of 
                noxious weeds;
                  (I) installing warning signs;
                  (J) establishing defensible space measures; 
                and
                  (K) reducing hazardous fuels; and
          (2) earthquake hazards, including--
                  (A) improvements to regional seismic networks 
                in support of building a capability for 
                earthquake early warning;
                  (B) improvements to geodetic networks in 
                support of building a capability for earthquake 
                early warning; or
                  (C) seismometers, GPS receivers, and 
                associated infrastructure in support of 
                building a capability for earthquake early 
                warning.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 406. REPAIR, RESTORATION, AND REPLACEMENT OF DAMAGED FACILITIES.

  (a) Contributions.--
          (1) In general.--The President may make 
        contributions--
                  (A) to a State or local government for the 
                repair, restoration, reconstruction, or 
                replacement of a public facility damaged or 
                destroyed by a major disaster and for 
                associated expenses incurred by the government; 
                and
                  (B) subject to paragraph (3), to a person 
                that owns or operates a private nonprofit 
                facility damaged or destroyed by a major 
                disaster for the repair, restoration, 
                reconstruction, or replacement of the facility 
                and for associated expenses incurred by the 
                person.
          (2) Associated expenses.--For the purposes of this 
        section, associated expenses shall include--
                  (A) the costs of mobilizing and employing the 
                National Guard for performance of eligible 
                work;
                  (B) the costs of using prison labor to 
                perform eligible work, including wages actually 
                paid, transportation to a worksite, and 
                extraordinary costs of guards, food, and 
                lodging; and
                  (C) base and overtime wages for the employees 
                and extra hires of a State, local government, 
                or person described in paragraph (1) that 
                perform eligible work, plus fringe benefits on 
                such wages to the extent that such benefits 
                were being paid before the major disaster.
          (3) Conditions for assistance to private nonprofit 
        facilities.--
                  (A) In general.--The President may make 
                contributions to a private nonprofit facility 
                under paragraph (1)(B) only if--
                          (i) the facility provides critical 
                        services (as defined by the President) 
                        in the event of a major disaster; or
                          (ii) the owner or operator of the 
                        facility--
                                  (I) has applied for a 
                                disaster loan under section 
                                7(b) of the Small Business Act 
                                (15 U.S.C. 636(b)); and
                                  (II)(aa) has been determined 
                                to be ineligible for such a 
                                loan; or
                                  (bb) has obtained such a loan 
                                in the maximum amount for which 
                                the Small Business 
                                Administration determines the 
                                facility is eligible.
                  (B) Definition of critical services.--In this 
                paragraph, the term ``critical services'' 
                includes power, water (including water provided 
                by an irrigation organization or facility), 
                sewer, wastewater treatment, [communications,] 
                communications (including public broadcasting), 
                education, and emergency medical care.
          (4) Notification to congress.--Before making any 
        contribution under this section in an amount greater 
        than $20,000,000, the President shall notify--
                  (A) the Committee on Environment and Public 
                Works of the Senate;
                  (B) the Committee on Transportation and 
                Infrastructure of the House of Representatives;
                  (C) the Committee on Appropriations of the 
                Senate; and
                  (D) the Committee on Appropriations of the 
                House of Representatives.
  (b) Federal Share.--
          (1) Minimum federal share.--Except as provided in 
        paragraph (2), the Federal share of assistance under 
        this section shall be not less than 75 percent of the 
        eligible cost of repair, restoration, reconstruction, 
        or replacement carried out under this section.
          (2) Reduced federal share.--The President shall 
        promulgate regulations to reduce the Federal share of 
        assistance under this section to not less than 25 
        percent in the case of the repair, restoration, 
        reconstruction, or replacement of any eligible public 
        facility or private nonprofit facility following an 
        event associated with a major disaster--
                  (A) that has been damaged, on more than one 
                occasion within the preceding 10-year period, 
                by the same type of event; and
                  (B) the owner of which has failed to 
                implement appropriate mitigation measures to 
                address the hazard that caused the damage to 
                the facility.
  (c) Large In-Lieu Contributions.--
          (1) For public facilities.--
                  (A) In general.--In any case in which a State 
                or local government determines that the public 
                welfare would not best be served by repairing, 
                restoring, reconstructing, or replacing any 
                public facility owned or controlled by the 
                State or local government, the State or local 
                government may elect to receive, in lieu of a 
                contribution under subsection (a)(1)(A), a 
                contribution in an amount equal to 90 percent 
                of the Federal share of the Federal estimate of 
                the cost of repairing, restoring, 
                reconstructing, or replacing the facility and 
                of management expenses.
                  (B) Use of funds.--Funds contributed to a 
                State or local government under this paragraph 
                may be used--
                          (i) to repair, restore, or expand 
                        other selected public facilities;
                          (ii) to construct new facilities; or
                          (iii) to fund hazard mitigation 
                        measures that the State or local 
                        government determines to be necessary 
                        to meet a need for governmental 
                        services and functions in the area 
                        affected by the major disaster.
                  (C) Limitations.--Funds made available to a 
                State or local government under this paragraph 
                may not be used for--
                          (i) any public facility located in a 
                        regulatory floodway (as defined in 
                        section 59.1 of title 44, Code of 
                        Federal Regulations (or a successor 
                        regulation)); or
                          (ii) any uninsured public facility 
                        located in a special flood hazard area 
                        identified by the Administrator of the 
                        Federal Emergency Management Agency 
                        under the National Flood Insurance Act 
                        of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.).
          (2) For private nonprofit facilities.--
                  (A) In general.--In any case in which a 
                person that owns or operates a private 
                nonprofit facility determines that the public 
                welfare would not best be served by repairing, 
                restoring, reconstructing, or replacing the 
                facility, the person may elect to receive, in 
                lieu of a contribution under subsection 
                (a)(1)(B), a contribution in an amount equal to 
                75 percent of the Federal share of the Federal 
                estimate of the cost of repairing, restoring, 
                reconstructing, or replacing the facility and 
                of management expenses.
                  (B) Use of funds.--Funds contributed to a 
                person under this paragraph may be used--
                          (i) to repair, restore, or expand 
                        other selected private nonprofit 
                        facilities owned or operated by the 
                        person;
                          (ii) to construct new private 
                        nonprofit facilities to be owned or 
                        operated by the person; or
                          (iii) to fund hazard mitigation 
                        measures that the person determines to 
                        be necessary to meet a need for the 
                        person's services and functions in the 
                        area affected by the major disaster.
                  (C) Limitations.--Funds made available to a 
                person under this paragraph may not be used 
                for--
                          (i) any private nonprofit facility 
                        located in a regulatory floodway (as 
                        defined in section 59.1 of title 44, 
                        Code of Federal Regulations (or a 
                        successor regulation)); or
                          (ii) any uninsured private nonprofit 
                        facility located in a special flood 
                        hazard area identified by the 
                        Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
                        Management Agency under the National 
                        Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 
                        4001 et seq.).
  (d) Flood Insurance.--
          (1) Reduction of federal assistance.--If a public 
        facility or private nonprofit facility located in a 
        special flood hazard area identified for more than 1 
        year by the Administrator pursuant to the National 
        Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.) is 
        damaged or destroyed, after the 180th day following the 
        date of the enactment of the Disaster Relief and 
        Emergency Assistance Amendments of 1988, by flooding in 
        a major disaster and such facility is not covered on 
        the date of such flooding by flood insurance, the 
        Federal assistance which would otherwise be available 
        under this section with respect to repair, restoration, 
        reconstruction, and replacement of such facility and 
        associated expenses shall be reduced in accordance with 
        paragraph (2).
          (2) Amount of reduction.--The amount of a reduction 
        in Federal assistance under this section with respect 
        to a facility shall be the lesser of--
                  (A) the value of such facility on the date of 
                the flood damage or destruction, or
                  (B) the maximum amount of insurance proceeds 
                which would have been payable with respect to 
                such facility if such facility had been covered 
                by flood insurance under the National Flood 
                Insurance Act of 1968 on such date.
          (3) Exception.--Paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not 
        apply to a private nonprofit facility which is not 
        covered by flood insurance solely because of the local 
        government's failure to participate in the flood 
        insurance program established by the National Flood 
        Insurance Act.
          (4) Dissemination of information.--The President 
        shall disseminate information regarding the reduction 
        in Federal assistance provided for by this subsection 
        to State and local governments and the owners and 
        operators of private nonprofit facilities who may be 
        affected by such a reduction.
  (e) Eligible Cost.--
          (1) Determination.--
                  (A) In general.--For the purposes of this 
                section, the President shall estimate the 
                eligible cost of repairing, restoring, 
                reconstructing, or replacing a public facility 
                or private nonprofit facility--
                          (i) on the basis of the design of the 
                        facility as the facility existed 
                        immediately before the major disaster; 
                        and
                          (ii) in conformity with codes, 
                        specifications, and standards 
                        (including floodplain management and 
                        hazard mitigation criteria required by 
                        the President or under the Coastal 
                        Barrier Resources Act (16 U.S.C. 3501 
                        et seq.)) applicable at the time at 
                        which the disaster occurred.
                  (B) Cost estimation procedures.--
                          (i) In general.--Subject to paragraph 
                        (2), the President shall use the cost 
                        estimation procedures established under 
                        paragraph (3) to determine the eligible 
                        cost under this subsection.
                          (ii) Applicability.--The procedures 
                        specified in this paragraph and 
                        paragraph (2) shall apply only to 
                        projects the eligible cost of which is 
                        equal to or greater than the amount 
                        specified in section 422.
          (2) Modification of eligible cost.--
                  (A) Actual cost greater than ceiling 
                percentage of estimated cost.--In any case in 
                which the actual cost of repairing, restoring, 
                reconstructing, or replacing a facility under 
                this section is greater than the ceiling 
                percentage established under paragraph (3) of 
                the cost estimated under paragraph (1), the 
                President may determine that the eligible cost 
                includes a portion of the actual cost of the 
                repair, restoration, reconstruction, or 
                replacement that exceeds the cost estimated 
                under paragraph (1).
                  (B) Actual cost less than estimated cost.--
                          (i) Greater than or equal to floor 
                        percentage of estimated cost.--In any 
                        case in which the actual cost of 
                        repairing, restoring, reconstructing, 
                        or replacing a facility under this 
                        section is less than 100 percent of the 
                        cost estimated under paragraph (1), but 
                        is greater than or equal to the floor 
                        percentage established under paragraph 
                        (3) of the cost estimated under 
                        paragraph (1), the State or local 
                        government or person receiving funds 
                        under this section shall use the excess 
                        funds to carry out cost-effective 
                        activities that reduce the risk of 
                        future damage, hardship, or suffering 
                        from a major disaster.
                          (ii) Less than floor percentage of 
                        estimated cost.--In any case in which 
                        the actual cost of repairing, 
                        restoring, reconstructing, or replacing 
                        a facility under this section is less 
                        than the floor percentage established 
                        under paragraph (3) of the cost 
                        estimated under paragraph (1), the 
                        State or local government or person 
                        receiving assistance under this section 
                        shall reimburse the President in the 
                        amount of the difference.
                  (C) No effect on appeals process.--Nothing in 
                this paragraph affects any right of appeal 
                under section 423.
          (3) Expert panel.--
                  (A) Establishment.--Not later than 18 months 
                after the date of the enactment of this 
                paragraph, the President, acting through the 
                Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
                Management Agency, shall establish an expert 
                panel, which shall include representatives from 
                the construction industry and State and local 
                government.
                  (B) Duties.--The expert panel shall develop 
                recommendations concerning--
                          (i) procedures for estimating the 
                        cost of repairing, restoring, 
                        reconstructing, or replacing a facility 
                        consistent with industry practices; and
                          (ii) the ceiling and floor 
                        percentages referred to in paragraph 
                        (2).
                  (C) Regulations.--Taking into account the 
                recommendations of the expert panel under 
                subparagraph (B), the President shall 
                promulgate regulations that establish--
                          (i) cost estimation procedures 
                        described in subparagraph (B)(i); and
                          (ii) the ceiling and floor 
                        percentages referred to in paragraph 
                        (2).
                  (D) Review by president.--Not later than 2 
                years after the date of promulgation of 
                regulations under subparagraph (C) and 
                periodically thereafter, the President shall 
                review the cost estimation procedures and the 
                ceiling and floor percentages established under 
                this paragraph.
                  (E) Report to congress.--Not later than 1 
                year after the date of promulgation of 
                regulations under subparagraph (C), 3 years 
                after that date, and at the end of each 2-year 
                period thereafter, the expert panel shall 
                submit to Congress a report on the 
                appropriateness of the cost estimation 
                procedures.
          (4) Special rule.--In any case in which the facility 
        being repaired, restored, reconstructed, or replaced 
        under this section was under construction on the date 
        of the major disaster, the cost of repairing, 
        restoring, reconstructing, or replacing the facility 
        shall include, for the purposes of this section, only 
        those costs that, under the contract for the 
        construction, are the owner's responsibility and not 
        the contractor's responsibility.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 420. FIRE MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE.

  (a) In General.--The President is authorized to provide 
assistance, including grants, equipment, supplies, and 
personnel, to any State or local government for the mitigation, 
management, and control of any fire on public or private forest 
land or grassland that threatens such destruction as would 
constitute a major disaster.
  (b) Coordination With State and Tribal Departments of 
Forestry.--In providing assistance under this section, the 
President shall coordinate with State and tribal departments of 
forestry.
  (c) Essential Assistance.--In providing assistance under this 
section, the President may use the authority provided under 
section 403.
  (d) Hazard Mitigation Assistance.--Whether or not a major 
disaster is declared, the President may provide hazard 
mitigation assistance in accordance with section 404 in any 
area affected by a fire for which assistance was provided under 
this section.
  [(d)] (e) Rules and Regulations.--The President shall 
prescribe such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry 
out this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 422. SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURE.

  (a) In General.--If the Federal estimate of the cost of--
          (1) repairing, restoring, reconstructing, or 
        replacing under section 406 any damaged or destroyed 
        public facility or private nonprofit facility,
          (2) emergency assistance under section 403 or 502, or
          (3) debris removed under section 407,
is less than [$35,000] $1,000,000 (or, if the Administrator has 
established a threshold under subsection (b), the amount 
established under subsection (b)), the President (on 
application of the State or local government or the owner or 
operator of the private nonprofit facility) may make the 
contribution to such State or local government or owner or 
operator under section 403, 406, 407, or 502, as the case may 
be, on the basis of such Federal estimate. [Such $35,000 amount 
or, if applicable, the amount established under subsection (b), 
shall be adjusted annually to reflect changes in the Consumer 
Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Department 
of Labor.]
  (b) Threshold.--
          (1) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
        enactment of this subsection, the President, acting 
        through the Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
        Management Agency (in this section referred to as the 
        ``Administrator''), shall--
                  (A) complete an analysis to determine whether 
                an increase in the threshold for eligibility 
                under subsection (a) is appropriate, which 
                shall include consideration of cost-
                effectiveness, speed of recovery, capacity of 
                grantees, past performance, and accountability 
                measures; and
                  (B) submit to the Committee on Transportation 
                and Infrastructure of the House of 
                Representatives and the Committee on Homeland 
                Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate 
                a report regarding the analysis conducted under 
                subparagraph (A).
          (2) Amount.--After the Administrator submits the 
        report required under paragraph (1), the President 
        shall direct the Administrator to--
                  (A) immediately establish a threshold for 
                eligibility under this section in an 
                appropriate amount, without regard to chapter 5 
                of title 5, United States Code; and
                  (B) adjust the threshold annually to reflect 
                changes in the Consumer Price Index for all 
                Urban Consumers published by the Department of 
                Labor.
          (3) Review.--Not later than 3 years after the date on 
        which the Administrator establishes a threshold under 
        paragraph (2), and every 3 years thereafter, the 
        President, acting through the Administrator, shall 
        review the threshold for eligibility under this 
        section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE VI--EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle A--Powers and Duties

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 617. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT GRANTS.

  (a) In General.--The Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency may make grants to provide for implementation 
of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact consented to by 
Congress in the joint resolution entitled ``Joint resolution 
granting the consent of Congress to the Emergency Management 
Assistance Compact'' (Public Law 104-321; 110 Stat. 3877).
  (b) Eligible Grant Recipients.--States and the Administrator 
of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact shall be 
eligible to receive grants under subsection (a).
  (c) Use of Funds.--A grant received under this section shall 
be used--
          (1) to carry out recommendations identified in the 
        Emergency Management Assistance Compact after-action 
        reports for the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons;
          (2) to administer compact operations on behalf of 
        States, as such term is defined in the compact, that 
        have enacted the compact;
          (3) to continue coordination with the Federal 
        Emergency Management Agency and appropriate Federal 
        agencies;
          (4) to continue coordination with States and local 
        governments and their respective national 
        organizations; and
          (5) to assist State and local governments, emergency 
        response providers, and organizations representing such 
        providers with credentialing the providers and the 
        typing of emergency response resources.
  (d) Coordination.--The Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency shall consult with the Administrator of the 
Emergency Management Assistance Compact to ensure effective 
coordination of efforts in responding to requests for 
assistance.
  (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to 
be appropriated to carry out this section $2,000,000 for each 
of the fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018. Such sums shall 
remain available until expended.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE VII--MISCELLANEOUS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 705. DISASTER GRANT CLOSEOUT PROCEDURES.

  (a) Statute of Limitations.--
          (1) In general.--[Except] Notwithstanding section 
        3716(e) of title 31, United States Code, and except as 
        provided in paragraph (2), no administrative action to 
        recover any payment made to a State or local government 
        for disaster or emergency assistance under this Act 
        shall be initiated in any forum after the date that is 
        3 years after the date of transmission of the final 
        expenditure [report for the disaster or emergency] 
        report for project completion as certified by the 
        grantee.
          (2) Fraud exception.--The limitation under paragraph 
        (1) shall apply unless there is evidence of civil or 
        criminal fraud.
  (b) Rebuttal of Presumption of Record Maintenance.--
          (1) In general.--In any dispute arising under this 
        section after the date that is 3 years after the date 
        of transmission of the final expenditure report for the 
        disaster or emergency, there shall be a presumption 
        that accounting records were maintained that adequately 
        identify the source and application of funds provided 
        for financially assisted activities.
          (2) Affirmative evidence.--The presumption described 
        in paragraph (1) may be rebutted only on production of 
        affirmative evidence that the State or local government 
        did not maintain documentation described in that 
        paragraph.
          (3) Inability to produce documentation.--The 
        inability of the Federal, State, or local government to 
        produce source documentation supporting expenditure 
        reports later than 3 years after the date of 
        transmission of the final expenditure report shall not 
        constitute evidence to rebut the presumption described 
        in paragraph (1).
          (4) Right of access.--The period during which the 
        Federal, State, or local government has the right to 
        access source documentation shall not be limited to the 
        required 3-year retention period referred to in 
        paragraph (3), but shall last as long as the records 
        are maintained.
  (c) Binding Nature of Grant Requirements.--A State or local 
government shall not be liable for reimbursement or any other 
penalty for any payment made under this Act if--
          (1) the payment was authorized by an approved 
        agreement specifying the costs;
          (2) the costs were reasonable; and
          (3) the purpose of the grant was accomplished.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


                      TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subpart G--INSURANCE AND ANNUITIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 81--COMPENSATION FOR WORK INJURIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                        Subchapter I--GENERALLY

Sec. 8101. Definitions

   For the purpose of this subchapter--
          (1) ``employee'' means--
                  (A) a civil officer or employee in any branch 
                of the Government of the United States, 
                including an officer or employee of an 
                instrumentality wholly owned by the United 
                States;
                  (B) an individual rendering personal service 
                to the United States similar to the service of 
                a civil officer or employee of the United 
                States, without pay or for nominal pay, when a 
                statute authorizes the acceptance or use of the 
                service, or authorizes payment of travel or 
                other expenses of the individual;
                  (C) an individual, other than an independent 
                contractor or an individual employed by an 
                independent contractor, employed on the 
                Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin in 
                operations conducted under a statute relating 
                to tribal timber and logging operations on that 
                reservation;
                  (D) an individual employed by the government 
                of the District of Columbia; [and]
                  (E) an individual appointed to a position on 
                the office staff of a former President under 
                section 1(b) of the Act of August 25, 1958 (72 
                Stat. 838);
                  (F) an individual selected pursuant to 
                chapter 121 of title 28, [United States Code,] 
                and serving as a petit or grand juror; and
                  (G) an individual who is a System member of 
                the National Urban Search and Rescue Response 
                System during a period of appointment into 
                Federal service pursuant to section 327 of the 
                Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
                Emergency Assistance Act;
        but does not include--
                  (i) a commissioned officer of the Regular 
                Corps of the Public Health Service;
                  (ii) a commissioned officer of the Reserve 
                Corps of the Public Health Service on active 
                duty;
                  (iii) a commissioned officer of the 
                Environmental Science Services Administration; 
                or
                  (iv) a member of the Metropolitan Police or 
                the Fire Department of the District of Columbia 
                who is pensioned or pensionable under sections 
                521-535 of title 4, District of Columbia Code; 
                and
          (2) ``physician'' includes surgeons, podiatrists, 
        dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, 
        chiropractors, and osteopathic practitioners within the 
        scope of their practice as defined by State law. The 
        term ``physician'' includes chiropractors only to the 
        extent that their reimbursable services are limited to 
        treatment consisting of manual manipulation of the 
        spine to correct a subluxation as demonstrated by X-ray 
        to exist, and subject to regulation by the Secretary;
          (3) ``medical, surgical, and hospital services and 
        supplies'' includes services and supplies by 
        podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, 
        optometrists, chiropractors, osteopathic practitioners 
        and hospitals within the scope of their practice as 
        defined by State law. Reimbursable chiropractic 
        services are limited to treatment consisting of manual 
        manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation as 
        demonstrated by X-ray to exist, and subject to 
        regulation by the Secretary;
          (4) ``monthly pay'' means the monthly pay at the time 
        of injury, or the monthly pay at the time disability 
        begins, or the monthly pay at the time compensable 
        disability recurs, if the recurrence begins more than 6 
        months after the injured employee resumes regular full-
        time employment with the United States, whichever is 
        greater, except when otherwise determined under section 
        8113 of this title with respect to any period;
          (5) ``injury'' includes, in addition to injury by 
        accident, a disease proximately caused by the 
        employment, and damage to or destruction of medical 
        braces, artificial limbs, and other prosthetic devices 
        which shall be replaced or repaired, and such time lost 
        while such device or appliance is being replaced or 
        repaired; except that eyeglasses and hearing aids would 
        not be replaced, repaired, or otherwise compensated 
        for, unless the damages or destruction is incident to a 
        personal injury requiring medical services;
          (6) ``widow'' means the wife living with or dependent 
        for support on the decedent at the time of his death, 
        or living apart for reasonable cause or because of his 
        desertion;
          (7) ``parent'' includes stepparents and parents by 
        adoption;
          (8) ``brother'' and ``sister'' mean one who at the 
        time of the death of the employee is under 18 years of 
        age or over that age and incapable of self-support, and 
        include stepbrothers and stepsisters, half brothers and 
        half sisters, and brothers and sisters by adoption, but 
        do not include married brothers or married sisters;
          (9) ``child'' means one who at the time of the death 
        of the employee is under 18 years of age or over that 
        age and incapable of self-support, and includes 
        stepchildren, adopted children, and posthumous 
        children, but does not include married children;
          (10) ``grandchild'' means one who at the time of the 
        death of the employee is under 18 years of age or over 
        that age and incapable of self-support;
          (11) ``widower'' means the husband living with or 
        dependent for support on the decedent at the time of 
        her death, or living apart for reasonable cause or 
        because of her desertion;
          (12) ``compensation'' includes the money allowance 
        payable to an employee or his dependents and any other 
        benefits paid for from the Employees' Compensation 
        Fund, but this does not in any way reduce the amount of 
        the monthly compensation payable for disability or 
        death;
          (13) ``war-risk hazard'' means a hazard arising 
        during a war in which the United States is engaged; 
        during an armed conflict in which the United States is 
        engaged, whether or not war has been declared; or 
        during a war or armed conflict between military forces 
        of any origin, occurring in the country in which an 
        individual to whom this subchapter applies is serving; 
        from--
                  (A) the discharge of a missile, including 
                liquids and gas, or the use of a weapon, 
                explosive, or other noxious thing by a hostile 
                force or individual or in combating an attack 
                or an imagined attack by a hostile force or 
                individual;
                  (B) action of a hostile force or individual, 
                including rebellion or insurrection against the 
                United States or any of its allies;
                  (C) the discharge or explosion of munitions 
                intended for use in connection with a war or 
                armed conflict with a hostile force or 
                individual;
                  (D) the collision of vessels on convoy or the 
                operation of vessels or aircraft without 
                running lights or without other customary 
                peacetime aids to navigation; or
                  (E) the operation of vessels or aircraft in a 
                zone of hostilities or engaged in war 
                activities;
          (14) ``hostile force or individual'' means a nation, 
        a subject of a foreign nation, or an individual serving 
        a foreign nation--
                  (A) engaged in a war against the United 
                States or any of its allies;
                  (B) engaged in armed conflict, whether or not 
                war has been declared, against the United 
                States or any of its allies; or
                  (C) engaged in a war or armed conflict 
                between military forces of any origin in a 
                country in which an individual to whom this 
                subchapter applies is serving;
          (15) ``allies'' means any nation with which the 
        United States is engaged in a common military effort or 
        with which the United States has entered into a common 
        defensive military alliance;
          (16) ``war activities'' includes activities directly 
        relating to military operations;
          (17) ``student'' means an individual under 23 years 
        of age who has not completed 4 years of education 
        beyond the high school level and who is regularly 
        pursuing a full-time course of study or training at an 
        institution which is--
                  (A) a school or college or university 
                operated or directly supported by the United 
                States, or by a State or local government or 
                political subdivision thereof;
                  (B) a school or college or university which 
                has been accredited by a State or by a State-
                recognized or nationally recognized accrediting 
                agency or body;
                  (C) a school or college or university not so 
                accredited but whose credits are accepted, on 
                transfer, by at least three institutions which 
                are so accredited, for credit on the same basis 
                as if transferred from an institution so 
                accredited; or
                  (D) an additional type of educational or 
                training institution as defined by the 
                Secretary of Labor.
        Such an individual is deemed not to have ceased to be a 
        student during an interim between school years if the 
        interim is not more than 4 months and if he shows to 
        the satisfaction of the Secretary that he has a bona 
        fide intention of continuing to pursue a full-time 
        course of study or training during the semester or 
        other enrollment period immediately after the interim 
        or during periods of reasonable duration during which, 
        in the judgment of the Secretary, he is prevented by 
        factors beyond his control from pursuing his education. 
        A student whose 23rd birthday occurs during a semester 
        or other enrollment period is deemed a student until 
        the end of the semester or other enrollment period;
          (18) ``price index'' means the Consumer Price Index 
        (all items - United States city average) published 
        monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and
          (19) ``organ'' means a part of the body that performs 
        a special function, and for purposes of this subchapter 
        excludes the brain, heart, and back; and
          (20) ``United States medical officers and hospitals'' 
        includes medical officers and hospitals of the Army, 
        Navy, Air Force, Department of Veterans Affairs, and 
        United States Public Health Service, and any other 
        medical officer or hospital designated as a United 
        States medical officer or hospital by the Secretary of 
        Labor.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


                      TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


   CHAPTER 43--EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF MEMBERS OF THE 
                           UNIFORMED SERVICES

Subchapter I--GENERAL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4303. Definitions

   For the purposes of this chapter--
          (1) The term ``Attorney General'' means the Attorney 
        General of the United States or any person designated 
        by the Attorney General to carry out a responsibility 
        of the Attorney General under this chapter.
          (2) The term ``benefit'', ``benefit of employment'', 
        or ``rights and benefits'' means the terms, conditions, 
        or privileges of employment, including any advantage, 
        profit, privilege, gain, status, account, or interest 
        (including wages or salary for work performed) that 
        accrues by reason of an employment contract or 
        agreement or an employer policy, plan, or practice and 
        includes rights and benefits under a pension plan, a 
        health plan, an employee stock ownership plan, 
        insurance coverage and awards, bonuses, severance pay, 
        supplemental unemployment benefits, vacations, and the 
        opportunity to select work hours or location of 
        employment.
          (3) The term ``employee'' means any person employed 
        by an employer. Such term includes any person who is a 
        citizen, national, or permanent resident alien of the 
        United States employed in a workplace in a foreign 
        country by an employer that is an entity incorporated 
        or otherwise organized in the United States or that is 
        controlled by an entity organized in the United States, 
        within the meaning of section 4319(c) of this title.
          (4)(A) Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and 
        (C), the term ``employer'' means any person, 
        institution, organization, or other entity that pays 
        salary or wages for work performed or that has control 
        over employment opportunities, including--
                  (i) a person, institution, organization, or 
                other entity to whom the employer has delegated 
                the performance of employment-related 
                responsibilities;
                  (ii) the Federal Government;
                  (iii) a State;
                  (iv) any successor in interest to a person, 
                institution, organization, or other entity 
                referred to in this subparagraph; and
                  (v) a person, institution, organization, or 
                other entity that has denied initial employment 
                in violation of section 4311.
          (B) In the case of a National Guard technician 
        employed under section 709 of title 32, the term 
        ``employer'' means the adjutant general of the State in 
        which the technician is employed.
          (C) Except as an actual employer of employees, an 
        employee pension benefit plan described in section 3(2) 
        of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 
        (29 U.S.C. 1002(2)) shall be deemed to be an employer 
        only with respect to the obligation to provide benefits 
        described in section 4318.
          (D)(i) Whether the term ``successor in interest'' 
        applies with respect to an entity described in 
        subparagraph (A) for purposes of clause (iv) of such 
        subparagraph shall be determined on a case-by-case 
        basis using a multi-factor test that considers the 
        following factors:
                  (I) Substantial continuity of business 
                operations.
                  (II) Use of the same or similar facilities.
                  (III) Continuity of work force.
                  (IV) Similarity of jobs and working 
                conditions.
                  (V) Similarity of supervisory personnel.
                  (VI) Similarity of machinery, equipment, and 
                production methods.
                  (VII) Similarity of products or services.
          (ii) The entity's lack of notice or awareness of a 
        potential or pending claim under this chapter at the 
        time of a merger, acquisition, or other form of 
        succession shall not be considered when applying the 
        multi-factor test under clause (i).
          (5) The term ``Federal executive agency'' includes 
        the United States Postal Service, the Postal Regulatory 
        Commission, any nonappropriated fund instrumentality of 
        the United States, any Executive agency (as that term 
        is defined in section 105 of title 5) other than an 
        agency referred to in section 2302(a)(2)(C)(ii) of 
        title 5, and any military department (as that term is 
        defined in section 102 of title 5) with respect to the 
        civilian employees of that department.
          (6) The term ``Federal Government'' includes any 
        Federal executive agency, the legislative branch of the 
        United States, and the judicial branch of the United 
        States.
          (7) The term ``health plan'' means an insurance 
        policy or contract, medical or hospital service 
        agreement, membership or subscription contract, or 
        other arrangement under which health services for 
        individuals are provided or the expenses of such 
        services are paid.
          (8) The term ``notice'' means (with respect to 
        subchapter II) any written or verbal notification of an 
        obligation or intention to perform service in the 
        uniformed services provided to an employer by the 
        employee who will perform such service or by the 
        uniformed service in which such service is to be 
        performed.
          (9) The term ``qualified'', with respect to an 
        employment position, means having the ability to 
        perform the essential tasks of the position.
          (10) The term ``reasonable efforts'', in the case of 
        actions required of an employer under this chapter, 
        means actions, including training provided by an 
        employer, that do not place an undue hardship on the 
        employer.
          (11) Notwithstanding section 101, the term 
        ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Labor or any 
        person designated by such Secretary to carry out an 
        activity under this chapter.
          (12) The term ``seniority'' means longevity in 
        employment together with any benefits of employment 
        which accrue with, or are determined by, longevity in 
        employment.
          (13) The term ``service in the uniformed services'' 
        means the performance of duty on a voluntary or 
        involuntary basis in a uniformed service under 
        competent authority and includes active duty, active 
        duty for training, initial active duty for training, 
        inactive duty training, full-time National Guard duty, 
        a period for which a person is absent from a position 
        of employment for the purpose of an examination to 
        determine the fitness of the person to perform any such 
        duty, a period for which a System member of the 
        National Urban Search and Rescue Response System is 
        absent from a position of employment due to an 
        appointment into Federal service under section 327 of 
        the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
        Assistance Act, and a period for which a person is 
        absent from employment for the purpose of performing 
        funeral honors duty as authorized by section 12503 of 
        title 10 or section 115 of title 32.
          (14) The term ``State'' means each of the several 
        States of the United States, the District of Columbia, 
        the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin 
        Islands, and other territories of the United States 
        (including the agencies and political subdivisions 
        thereof).
          (15) The term ``undue hardship'', in the case of 
        actions taken by an employer, means actions requiring 
        significant difficulty or expense, when considered in 
        light of--
                  (A) the nature and cost of the action needed 
                under this chapter;
                  (B) the overall financial resources of the 
                facility or facilities involved in the 
                provision of the action; the number of persons 
                employed at such facility; the effect on 
                expenses and resources, or the impact otherwise 
                of such action upon the operation of the 
                facility;
                  (C) the overall financial resources of the 
                employer; the overall size of the business of 
                an employer with respect to the number of its 
                employees; the number, type, and location of 
                its facilities; and
                  (D) the type of operation or operations of 
                the employer, including the composition, 
                structure, and functions of the work force of 
                such employer; the geographic separateness, 
                administrative, or fiscal relationship of the 
                facility or facilities in question to the 
                employer.
          (16) The term ``uniformed services'' means the Armed 
        Forces, the Army National Guard and the Air National 
        Guard when engaged in active duty for training, 
        inactive duty training, or full-time National Guard 
        duty, the commissioned corps of the Public Health 
        Service, System members of the National Urban Search 
        and Rescue Response System during a period of 
        appointment into Federal service under section 327 of 
        the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
        Assistance Act, and any other category of persons 
        designated by the President in time of war or national 
        emergency.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]