Congressional Budget Office Analyzes H.R. 2903, the FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2012

Jun 7, 2012


Yesterday, June 6, 2012, the Congressional Budget Office issued an analysis of H.R. 2903, the FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2012.  To view the full document, click here

A summary is reprinted below:


H.R. 2903, FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2012

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on March 8, 2012

H.R. 2903 would authorize appropriations totaling about $2.2 billion over the next two years for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The legislation would authorize about $2.1 billion for salaries and expenses of the agency, including $37 million to modernize the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS); $71 million for the Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System; $32 million for dam safety activities; and $4 million for emergency management assistance compact grants. Based on historical expenditure patterns, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $2.1 billion over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the specified amounts.

Enacting this legislation would affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that the net effects would probably be zero or insignificant for each year. Enacting H.R. 2903 would not affect revenues.

H.R. 2903 would impose intergovernmental and private-sector mandates, as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), by eliminating an existing right to seek compensation for damages and by requiring employers to allow members of the urban search and rescue response system to reclaim their jobs upon completing a deployment to a disaster. Based on information from FEMA, CBO estimates that the cost to comply with the mandates would fall below the annual thresholds established in UMRA for intergovernmental and private-sector mandates ($73 million and $146 million, respectively, in 2012, adjusted annually for inflation).