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senate Bill S. 979

Should FEMA Report to Congress on its Pre-Disaster Advance Contract Process?

Argument in favor

Requiring FEMA to report to Congress on its use of advance contracts to build up federal readiness ahead of disaster is an important accountability measure that will help ensure that the agency uses federal funds responsibly. Updating FEMA’s advance contract strategy is an important means of ensuring that FEMA’s strategy in this area is as efficient as possible.

KellyKelly's Opinion
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12/19/2020
I will continually sing the praises of Rep Houlahan. On this and so many issues and policies, she genuinely listens to her constituents, uses her experience and intelligence, works tirelessly and handles herself with grace. Rep Houlahan & staff: Thank YOU for being a beacon of leadership and hope during a time where we needed it more than ever.
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Michele's Opinion
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12/18/2020
If that's what it actually does, without a bunch of slop for the pigs, I say yes. FEMA is notorious for wasting money. Always has been. Money goes to them and there's nothing to show. Great for those skimming off of it, not so much for the tax payer.
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Stacey's Opinion
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12/19/2020
Guess What Iowans, you said it, Steve King DID NOT VOTE AGAIN!!! Any fool can see this guy is NOT INTERESTED IN DOING HIS JOB.
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Argument opposed

The report that this bill would require FEMA to create is a waste of time, given that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) already created a report with nine recommendations for FEMA in 2017. Rather than creating needless work for FEMA employees, it would be better to require FEMA to act on the GAO’s 2017 recommendations.

Kodiwodi's Opinion
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12/18/2020
It was sponsored by little Marco Rubio so I know it’s not for the good of all. It’s redundant and FEMA should indeed follow the 2017 recommendations.
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Kathy's Opinion
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12/18/2020
I don’t see how anyone can report anything anywhere since Congress and intelligence agencies (most every organization) is compromised by treasonous plants who don’t have the American peoples best interest in mind.
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Dave 's Opinion
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12/18/2020
Congress is broken busted beleaguered and barren of leadership. No need to report to them any longer. As the pandemic rages on, as we also are now under a cyber attack by Russia and the White House remains silent, if there are ANY competent professionals left in this administration stay the hell out of their way and let them do their job. And coming from Rubio, where Florida is a total disaster at the moment this bill is a joke.
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What is Senate Bill S. 979?

This bill, known as the FACE Act, would direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to report to Congress on advance contracts, which are contracts established before disaster to provide goods and services in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

The report would be required to include:

  • Information on recurring disaster response requirements, and
  • An updated strategy defining the objectives of advance contracts, explaining how advance contracts contribute to FEMA disaster response operations, maximizing the award of advance contracts to small business concerns, and assessing whether and how advance contracts should be prioritized in relation to new post-disaster contract awards.

Additionally, this legislation would define additional responsibilities for FEMA with respect to advance contracts. These responsibilities would include requiring FEMA to 1) update and implement guidance for its program office and acquisition personnel to identify acquisition planning time frames and considerations across the entire acquisition planning process, and 2) communicate the purpose and use of a master acquisition planning schedule.

This bill’s full title is the Federal Advance Contracts Enhancement (FACE) Act.

Impact

FEMA disaster response efforts; FEMA agency spending; and Congress.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 979

$2.00 Million
The CBO estimates that this bill would cost $2 million to implement over the 2019-2024 period.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced this bill to require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure more effective use and management of its advance contracts for goods and services:

“While Florida’s nearly through another hurricane season, I am proud to see that the Senate has passed our bipartisan FACE Act. Congress must implement lessons learned from past disasters to ensure that gaps in recovery efforts are addressed and future federal response is more effective and efficient. I urge my colleagues in the House to consider this legislation quickly and send it to the president.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) added:

“Planning ahead for natural disasters can help streamline recovery efforts and save taxpayers in Michigan and across the country millions of dollars in the long run. “As a co-chair of 2019 National Preparedness Month, I’m proud to support the commonsense reforms in this bill that will help ensure communities are prepared when disaster strikes and can quickly access the resources they need for a full and swift recovery.”  

This legislation unanimously passed the Senate with the support of five bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including three Republicans and two Democrats. Its House companion, sponsored by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), has three bipartisan House cosponsors, including two Republicans and two Democrats, and has not yet received a committee vote.


Of NoteAfter Hurricane Katrina, Congress required Congress to establish advance contracts for goods and services to enable the federal government to quickly mobilize resources to affected areas after disasters. After the historically destructive disaster season, in which FEMA was forced to rely heavily on advance contracts in its responses to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the 2017 California wildfires, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review the federal government’s response and assess a number of issues.

In its report, the GAO found a number of issues with FEMA’s handling of advance contracts and made nine recommendations, all of which FEMA concurred with.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / danielfela)

AKA

Federal Advance Contracts Enhancement Act

Official Title

A bill to amend the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 to incorporate the recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office relating to advance contracts, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house Passed December 18th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 386 Yea / 1 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
  • The senate Passed November 7th, 2019
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    IntroducedApril 2nd, 2019

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    Only if FEMA considers Covid hospitalizations a natural disaster as it has reached numbers higher than hurricanes & wars! Reprint from email below of a statement signed by 9 well known medical organizations: The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is joined by eight organizations in calling for key actions to be taken in order to do the most good possible for the largest number of people with limited medical resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. 1) Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security 2) American Association of Medical Colleges 3) American Association of Colleges of Nursing 4) American Medical Association 5) American Nurses Association 6) National Council of State Boards of Nursing 7) National League for Nursing 8) National Medical Association The crisis is now: governors, health departments, hospitals, and other health care sector partners must take immediate action to save lives and fairly allocate limited resources. Hospitals across most of the United States are experiencing alarmingly high surges in COVID-19 patients, and many intensive care units across the country are already over capacity and many more will be so in the coming weeks. In response, hospitals are canceling admissions and non-emergency procedures, identifying ways to augment staff, transferring patients outside their local jurisdictions, and even establishing and operating alternate care sites. Many of the hardest-hit hospitals are those that serve Black, Brown, Asian, and tribal communities, threatening to exacerbate existing inequities in care quality and outcomes. We have reached a point in the crisis at which critical decisions must be made in order to do the most good possible for the largest number of people with limited resources. These decisions effectively signal a shift from conventional to crisis standards of care (CSC). This means making unprecedented and agonizing decisions about how resources are used, stretching many resources well beyond conventional limits. Every action possible should be taken now to mitigate the need to operate under crisis conditions. Failure to act will inevitably mean more lives lost, lasting damage to our fragile health care system, and deepened scars of health inequity. https://nam.edu/national-organizations-call-for-action-to-implement-crisis-standards-of-care-during-covid-19-surge/
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    << 32 days, 17 hours, 44 minutes>>. … … … Why do we have to keep legislating the Congressional role, rite and responsibility of oversight? Making an annual report is a way for Congress to claim oversight without actually doing it. Also, isn’t it the role of our Investigator’s General to monitor executive agencies use of resources to assure that they are in compliance with Congressional direction? If Congress wants the role of oversight as mandated by the Constitution, then just do it. I generally do not like useless mandates in lieu of thoughtfully deliberative judgement. I know that the trump has been able to avoid oversight by the glacial judicial processes that he has been permitted to use to block Congressional oversight; and by unprecedented firing of any IG that might be getting close to uncovering the trump’s or his crony’s abuses. FIX THAT, and stop the never ending useless crap that politicians push to get phony ‘creds’ for appearing to have actually done something while in office.
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    It was sponsored by little Marco Rubio so I know it’s not for the good of all. It’s redundant and FEMA should indeed follow the 2017 recommendations.
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    I don’t see how anyone can report anything anywhere since Congress and intelligence agencies (most every organization) is compromised by treasonous plants who don’t have the American peoples best interest in mind.
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    Congress is broken busted beleaguered and barren of leadership. No need to report to them any longer. As the pandemic rages on, as we also are now under a cyber attack by Russia and the White House remains silent, if there are ANY competent professionals left in this administration stay the hell out of their way and let them do their job. And coming from Rubio, where Florida is a total disaster at the moment this bill is a joke.
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    It is sponsored by Marko Rubio. So, it cannot be for the benefit of the working class.
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    This bill appears to be a duplication. Why would Congress just not ask FEMA to report on the implementation progress of the 2017 GAO nine recommendations?
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    No congress already has messed up with everything since Trump and the Republicans took over it is not the time to make them incharge of something else that they can't handle!
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    This is already a law isn’t it? Congress holds the purse strings And while we’re all here-start your emails and phone calls Camden county needs a mega vaccine site too Camden county has been a hot spot Have some of the biggest hospitals in the state We need a vaccine site now
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    I will continually sing the praises of Rep Houlahan. On this and so many issues and policies, she genuinely listens to her constituents, uses her experience and intelligence, works tirelessly and handles herself with grace. Rep Houlahan & staff: Thank YOU for being a beacon of leadership and hope during a time where we needed it more than ever.
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    How is this really different from the 2017 requirement? I support calling in GAO and FEMA officials to discuss the progress FEMA has made (or not made) in implementing the 2017 plan. I see no purpose in dropping a NEW bill onto the process to slow and complicate things. We should propose one when a specific issue is detected that requires a new law to resolve.
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    It appears the evaluation process has occurred with the GAO. Of course Little Marco wants to appear diligent now. Helping pass Covid support would be the best way he could be responsible. Telling Donald to shut up would help as well.
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    If that's what it actually does, without a bunch of slop for the pigs, I say yes. FEMA is notorious for wasting money. Always has been. Money goes to them and there's nothing to show. Great for those skimming off of it, not so much for the tax payer.
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    I wouldn’t trust Marco Rubio as far as I could throw him!
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    Don't keep adding on unnecessary work and don't expand government entities. Just request FEMA to act on the GAO’s 2017. It won't get better with new rules and more administration generating increased costs.
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    Who.made congress an expert? You can not even balance or pass a budget as required by law!let agencies do their job!
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    Guess What Iowans, you said it, Steve King DID NOT VOTE AGAIN!!! Any fool can see this guy is NOT INTERESTED IN DOING HIS JOB.
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    Duplicate bill. Putting your name on it doesn’t make it yours if it’s already law, Marco.
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    I am not so sure this is needed.
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    Too expensive. Little gain. What wee You thinking? Rep Carter: You must vote on every bill, every time. You are there to make decisions. Not voting is not acceptable.
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