NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1999 (House of Representatives - May 21, 1998)

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Part D amendment No. 31 offered by Mr. Weldon of Pennsylvania and Mr. Skelton:
At the end of Division A of the bill (page 265, after line 8) insert the following new title:

TITLE XIV--DEFENSE AGAINST WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

SEC. 1401. SHORT TITLE.
This title may be cited as the `Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1998'.

SEC. 1402. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds the following:

(1) Many nations currently possess weapons of mass destruction and related materials and technologies, and such weapons are increasingly available to a variety of sources through legitimate and illegitimate means.

(2) The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is growing, and will likely continue despite the best efforts of the international community to limit their flow.

(3) The increased availability, relative affordability, and ease of use of weapons of mass destruction may make the use of such weapons an increasingly attractive option to potential adversaries who are not otherwise capable of countering United States military superiority.

(4) On November 12, 1997, President Clinton issued an Executive Order stating that `the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons (`weapons of mass destruction') and the means of delivering such weapons constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States' and declaring a national emergency to deal with that threat.

(5) The Quadrennial Defense Review concluded that the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction is a likely condition of future warfare and poses a potential threat to the United States.

(6) The United States lacks adequate preparedness at the Federal, State, and local levels to respond to a potential attack on the United States involving weapons of mass destruction.

(7) The United States has initiated an effort to enhance the capability of Federal, State, and local governments as well as local emergency response personnel to prevent and respond to a domestic terrorist incident involving weapons of mass destruction.

(8) More than 40 Federal departments, agencies, and bureaus are involved in combating terrorism, and many, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are executing programs to provide civilian personnel at the Federal, State, and local levels with training and assistance to prevent and respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction.

(9) The Department of Energy has established a Nuclear Emergency Response Team which is available to respond to incidents involving nuclear or radiological emergencies.

(10) The Department of Defense has begun to implement a program to train local emergency responders in major cities throughout the United States to prevent and respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction.

(11) The Department of Justice has established a National Center for Domestic Preparedness at Fort McClellan, Alabama, to conduct nuclear, biological, and chemical preparedness training for Federal, State, and local officials to enhance emergency response to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction.

(12) Despite these activities, Federal agency initiatives to enhance domestic preparedness to respond to an incident involving weapons of mass destruction are hampered by incomplete interagency coordination and overlapping jurisdiction of agency missions, for example:

(A) The Secretary of Defense has proposed the establishment of 10 Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection elements, composed of 22 National Guard personnel, to provide timely regional assistance to local emergency responders during an incident involving chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction. However, the precise working relationship between these National Guard elements, the Federal Emergency Management Agency regional offices, and State and local emergency response agencies has not yet been determined.

(B) The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead Federal agency for consequence management in response to a terrorist incident involving weapons of mass destruction, has withdrawn from the role of chair of the Senior Interagency Coordination Group for domestic emergency preparedness, and a successor agency to chair the Senior Interagency Coordinator has not yet been determined.

(C) In order to ensure effective local response capabilities to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction, the Federal Government, in addition to providing training, must concurrently address the need for--

(i) compatible communications capabilities for all Federal, State, and local emergency responders, which often use different radio systems and operate on different radio frequencies;

(ii) adequate equipment necessary for response to an incident involving weapons of mass destruction, and a means to ensure that financially lacking localities have access to such equipment;

(iii) local and regional planning efforts to ensure the effective execution of emergency response in the event of an incident involving a weapon of mass destruction; and

(iii) increased planning and training to prepare for emergency response capabilities in port areas and littoral waters.

(D) The Congress is aware that Presidential Decision Directives relating to domestic emergency preparedness for response to terrorist incidents involving weapons of mass destruction are being considered, but agreement has not been reached within the executive branch.

Subtitle A--Domestic Preparedness

SEC. 1411. DOMESTIC PREPAREDNESS FOR RESPONSE TO THREATS OF TERRORIST USE OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.
(a) Enhanced Response Capability: In light of the continuing potential for terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States and the need to develop a more fully coordinated response to that threat on the part of Federal, State, and local agencies, the President shall act to increase the effectiveness at the Federal, State, and local level of the domestic emergency preparedness program for response to terrorist incidents involving weapons of mass destruction by developing an integrated program that builds upon the program established under title XIV of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 104-201; 110 Stat. 2714).
(b) Report: Not later than January 31, 1999, the President shall submit to Congress a report containing information on the actions taken at the Federal, State, and local level to develop an integrated program to prevent and respond to terrorist incidents involving weapons of mass destruction.

SEC. 1412. REPORT ON DOMESTIC EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS.
Section 1051 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 (Public Law 105-85; 111 Stat. 1889) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

`(c) Annex on Domestic Emergency Preparedness Program: As part of the report submitted to Congress under subsection (b), the President shall include an annex which provides the following information on the domestic emergency preparedness program for response to terrorist incidents involving weapons of mass destruction (as established under title XIV and section 1411 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999):

`(1) information on program responsibilities for each participating Federal department, agency, and bureau;

`(2) a summary of program activities performed during the preceding fiscal year for each participating Federal department, agency, and bureau;

`(3) a summary of program obligations and expenditures during the preceding fiscal year for each participating Federal department, agency, and bureau;

`(4) a summary of the program plan and budget for the current fiscal year for each participating Federal department, agency, and bureau;

`(5) the program budget request for the following fiscal year for each participating Federal department, agency, and bureau;

`(6) recommendations for improving Federal, State, and local domestic emergency preparedness to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction that have been made by the Advisory Commission on Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (as established under section 1421 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999), and actions taken as a result of such recommendations; and

`(7) requirements regarding additional program measures and legislative authority for which congressional action may be recommended.'.

SEC. 1413. PERFORMANCE OF THREAT AND RISK ASSESSMENTS.
(a) Threat and Risk Assessments: (1) Assistance to Federal, State, and local agencies provided under the program under section 1411 shall include the performance of assessments of the threat and risk of terrorist employment of weapons of mass destruction against cities and other local areas. Such assessments shall be used by Federal, State, and local agencies to determine the training and equipment requirements under this program and shall be performed as a collaborative effort with State and local agencies.
(2) The Department of Justice, as lead Federal agency for crisis management in response to terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction, shall, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation, conduct any threat and risk assessment performed under paragraph (1) in coordination with appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, and shall develop procedures and guidance for conduct of the threat and risk assessment in consultation with officials from the intelligence community.
(3) The President shall identify and make available the funds necessary to carry out this section.
(b) Pilot Test: (1) Before prescribing final procedures and guidance for the performance of threat and risk assessments under this section, the Attorney General, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation may, in coordination with appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, conduct a pilot test of any proposed method or model by which such assessments are to be performed.
(2) The pilot test shall be performed in cities or local areas selected by the Department of Justice, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in consultation with appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies.
(3) The pilot test shall be completed not later than 4 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.

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Subtitle B--Advisory Commission to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities For Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction

SEC. 1421. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.
(a) Establishment: There is hereby established a commission to be known as the `Advisory Commission on Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction' (hereinafter referred to as the `Commission').
(b) Composition: The Commission shall be composed of 15 members, appointed as follows:

(1) 4 members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

(2) 4 members appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;

(3) 2 members appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

(4) 2 members appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;

(5) 3 members appointed by the President.
(c) Qualifications: Members shall be appointed from among individuals with knowledge and expertise in emergency response matters.
(d) Deadline for Appointments: Appointments shall be made not later than the date that is 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(e) Initial Meeting: The Commission shall conduct its first meeting not later than the date that is 30 days after the date that appointments to the Commission have been made.
(f) Chairman: A Chairman of the Commission shall be elected by a majority of the members.

SEC. 1422. DUTIES OF COMMISSION.
The Commission shall--

(1) assess Federal agency efforts to enhance domestic preparedness for incidents involving weapons of mass destruction;

(2) assess the progress of Federal training programs for local emergency responses to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction;

(3) assess deficiencies in training programs for responses to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction, including a review of unfunded communications, equipment, and planning and maritime region needs;

(4) recommend strategies for ensuring effective coordination with respect to Federal agency weapons of mass destruction response efforts, and for ensuring fully effective local response capabilities for weapons of mass destruction incidents; and

(5) assess the appropriate role of State and local governments in funding effective local response capabilities.

SEC. 1423. REPORT.
Not later than the date that is 6 months after the date of the first meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall submit a report to the President and to Congress on its findings under section 1422 and recommendations for improving Federal, State, and local domestic emergency preparedness to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction.

SEC. 1424. POWERS.
(a) Hearings: The Commission or, at its direction, any panel or member of the Commission, may, for the purpose of carrying out this Act, hold such hearings, sit and act at times and places, take testimony, receive evidence, and administer oaths to the extent that the Commission or any panel member considers advisable.
(b) Information: The Commission may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States information that the Commission considers necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its responsibilities under this Act.

SEC. 1425. COMMISSION PROCEDURES.
(a) Meetings: The Commission shall meet at the call of a majority of the members.
(b) Quorum: Eight members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum other than for the purpose of holding hearings.
(c) Commission: The Commission may establish panels composed of less than full membership of the Commission for the purpose of carrying out the Commission's duties. The actions of each such panel shall be subject to the review and control of the Commission. Any findings and determinations made by such panel shall not be considered the findings and determinations of the Commission unless approved by the Commission.
(d) Authority of Individuals To Act for Commission: Any member or agent of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action which the Commission is authorized to take by this Act.

SEC. 1426. PERSONNEL MATTERS.
(a) Pay of Members: Members of the Commission shall serve without pay by reason of their work on the Commission.
(b) Travel Expenses: The members of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission.
(c) Staff: (1) The Commission may, without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, appoint a staff director and such additional personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to perform its duties.
(2) The Commission may fix the pay of the staff director and other personnel without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay fixed under this paragraph for the staff director may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title and the rate of pay for other personnel may not exceed the maximum rate payable for grade GS-15 of the General Schedule.
(d) Detail of Government Employees: Upon request of the Commission, the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a nonreimbursable basis, any personnel of that department or agency to the Commission to assist it in carrying out its duties.
(e) Procurement of Temporary and Intermittent Services: The Commission may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of pay payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.

SEC. 1427. MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS.
(a) Postal and Printing Services: The Commission may use the United States mails and obtain printing and binding services in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.
(b) Miscellaneous Administrative and Support Services: Upon the request of the Commission, the Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support services necessary for the Commission to carry out its duties under this title.
(c) Experts and Consultants: The Commission may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code.

SEC. 1428. TERMINATION OF COMMISSION.
The Commission shall terminate not later than 60 days after the date that the Commission submits its report under section 1423.

SEC. 1429. FUNDING.
Funds for activities of the Commission shall be provided from amounts appropriated for the Department of Defense for operation and maintenance for Defense-wide activities for fiscal year 1999.

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Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania.

And, finally, the last amendment I do with a distinguished Member, who is the ranking member, the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Skelton), and that is to look at the whole issue of how we respond to terrorist incidents. The gentleman from Missouri has been a lead in the body. He has, in fact, requested four consecutive GAO reports on the problems associated with response to planning for weapons of mass destruction and terrorist activities in this country.

My subcommittee has held five hearings on this issue. There are severe problems. James Lee Witt, the head of FEMA, just recently pulled FEMA out of the directorate role because of confusion. What we say to the administration is, it is time to step back and look at reorganizing this process to be more efficient and effective in responding to terrorist incidents.

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Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

It gives me great pleasure to jointly offer this amendment with the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Weldon). I take this opportunity to commend him for his leadership and his effort, and I certainly enjoy working with him on this very, very important issue for our country, and I thank him for that.

The amendment contains several promising provisions. I am particularly pleased with section 1413, which contains language authorizing a domestic preparedness pilot program. The pilot, aimed at improving the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996, allows the FBI to assist Federal, State and local agencies with threat and risk assessments in order to determine training and equipment requirements. This is something we need. I believe this is a step in the right direction.

Mr. Speaker, addressing the threat of terrorism presents great challenges for our Nation. At present, at least 43 Federal departments, agencies and bureaus are involved. At times, uneven and nearly incompatible levels of expertise exist, and duplication and poor communication may also complicate our effort.

Furthermore, GAO, at my request, as the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Weldon) pointed out, recently concluded a series of terrorism studies with these observations: That no regular governmentwide collection and review of funding data exists; that no apparent governmentwide set of priorities has been established; that no assessment process exists to coordinate and focus government efforts; and that no government office or entity maintains the authority to enforce coordination.

It is, therefore, within this context that I ask the House to consider this amendment. This language offers the potential to better prioritize training and assistance to American cities. It is also a timely and complementary amendment, in that, as I understand, the President will soon announce recommended improvements to our response program.

Together, these two efforts, this language and the President's proposal, should bring us one step closer to attaining adequate coordination throughout all aspects of government. With an eye aimed toward this goal, I look forward to working with both the majority and the administration over the next several weeks.

I again compliment the gentleman from Pennsylvania and thank him for his coordination and cooperation with me.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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