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114th Congress   }                                            {   Report
                         HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                            {  114-900

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



 
  INTEGRATED PUBLIC ALERT AND WARNING SYSTEM MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

 December 30, 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. 1472]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1472) to establish a modernized 
national Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose of Legislation...........................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Legislative History and Consideration............................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     4
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     4
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     6
Advisory of Earmarks.............................................     6
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     6
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     6
Federal Mandate Statement........................................     7
Preemption Clarification.........................................     7
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     7
Applicability of Legislative Branch..............................     7
Section-by-Section Analysis of Legislation.......................     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     8

                         PURPOSE OF LEGISLATION

    H.R. 1472 would establish a modernized national Integrated 
Public Alert and Warning System.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    In the 111th Congress, the Subcommittee on Economic 
Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management 
conducted an investigation on the development of IPAWS and the 
Government Accountability Office (GAO) audited the system and 
issued a report\1\ that highlighted concerns related to FEMA's 
development of IPAWS. The subcommittee's investigation and 
GAO's report supported the need for legislation to ensure 
consultation and coordination with key stakeholders, strategic 
planning, and the timely roll out of the new system. A 
subsequent GAO report issued on April 24, 2013\2\ found 
improvements in how FEMA was developing the system but 
identified a continued need for guidance and testing. As a 
result of these investigations, legislation was introduced to 
provide statutory direction for the development and 
implementation of IPAWS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Emergency Preparedness: Improved Planning and Coordination 
Necessary for Modernization and Integration of Public Alert and Warning 
System, GAO-09-834, September 9, 2009.
    \2\Emergency Alerting: Capabilities Have Improved, but Additional 
Guidance and Testing Are Needed, GAO-13-375, April 24, 2013.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The provisions included in H.R. 1472 are modeled after the 
Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act enacted by 
Congress in 2006. The WARN Act, as signed into law as Title VI 
of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 
(Public Law 109-347) (The SAFE Port Act), required the Federal 
Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a Commercial 
Mobile Service Alert Advisory Committee (CMSAAC). Committee 
members included state, local and tribal governments, members 
of the private sector, and representatives of people with 
disabilities. The CMSAAC conducted meetings during 2008 and was 
charged with providing the FCC with recommendations on 
technical requirements, standards, regulations, and other 
matters needed to support the transmittal of emergency alerts 
by commercial mobile service providers to their subscribers on 
a voluntary basis.
    During its investigation on the development of IPAWS, the 
committee observed that the framework established by the WARN 
Act ensured input by relevant industries, maximizing buy-in by 
the private sector and helping to facilitate decision-making by 
establishing timetables. The provisions in H.R. 1472 establish 
a similar framework for the development of IPAWS.

IPAWS as a ``System of Systems''

    Pursuant to the Stafford Act, FEMA is charged with ensuring 
an emergency presidential message can be effectively 
disseminated to the Nation. Part of FEMA's responsibility is to 
provide for the ability of state, tribal and local governments 
to issue public alerts and warnings in the event of impending 
or imminent disasters or emergencies. In the 1960s, the 
foundation of such a system was established through the 
creation of the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS), which used 
television and radio to alert the public to emergencies. In 
recent years, that system, now called the Emergency Alert 
System (EAS), has been modernized and updated to digital 
technology.
    Because of the advances in technology and the increase in 
the methods by which the public can receive information and be 
alerted (e.g. cellphones, satellite radio and digital 
television), in 2006, President George W. Bush issued Executive 
Order 13407. This Order states that the United States policy is 
``to have an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible and 
comprehensive system to alert and warn the American people.'' 
Executive Order 13407 directs the Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS) to develop IPAWS as a ``system of systems.'' It 
is intended to eventually integrate existing and new alert 
systems into one unified system.
    Currently, IPAWS includes EAS, Wireless Emergency Alerts 
(mobile devices), and National Weather Service alerts. Future 
methods of alerting could include computer gaming systems, 
digital signs, siren systems, internet search engines, social 
sharing websites, and instant messaging. IPAWS creates an 
integrated system that allows one ``message'' or data package 
to be transmitted through as many mediums and methods as 
possible to reach the greatest number of people who may be 
impacted by a disaster or emergency. The move to digital 
signals, for example, creates opportunity for the message to 
incorporate audio, video or other data in addition to a text-
based message to provide the public as much critical 
information as may be needed. The need to increase the mediums 
and forms of alerts also increases options for the effective 
alerting of people with disabilities and people with limited 
English proficiency.

                                HEARINGS

    The Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, 
and Emergency Management, held a hearing on subjects related to 
matters contained in H.R. 1472 during the 111th, 112th, 113th 
and 114th Congresses:
    ``This Is NOT a Test: Will the Nation's Emergency Alert 
System Deliver the President's Message to the Public?'' held on 
September 30, 2009. The purpose of this hearing was to examine 
the status of efforts within the federal government, 
specifically, FEMA to modernize, expand and integrate existing 
emergency alert warning systems through the Integrated Public 
Alert and Warning Systems. The Committee also received a report 
from the Government Accountability Office detailing its 
assessment of the nation's emergency alert system.
    ``The Effectiveness of our Nation's Public Alert System'' 
held on December 13, 2011. The purpose of the hearing was to 
examine the development of FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and 
Warning System (IPAWS) and receive testimony regarding the 
recent test of the nation's emergency alert system.
    ``FEMA Reauthorization: Ensuring the Nation is Prepared'' 
held on October 2, 2013. The purpose of the hearing was to 
examine FEMA's IPAWS and Urban Search and Rescue System to 
evaluate the need for reform legislation in the context of a 
proposed reauthorization of FEMA.
    ``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.

                 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. 1472, a bill to establish a 
modernized national Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, 
along with 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. The Committee ordered the 
bill 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 record votes taken in connection 
with consideration of H.R. 1472.

                      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. 1472 from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, April 27, 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. 1472, the 
Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization 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,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1472--Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act 
        of 2015

    Summary: H.R. 1472 would authorize appropriations totaling 
$38 million over the 2016-2018 period for the Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS) to modernize the Integrated Public 
Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). The bill also would establish 
a committee to develop and submit recommendations for improving 
the system. 030 estimates that implementing H.R. 1472 would 
cost $37 million over the next five years, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    Enacting this legislation would not affect direct spending 
or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 1472 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of H.R. 1472 is shown in the following table. 
The cost of this legislation falls 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
 
Estimated Authorization Level...........................       13       13       13        *        *        39
Estimated Outlays.......................................        4        8       11        8        5        37
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: * = Less than $500,000. Details may not sum to totals because of rounding.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted near the end of fiscal year 2015 
and that amounts specified and estimated to be necessary will 
be appropriated for each year.
    H.R. 1472 would authorize the appropriation of $12.8 
million per year over the 2016-2018 period for DHS to modernize 
and implement IPAWS. The annual authorization level is roughly 
the same amount that has been allocated for that activity in 
recent years.
    IPAWS utilizes multiple technologies (for example, 
satellite radios, computers, and cellular phones) in addition 
to traditional radio and television communications to provide 
information about an impending or ongoing emergency situation. 
The bill specifies several criteria for modernization that 
IPAWS would be required to meet. DHS is currently pursuing 
several of those criteria under Executive Order 13407. Other 
goals not specified by that order, but that are contained in 
the bill, include training state and local governments and 
other stakeholders and ensuring that IPAWS can withstand 
terrorist attacks.
    The bill also would establish an advisory committee to 
develop recommendations to continue improving IPAWS. Within one 
year of enactment, the committee would submit a report to the 
Congress outlining those recommendations. However, because the 
committee would not terminate until after 2018 (the last year 
in which the bill specifies an authorization level), additional 
discretionary appropriations would be necessary to continue 
operations of the committee beyond that date. Based on 
historical expenditures for similar activities, CBO estimates 
that providing that fimding would cost about $1 million over 
the 2019-2020 period.
    Based on the rate of prior spending by DHS for IPAWS work, 
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1472 would cost $37 
million over the next five years, assuming appropriation of the 
specified amounts.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1472 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    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: Theresa Gullo, 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 is to 
establish a modernized national Integrated Public Alert and 
Warning System.

                          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 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. 1472 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 Government Accountability 
Office 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, Cong. (2015), the 
Committee finds that enacting H.R. 1472 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. 1472 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    H.R. 1472 establishes an advisory committee for IPAWS, 
exempted from the requirements of the Federal Advisory 
Committee Act and with a specific termination.

                  APPLICABILITY OF LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 
104-1).

               SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF LEGISLATION

    Section 1: Short Title: Section 1 designates the short 
title as the ``Integrated Public Alert and Warning System 
Modernization Act of 2015.''
    Section 2: Integrated Public Alert and Warning System 
Modernization: This section authorizes IPAWS at $12.8 million, 
consistent with current funding levels. This section would also 
establish clear system requirements and capabilities of IPAWS; 
provide a framework for the development of IPAWS; and ensure 
stakeholders, including federal, state, local and private 
sector entities have a well-defined method of providing input 
through a temporary advisory committee.
    The requirements of the system outlined in this section are 
intended to guide FEMA in its use and development of the 
capabilities in digital and other technologies. The 
requirements should not be interpreted as an authorization for 
FEMA to itself develop the communications network necessary to 
implement IPAWS. In addition, the language in section 
2(a)(3)(C) requires the public alert and warning system to 
provide alerts to the largest portion of the affected 
population as is feasible. Nothing in this section shall give 
FEMA the authority to require television or radio broadcasters, 
or other communications entities, to translate disaster 
warnings and emergency messages into multiple languages. This 
language provision is intended to allow the pass through (where 
appropriate) of non-English language emergency messages as they 
are received by a broadcaster or communications entity from the 
public alert and warning system or other message originator.
    Further, subsection (c) of section 2 makes clear that 
nothing in that section provides authority to FEMA or any other 
government entity to require any action on the part of any 
nongovernment entity.
    The Committee expects FEMA to consider information provided 
by an Advisory Committee Member, in light of any potential 
conflicts of interest that Member may have. In addition, if the 
Advisory Committee relies on any information provided by a non-
Advisory Committee Member, FEMA should consider whether the 
non-Advisory Committee Member has or could have a conflict of 
interest in providing the information and evaluate such 
information after consideration of any potential conflict of 
interest.
    The Committee expects that FEMA will work closely with 
relevant stakeholders to ensure alerts can be sent to and 
received by those with disabilities. The Committee recognizes 
FEMA has improved its outreach to relevant groups but expects 
FEMA to specifically work closely with the National Council on 
Disability (NCD), the federal agency specifically charged with 
working on disability policy. The Committee notes the work the 
NCD has done to study the issue of people with disabilities in 
disasters, including the development of recommendations related 
to alerting systems in its report entitled ``Effective 
Emergency Management: Making Improvements for Communities and 
People with Disabilities'' issued August 12, 2009.

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H.R. 1472 makes no changes in existing law.