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Congressman Dan Donovan

Representing the 11th District of New York

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Donovan Anti-Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness Bill Passes Committee

June 15, 2017
Press Release
Legislation makes U.S. safer by bolstering the nation’s ability to prepare for and respond to attacks and disasters

Washington, DC – June 15, 2017….Congressman Dan Donovan, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, today announced that his bill to bolster the nation’s capabilities to prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks and emergency situations unanimously passed the House Homeland Security Committee as a part of the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017. The Promoting Resilience in Preparing for Attacks and Responding to Emergencies (PREPARE) Act reauthorizes grants for, and improves efficiency of, critical disaster and emergency preparedness programs.

Congressman Donovan said, “Recent terror attacks and natural disasters across the globe remind us of the need to constantly analyze and improve our preparedness capabilities. This bill provides our first responders and communities with the resources they need to prevent and prepare for emergency situations, while also helping ensure that our agencies are constantly improving our federal response capabilities. We can’t always control when a disaster will strike, but we can put in place policies that mitigate the effects and protect Americans.”

Among other provisions, the bill:  
  • reauthorizes grants programs responsible for training and providing resources to first responders;
  • improves transparency and accountability related to FEMA grants usage;
  • ensures federal agencies and departments are prepared to respond to disasters by implementing minimum readiness standards;  
  • enhances cyber-threat and information sharing and coordination between federal, state, and local authorities; and  
  • requires federal departments and agencies to coordinate efforts to close capability gaps identified in federal response after-action reports.

The policies contained in the PREPARE Act respond to the heightened risk of terror threats and natural disasters. Recent terror attacks in London and Manchester, as well as a Homeland Security Committee report that found there have been 39 homegrown jihadist cases in the US this past year, highlight that our nation faces the highest terror threat since 9/11. Additionally, the rise of extreme weather events poses a significant risk to the safety of millions of Americans, businesses and properties. In 2016 alone, the US experienced 15 weather and climate events with losses exceeding $1 billion each. 

Language from the PREPARE Act was added to a larger bill, The Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017, legislation that authorizes the operation and priorities of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

This action highlights Donovan’s continued focus on improving national security defenses. Earlier this year, the House passed three homeland security bills sponsored by Donovan, which bulk up the country’s defenses against nuclear, transit, and cybersecurity threats. Last year, Donovan helped lead the fight to reverse proposed cuts to the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), which provides hundreds of millions of dollars in anti-terror funding, including $180 million to New York City, to high-risk jurisdictions.

 

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