[House Report 116-87]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


116th Congress   }                                             {   Report
                          HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                             {   116-87

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



 
      SUPPORTING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FOR FIRST RESPONDERS ACT
                                _______
                                

  May 28, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, from the Committee on Homeland Security, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 542]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 542) to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 
to establish the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     1
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
C.B.O. Estimate, New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and 
  Tax Expenditures...............................................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
Duplicative Federal Programs.....................................     5
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 542, the ``Supporting Research and Development for 
First Responders Act,'' amends the Homeland Security Act of 
2002 to authorize the National Urban Security Technology 
Laboratory (NUSTL) within the Department of Homeland Security's 
Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). Located in Manhattan, 
New York, NUSTL is the only national laboratory focused on 
supporting the needs of state and local first responders and is 
tasked with testing, evaluation, and research and development 
(R&D) activities. Additionally, NUSTL conducts nuclear and 
radiological R&D in support of response and recovery as well as 
provides technical advisory services to emergency response 
professionals. In the Fiscal Year 2018, 2019, and 2020 budget 
requests, the Trump Administration proposed closing NUSTL along 
with other Homeland Security laboratories and centers of 
excellence. Last Congress, a nearly identical version to H.R. 
542 passed the full House by a voice vote.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Since 1947, the National Urban Security Technology 
Laboratory (NUSTL) has worked to support national security 
efforts. Initially established as the Health & Safety 
Laboratory of the medical division of the Atomic Energy 
Commission, NUSTL was formed to research environmental 
monitoring of radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons tests 
along with other nuclear and radiological research questions. 
In 1977, the laboratory's name changed to the Environmental 
Measurements Laboratory (EML) and was incorporated into the 
newly created Department of Energy. During this time, the 
laboratory's research focus centered on environmental radiation 
monitoring, decontamination, and remediation efforts. In 2003, 
EML was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) from the Department of Energy\1\ and in 2009 DHS changed 
the name of the laboratory to the National Urban Security 
Technology Laboratory.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\6 USC 183
    \2\National Urban Security Technology Laboratory Annual Report 
Fiscal Year 2016. Page 5. Available at: https://www.dhs.gov/sites/
default/files/publications/NUSTL_Annual-Report-FY2016_web_171012-
508_0.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NUSTL is one of five laboratories overseen by DHS Science & 
Technology (S&T) Directorate. Located within S&T's First 
Responders Group, NUSTL is a unique resource for the emergency 
preparedness community by serving as test and evaluation 
laboratory for first responder technology. NUSTL carries out 
the System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders 
(SAVER) program that assesses commercially-available first 
responder equipment. The results of SAVER assessments are 
shared with the first responder community to enable them to 
better select, acquire, and use the latest emergency response 
technology and equipment.\3\ NUSTL also conducts research into 
response and recovery from nuclear and radiological events. 
Such research helps improve radiological response capabilities 
at all levels of government to minimize impact to communities 
in the aftermath of a nuclear or radiological incident.\4\ 
Additionally, NUSTL serves as platform for the first responder 
community to collaborate, exchange information on the latest 
relevant technology, applications, and training.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\National Urban Security Technology Laboratory Annual Report 
Fiscal Year 2017. Page 5. Available at: https://www.dhs.gov/
publication/st-nustl-annual-report-2017
    \4\Radiological/Nuclear Response and Recovery Research & 
Development Fact Sheet. Available at: https://www.dhs.gov/publication/
rnrr-nustl-fact-sheet
    \5\National Urban Security Technology Laboratory Annual Report 
Fiscal Year 2017. Page 20.
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    The Trump Administration proposed closing NUSTL in the 
Fiscal Year 2018, 2019, and 2020 budget requests.\6\\7\ 
However, Congress rejected the proposal and funded NUSTL.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\In the Fiscal Year 2018 budget request, the additional 
laboratories were the Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC) and the 
National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC). 
However, in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget request, funding for NBACC was 
restored whereas the Administration proposed closing NUSTL and CSAC.
    \7\In the Fiscal Year 2020 budget request, the DHS Science & 
Technology directorate's budget was cut by $219 million. If enacted, 
the directorate would need to close its laboratories to accommodate the 
budget decrease.
    \8\P.L. 115-141.
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    Last Congress, an earlier version of the bill, H.R. 4991, 
passed the House by voice vote. Representative Kathleen Rice 
(D-NY) reintroduced the measure in the 116th Congress with 
Representative Peter King (R-NY) to authorize NUSTL to ensure 
that it continues to contribute to bolstering first responder 
preparedness and response capabilities.

                                Hearings

    The Committee did not hold a legislative hearing on H.R. 
542 in the 116th Congress. However, on November 7, 2017 in the 
115th Congress, the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, 
Response, and Communications held a hearing entitled ``How 
Effective is the Science and Technology Directorate?: 
Stakeholder Perspectives'' at which witnesses discussed NUSTL 
and the benefits of its work. At the hearing, the Subcommittee 
heard from S&T stakeholders about the importance of keeping 
NUSTL operational.\9\ During the hearing, Chief Timothy Rice 
from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) highlighted that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Chief Timothy Rice, Battalion Chief, Weapons of Mass Destruction 
Branch Coordinator, City of New York Fire Department, Testimony before 
the Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Emergency 
Preparedness, Response, and Communications, November 7, 2017.

        [t]hrough our frequent and valuable interactions with 
        NUSTL, the FDNY has greatly benefited from our 
        partnership with S&T. The advantages of this 
        relationship, both tangible and intangible, strengthen 
        the department's ability to save life and property, and 
        ultimately, make the people of New York and millions of 
        visitors to the region safer each day.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Id.
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                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee met on May 15, 2019, with a quorum being 
present, to consider H.R. 542 and ordered the measure to be 
reported to the House with a favorable recommendation, without 
amendment, by unanimous consent.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    No recorded votes were requested during consideration of 
H.R. 542.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

Congressional Budget Office Estimate New Budget Authority, Entitlement 
                    Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements 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 adopts as its 
own the estimate of the estimate of new budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues 
contained in the cost estimate prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office.




    On May 15, the House Committee on Homeland Security ordered 
reported the following bills:
           H.R. 542, the Supporting Research and 
        Development for First Responders Act, which would 
        codify laboratory programs that currently exist at the 
        Department of Homeland Security (DHS);
           H.R. 2589, the Unifying DHS Intelligence 
        Enterprise Act, which would direct DHS to manage and 
        provide guidance for the use of intelligence throughout 
        the department;
           H.R. 2590, the DHS Overseas Personnel 
        Enhancement Act of 2019, which would require DHS to 
        devise a plan to improve the effectiveness of 
        department personnel who are stationed at foreign 
        locations;
           H.R. 2609, the DHS Acquisition Review Board 
        Act of 2019, which would direct the department to 
        establish a board to review major acquisition programs 
        and enhance accountability and uniformity in the review 
        process for DHS acquisitions; and
           H.R. 2621, the Homeland Security Assessment 
        of Terrorists Use of Ghost Guns Act, which would 
        require DHS to evaluate the threat posed by firearms 
        without unique serial numbers.
    DHS is currently carrying out activities similar to those 
required by the bills listed above, and any new activities 
required under the legislation would not require substantial 
action by the department. Thus, CBO estimates that implementing 
each bill would not significantly affect spending by DHS.
    The CBO staff contact for these estimates is Mark 
Grabowicz. The estimates were reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       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.

                      Duplicative Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of rule XIII, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 542 does not contain any provision that establishes 
or reauthorizes a program known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R. 
542 would require the following general performance goals and 
objectives, including outcome related goals and objectives 
authorized.
    The goals and objectives of H.R. 542 are to authorize the 
activities of the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory 
to support first responders and emergency preparedness 
officials through NUSTL's projects and programs.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In compliance with 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(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of the rule 
XXI.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``Supporting Research and Development for First Responders 
Act''.

Sec. 2. National Urban Security Technology Laboratory

    Amends title III of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 by 
adding a new section directing the Secretary of Homeland 
Security, acting through the Under Secretary for Science and 
Technology, to designate the National Urban Security Technology 
Laboratory as an S&T laboratory responsible for testing and 
evaluating emerging technologies and conducting research and 
development to assist emergency response providers in preparing 
for, and protecting against, threats of terrorism.
    The legislation directs the laboratory to conduct tests, 
evaluations, and assessments of current and emerging 
technologies for emergency responders; conduct research and 
development on radiological and nuclear response and recovery; 
act as a technical advisor to emergency response providers; and 
carry out other such activities as appropriate.

         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 italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Homeland 
Security Act of 2002''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is 
as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
     * * * * * * *

    TITLE III--SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN SUPPORT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

     * * * * * * *
Sec. 321. National Urban Security Technology Laboratory.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE III--SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN SUPPORT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 321. NATIONAL URBAN SECURITY TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary, acting through the Under 
Secretary for Science and Technology, shall designate the 
laboratory described in subsection (b) as an additional 
laboratory pursuant to the authority under section 308(c)(2). 
Such laboratory shall be used to test and evaluate emerging 
technologies and conduct research and development to assist 
emergency response providers in preparing for, and protecting 
against, threats of terrorism.
  (b) Laboratory Described.--The laboratory described in this 
subsection is the laboratory--
          (1) known, as of the date of the enactment of this 
        section, as the National Urban Security Technology 
        Laboratory;
          (2) previously known as the Environmental 
        Measurements Laboratory; and
          (3) transferred to the Department pursuant to section 
        303(1)(E).
  (c) Laboratory Activities.--The laboratory designated 
pursuant to subsection (a), shall--
          (1) conduct tests, evaluations, and assessments of 
        current and emerging technologies, including, as 
        appropriate, cybersecurity of such technologies that 
        can connect to the internet, for emergency response 
        providers;
          (2) conduct research and development on radiological 
        and nuclear response and recovery;
          (3) act as a technical advisor to emergency response 
        providers; and
          (4) carry out other such activities as the Secretary 
        determines appropriate.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *