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116th Congress    }                                   {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                   {        116-145

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



 
              FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE COORDINATION ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 11, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1306) to amend the Disaster 
Recovery Reform Act to develop a study regarding streamlining 
and consolidating information collection and preliminary damage 
assessments, 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...........................................     1
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Legislative History and Consideration............................     2
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     4
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     4
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     5
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Preemption Clarification.........................................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6

                         Purpose of Legislation

    The purpose of H.R. 1306, the Federal Disaster Assistance 
Coordination Act, is to develop a study on streamlining and 
consolidating Federal information collection and preliminary 
damage assessments.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Multiple federal agencies participate in information 
collection and damage assessments to grant Federal funding 
requested following emergencies and disasters, including the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of 
Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Small Business 
Administration (SBA). These tasks often need to be completed by 
more than one department or agency before an eligible applicant 
can receive Federal assistance. This leads to slow turnaround 
times in assisting disaster survivors and impacted communities, 
and a backlog of applications for assistance following major 
disasters.
    Section 1223 of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 
broadly requires ``an inter-agency study to streamline 
information collection from disaster assistance applicants and 
grantees, and the establishment of a public website to present 
the data.'' The Act provides no timeline for when the study 
should occur or which Federal departments and agencies should 
be involved.
    H.R. 1306 would further the requirements of Section 1223 
and address the inefficiencies associated with disaster funding 
disbursement by requiring a Federal working group to identify 
areas of potential overlap and to make a recommendation to 
Congress as to whether a single agency could assume 
responsibility for information collection and damage 
assessments. The working group would also examine whether 
emerging technologies, such as unmanned aircraft systems, could 
be used to expedite the damage assessment process.

                                Hearings

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress--
    The following hearing was used to develop or consider H.R. 
1306:
    On February 26, 2019, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure held a hearing entitled, ``Examining How Federal 
Infrastructure Policy Could Help Mitigate and Adapt to Climate 
Change.'' Witnesses included: Dr. Daniel Sperling, Board 
Member, California Air Resources Board; Mr. Ben Prochazka, Vice 
President, Electrification Coalition; Ms. Vicki Arroyo, 
Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center; Mr. James M. 
Proctor, II, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, McWane, 
Inc., testifying on behalf of the Build Strong Coalition; Mr. 
Kevin DeGood, Director, Infrastructure Policy, Center for 
American Progress; Ms. Lynn Scarlett, Vice President, Policy 
and Government Affairs, The Nature Conservancy; and Dr. Whitley 
J. Saumweber, Director, Stephenson Ocean Security (SOS) 
Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies. Topics 
discussed included impacts of severe weather events and rising 
costs of federal response and recovery operations.

                 Legislative History and Consideration

    H.R. 1306 was introduced in the House on February 15, 2019, 
by Mr. Meadows and referred to the Committee on Transportation 
and Infrastructure. Within the Committee, H.R. 1306 was 
referred to the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public 
Buildings, and Emergency Management.
    The Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, 
and Emergency Management was discharged from further 
consideration of H.R. 1306 on March 27, 2019.
    The Full Committee met in open session to consider H.R. 
1306 on March 27, 2019, and ordered the measure to be reported 
to the House with a favorable recommendation, without 
amendment, 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. 1306.

                      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. 1306 from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 15, 2019.
Hon. Peter A. DeFazio,
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. 1306, the Federal 
Disaster Assistance Coordination Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jon Sperl.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    H.R. 1306 would extend the deadline for completing certain 
activities required under the Disaster Recovery Reform Act. The 
bill also would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
(FEMA) to convene a working group with other federal agencies 
to improve preliminary damage assessments following disasters. 
Specifically, the bill would direct the working group to 
identify potential areas of duplication, determine the 
feasibility of having one federal agency make damage 
assessments for all agencies, and identify new areas for the 
use of technology. The bill would require the working group to 
post a report on FEMA's website and brief the Congress on its 
findings.
    Using information from FEMA about the cost of similar 
reports, CBO estimates that implementing the additional 
requirements in the bill would cost less than $500,000 over the 
2019-2024 period.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jon Sperl. The 
estimate was reviewed 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 is to 
streamline information collection and damage assessments 
conducted by Federal departments and agencies in response to 
applications for disaster assistance.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that no provision 
of H.R. 1306 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.

   Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

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

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (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 finds that H.R. 1306 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

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

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

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

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``Federal Disaster Assistance Coordination Act''.

Sec. 2. Study to streamline and consolidate information collection and 
        preliminary damage assessments

    This section amends Section 1223 of the Disaster Recovery 
Reform Act of 2018 by adding specific subsections related to 
information collection and damage assessment. The subsections 
would require the FEMA Administrator to coordinate with the 
appropriate agency heads to (1) conduct a study and develop a 
plan to consolidate federal disaster information collection, 
and (2) identify areas of overlap and assess whether a single 
agency could produce damage assessments for all agencies. The 
section would also require production of a comprehensive, 
publicly-available report with findings and recommendations for 
the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and 
the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs.

         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):

        SECTION 1223 OF THE DISASTER RECOVERY REFORM ACT OF 2018


[SEC. 1223. STUDY TO STREAMLINE AND CONSOLIDATE INFORMATION COLLECTION.

    [Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this 
Act, the Administrator--
            [(1) in coordination with the Small Business 
        Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban 
        Development, the Disaster Assistance Working Group of 
        the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and 
        Efficiency, and other appropriate agencies, conduct a 
        study and develop a plan, consistent with law, under 
        which the collection of information from disaster 
        assistance applicants and grantees will be modified, 
        streamlined, expedited, efficient, flexible, 
        consolidated, and simplified to be less burdensome, 
        duplicative, and time consuming for applicants and 
        grantees;
            [(2) in coordination with the Small Business 
        Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban 
        Development, the Disaster Assistance Working Group of 
        the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and 
        Efficiency, and other appropriate agencies, develop a 
        plan for the regular collection and reporting of 
        information on Federal disaster assistance awarded, 
        including the establishment and maintenance of a 
        website for presenting the information to the public; 
        and
            [(3) submit the plans developed under paragraphs 
        (1) and (2) to the Committee on Transportation and 
        Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the 
        Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs 
        of the Senate.]

SEC. 1223. STUDY TO STREAMLINE AND CONSOLIDATE INFORMATION COLLECTION 
                    AND PRELIMINARY DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS.

    (a) Information Collection.--Not later than 2 years after 
the date of enactment of this section, the Administrator, in 
coordination with the Small Business Administration, the 
Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Disaster 
Assistance Working Group of the Council of the Inspectors 
General on Integrity and Efficiency, and other appropriate 
agencies, shall--
            (1) conduct a study and develop a plan, consistent 
        with law, under which the collection of information 
        from disaster assistance applicants and grantees will 
        be modified, streamlined, expedited, efficient, 
        flexible, consolidated, and simplified to be less 
        burdensome, duplicative, and time consuming for 
        applicants and grantees; and
            (2) develop a plan for the regular collection and 
        reporting of information on Federal disaster assistance 
        awarded, including the establishment and maintenance of 
        a website for presenting the information to the public.
    (b) Preliminary Damage Assessments.--Not later than 2 years 
after the date of enactment of this section, the Administrator, 
in consultation with the Council of the Inspectors General on 
Integrity and Efficiency, shall convene a working group on a 
regular basis with the Secretary of Labor, the Director of the 
Office of Management and Budget, the Secretary of Health and 
Human Services, the Administrator of the Small Business 
Administration, the Secretary of Transportation, the Assistant 
Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, and other 
appropriate agencies as the Administrator considers necessary, 
to--
            (1) identify and describe the potential areas of 
        duplication or fragmentation in preliminary damage 
        assessments after disaster declarations;
            (2) determine the applicability of having one 
        Federal agency make the assessments for all agencies; 
        and
            (3) identify potential emerging technologies, such 
        as Unmanned Aircraft Systems, consistent with the 
        requirements established in Public Law 115-87, to 
        expedite the administration of preliminary damage 
        assessments.
    (c) Comprehensive Report.--The Administrator shall submit 1 
comprehensive report that comprises the plans developed under 
subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2) and a report of the findings of 
the working group convened under subsection (b), which may 
include recommendations, to the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the 
Senate.
    (d) Public Availability.--The comprehensive report 
developed under subsection (c) shall be made available to the 
public and posted on the website of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency--
            (1) in pre-compressed, easily downloadable versions 
        that are made available in all appropriate formats; and
            (2) in machine-readable format, if applicable.
    (e) Sources of Information.--In preparing the comprehensive 
report, any publication, database, or web-based resource, and 
any information compiled by any government agency, 
nongovernmental organization, or other entity that is made 
available may be used.
    (f) Briefing.--Not later than 180 days after submission of 
the comprehensive report, the Administrator of the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency, or a designee, and a member of the 
Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, 
or a designee, shall brief, upon request, the appropriate 
congressional committees on the findings and any 
recommendations made in the comprehensive report.

                                  [all]