[House Report 116-485]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


116th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                     {      116-485

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



 
     TO AMEND THE ROBERT T. STAFFORD DISASTER RELIEF AND EMERGENCY 
    ASSISTANCE ACT TO INCLUDE CERTAIN SERVICES IN THE DEFINITION OF 
               CRITICAL SERVICES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

 September 4, 2020.--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

                        [To accompany H.R. 2242]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 2242) to amend the Robert T. 
Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to 
include certain services in the definition of critical 
services, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with amendments and recommends that 
the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

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

    The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. REPAIR, RESTORATION, AND REPLACEMENT OF DAMAGED FACILITIES.

  Section 20601 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-
123) is amended by inserting ``, and including, for purposes of this 
section, solid waste management, stormwater management, public housing, 
transportation infrastructure, and medical care,'' before ``for the 
duration''.
    Amend the title so as to read:
    A bill to amend the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to 
include certain services in the definition of critical services 
for purposes of repair, restoration, and replacement of damaged 
facilities.

                         Purpose of Legislation

    The purpose of H.R. 2242, as amended, is to amend the 
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act 
(Stafford Act, Pub. L. 93-288, as amended) to include 
additional services in the Act's definition of critical 
services.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Section 406(a) of the Stafford Act allows the President to 
make contributions to private non-profit facilities and 
infrastructure for the repair of damage caused by disasters if 
those facilities provide ``critical services'' as defined by 
the act. The Stafford Act currently includes power, water, 
sewer, wastewater treatment, communications, education, and 
emergency medical care within the Section 406 definition of 
``critical services.''
    H.R. 2242, as amended, would expand the definition of 
critical services under Section 406 of the Stafford Act for the 
purposes of Section 20601 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 
(Pub. L. 115-123) authorizing assistance for public 
infrastructure pursuant to Section 428 of the Stafford Act for 
certain disasters declared in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin 
Islands. This expansion includes: solid waste management, 
stormwater management, emergency supply transportation, 
nonemergency medical, first response, and security.

                                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. 2242, as amended:
    On May 22, 2019, the Subcommittee on Economic Development, 
Public Buildings, and Emergency Management held a hearing 
titled ``Disaster Preparedness: DRRA Implementation and FEMA 
Readiness.'' Dr. Daniel Kaniewski, Deputy Administrator for 
Resilience, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. 
Department of Homeland Security; Ms. Sima Merick, Executive 
Director, Ohio Emergency Management Agency, testifying on 
behalf of the National Emergency Management Association; Mr. 
Nicholas L. Crossley, Director, Emergency Management and 
Homeland Security Agency, Hamilton County, Ohio, testifying on 
behalf of the International Association of Emergency Managers; 
Hon. James Gore, Supervisor, 4th District, Sonoma County, 
California, testifying on behalf of the National Association of 
Counties, Ms. Pamela S. Williams, Executive Director, 
BuildStrong Coalition; Mr. Alphonse Davis, Deputy Director, 
Engineering Extension Service, Texas A&M, testifying on behalf 
of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium; and Mr. Randy 
Noel, President, Reve, Inc., testifying on behalf of the 
National Association of Home Builders. Topics discussed 
included the state of federal disaster preparedness programs 
since the enactment of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 
2018, the status of federal disaster recovery assistance 
funding appropriated in the wake of major disaster declarations 
granted by the President from 2017-2019, and the increasing 
frequency of extreme weather-related hazards.

                 Legislative History and Consideration

    On April 10, 2019, Resident Commissioner/Representative 
Gonzalez-Colon introduced H.R. 2242. Within the Committee, H.R. 
2242 was referred to the Subcommittee on Economic Development, 
Public Buildings, and Emergency Management.
    The Chair discharged the Subcommittee on Economic 
Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management from 
further consideration of H.R. 2242 on September 19, 2019.
    The Committee considered H.R. 2242 on September 19, 2019, 
and ordered the measure to be reported to the House with a 
favorable recommendation, as amended, by voice vote, a quorum 
being present.
    The following amendments were offered:
    An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by Miss 
Gonzalez-Colon (#1); was AGREED TO by voice vote.

                            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. 2242, as amended.

                      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.
    Several Committee members and staff have visited the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to meet 
with local and Federal officials and review the status of 
recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria since the storms struck 
in 2017. Limitations in Federal disaster recovery program 
authorities identified by officials tasked with recovery have 
resulted in this legislative effort to further expand language 
enacted as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 
115-123).

               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. 2242 from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, February 26, 2020.
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. 2242, a bill to 
amend the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to include certain 
services in the definition of critical services for purposes of 
repair, restoration, and replacement of damaged facilities.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jon Sperl.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

    {GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT}
    

    The bill would
           Authorize the Federal Emergency Management 
        Agency to provide additional disaster recovery 
        assistance to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands 
        for critical services projects
    Estimated budgetary effects would primarily stem from
           Spending for critical services projects
    Areas of significant uncertainty include
           Estimating the amount of assistance that 
        will be provided to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin 
        Islands under current law
           Determining the number and type of projects 
        that would qualify as critical services projects
           Projecting the amount of assistance critical 
        services projects would receive
    Bill summary: H.R. 2242 would make certain recovery 
projects eligible for increased assistance from the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Puerto Rico and the U.S. 
Virgin Islands in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 
The bill would amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
Emergency Assistance Act to expand the list of project types 
that qualify as critical services projects under the Bipartisan 
Budget Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-123).
    Estimated Federal cost: The estimated budgetary effect of 
H.R. 2242 is shown in Table 1. The costs of the legislation 
fall within budget function 450 (community and regional 
development).

                                                   TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF H.R. 2242
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025   2026   2027   2028   2029   2030  2020-2025  2020-2030
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Increases in Direct Spending
 
Estimated Budget Authority...........................      0      0      0      0      0      0      0      0      0      0      0         0          0
Estimated Outlays....................................      *    380    360    330    300    190     90     40     20     10     10     1,560      1,730
 
                                                     Increases in Spending Subject to Appropriation
 
Estimated Authorization..............................      *      2      2      1      *      *      *      *      *      *      *         7          9
Estimated Outlays....................................      *      2      2      1      *      *      *      *      *      *      *         7          9
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Components may not sum to totals because of rounding; * = between zero and $500,000.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted in fiscal year 2020. Under that 
assumption, the agency could incur some costs in 2020, but CBO 
expects that most of the costs would be incurred in 2021 and 
later.
    Background: In 2017, the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico 
and the Virgin Islands were struck by Hurricanes Irma and 
Maria. In response, the President declared major disasters 
under the Stafford Act, which authorizes FEMA, at its 
discretion for authorized purposes, to provide assistance 
through several programs from its Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). 
In that year, the Congress provided nearly $50 billion in 
supplemental appropriations to the DRF, largely in response to 
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.\1\ Using information from 
FEMA, CBO expects that a significant portion of the current 
balance of nearly $60 billion (which includes supplemental and 
regular appropriations) ultimately will be spent on recovery 
efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands related to 
Hurricanes Irma and Maria. CBO projects that most--but not 
all--of that spending will occur over the 2020-2030 period 
under current law.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Appropriations to the DRF over the 2011-2020 period averaged 
$138 billion annually. About half of those amounts were provided in 
supplemental appropriations acts. In particular, Public Laws 115-56, 
115-72, and 115-123 provided $49.6 billion in supplemental funding to 
the DRF in response to several 2017 disasters, including Hurricanes 
Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since 2017, FEMA has spent about $14 billion on disaster 
assistance for the two territories. Of that amount, CBO 
estimates that about $6 billion has been spent on projects 
under the Public Assistance Program, which funds repairs to and 
replacements of public buildings, roads, bridges, and other 
infrastructure; removal of debris; and restoration of critical 
services, such as electricity and water.\2\ Using information 
from FEMA about the agency's long-term projections for recovery 
spending in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, CBO 
projects that, under current law, the agency will spend an 
additional $38 billion from DRF balances on those types of 
projects over the 2020-2030 period.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Section 406 of the Stafford Act defines critical services to 
include electricity, water (including water provided by an irrigation 
organization or facility) and sewer, wastewater treatment, 
communications, education, and emergency medical care.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Direct spending: H.R. 2242 would expand the eligible uses 
of existing, unobligated balances in the DRF by classifying 
additional types of projects as critical services projects. 
Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, FEMA is authorized to 
spend more for critical services in Puerto Rico and the U.S. 
Virgin Islands than is permitted under the Stafford Act for 
other disasters. As a result, CBO expects that enacting H.R. 
2242 would lead to balances in the DRF being spent more quickly 
than under current law. That additional spending of amounts 
already appropriated is classified as direct spending. In 
total, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would increase 
direct spending by about $1.7 billion over the 2020-2030 
period; that increased spending would be offset by lower 
spending of the same amount in years after 2030.
    Total spending on Public Assistance projects in Puerto Rico 
and the U.S. Virgin Islands would increase because both the 
number of projects that qualify as critical services and the 
amount of funding available for each one would increase. The 
expanded list of critical services would include transportation 
infrastructure (such as roads and bridges), public housing, and 
solid waste and stormwater management. CBO estimates that about 
5 percent of total spending for those projects under current 
law is for critical services; the expansion under H.R. 2242 
would make an additional 15 percent of total spending on Public 
Assistance qualify as critical services. Transportation 
projects--historically 10 percent of total Public Assistance 
spending--would account for most of that increase.
    Spending subject to appropriation: FEMA uses contractors to 
review infrastructure projects. Because H.R. 2242 would expand 
both the number and the technical complexity of projects, CBO 
estimates that FEMA would need to spend about $7 million over 
the 2021-2024 period and smaller amounts in subsequent years on 
additional contract services. In total, CBO estimates, FEMA 
would spend $9 million over the 2020-2030 period. Such spending 
would be subject to the availability of appropriations to the 
DRF.
    Uncertainty: The total amount of public assistance that 
FEMA will provide to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands 
over the 2020-2030 period--currently estimated at $38 billion--
is the largest area of uncertainty associated with H.R. 2242. 
CBO's estimate of the bill's costs is based on assumptions 
applied to that starting figure. If FEMA decides to increase or 
decrease the amount of spending allocated to storm recovery in 
those territories under current law, then estimated spending 
under H.R. 2242 would change as well.
    In addition, the proportion of spending under the Public 
Assistance Program that H.R. 2242 would make eligible for the 
enhanced authorities of Public Law 115-123, which CBO estimates 
is 15 percent, is uncertain. Further, the magnitude of the 
increase in the cost of projects that the bill would enable, 
which CBO estimates is 35 percent per project, is also 
uncertain. Because Public Law 115-123 was enacted in 2018, CBO 
has limited history to use in estimating its effects. The costs 
of H.R. 2242 could therefore be higher or lower than CBO 
estimates.
    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 Table 2.

 TABLE 2.--H.R. 2242, A BILL TO AMEND THE BIPARTISAN BUDGET ACT OF 2018 TO INCLUDE CERTAIN SERVICES IN THE DEFINITION OF CRITICAL SERVICES FOR PURPOSES
    OF REPAIR, RESTORATION, AND REPLACEMENT OF DAMAGED FACILITIES, AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE ON
                                                                   SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025   2026   2027   2028   2029   2030  2020-2025  2020-2030
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Net Increase in the Deficit
 
Pay-As-You-Go Effect.................................      0    380    360    330    300    190     90     40     20     10     10     1,560      1,730
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
H.R. 2242 would affect the spending of balances from the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). Most of those balances stem from appropriations designated in
  accordance with section 251 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 as emergency requirements or for disaster relief. In
  particular, Public Laws 115-56, 115-72, and 115-123 (the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018) designated the amounts appropriated to the DRF--totaling $49.6
  billion--as emergency requirements. H.R. 2242 would not designate funds as emergency requirements or for disaster relief, but to the extent that it
  would accelerate spending of DRF balances, it would increase spending of some funds that were originally designated as such.

    Increase in long-term deficits: None.
    Mandates: None.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Jon Sperl; Mandates: 
Rachel Austin.
    Estimate reviewed by: Kim P. Cawley, Chief, Natural and 
Physical Resources Cost Estimates Unit; H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Director of 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 expand 
eligibility for facility and infrastructure repair funding for 
entities that provide critical services.

                    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. 2242, 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 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. 2242, as amended, 
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


Sec. 1. Repair, restoration, and replacement of damaged facilities

    This section strikes and replaces the original re-
definition of ``critical services'' to include solid waste 
management, stormwater management, emergency supply 
transportation, nonemergency medical, first response, and 
security. Additionally, the title of the bill was amended to 
read, ``A bill to amend the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to 
include certain services in the definition of critical services 
for purposes of repair, restoration, and replacement of damaged 
facilities.''

         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 (new matter is 
printed in italics and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     BIPARTISAN BUDGET ACT OF 2018




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
   DIVISION B--SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS, TAX RELIEF, AND MEDICAID 
    CHANGES RELATING TO CERTAIN DISASTERS AND FURTHER EXTENSION OF 
                       CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS

   SUBDIVISION 1--FURTHER ADDITIONAL SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR 
DISASTER RELIEF REQUIREMENTS ACT, 2018

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE VI--DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *





SEC. 20601. GENERAL PROVISIONS--THIS TITLE.

  The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
may provide assistance, pursuant to section 428 of the Robert 
T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 
U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), for critical services as defined in 
section 406 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
Emergency Assistance Act, and including, for purposes of this 
section, solid waste management, stormwater management, public 
housing, transportation infrastructure, and medical care, for 
the duration of the recovery for incidents DR-4336-PR, DR-4339-
PR, DR-4340-USVI, and DR-4335-USVI to--
          (1) replace or restore the function of a facility or 
        system to industry standards without regard to the pre-
        disaster condition of the facility or system; and
          (2) replace or restore components of the facility or 
        system not damaged by the disaster where necessary to 
        fully effectuate the replacement or restoration of 
        disaster-damaged components to restore the function of 
        the facility or system to industry standards.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]