“I just want to say all of us are thinking and praying for the people of New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota—and especially for our first responders, who have done top-notch work protecting our country.” – Speaker Ryan, 9/19/16
As Speaker Ryan said yesterday, the recent attacks further illustrate the critical role that first responders play in keeping our communities safe every day. And as terrorist threats continue to evolve, we must ensure that the people on the frontlines—the police, firefighters, and EMTs—have the tools, training, and resources they need to prepare for and respond to potential attacks. That is why the House is acting on several bills to streamline and strengthen homeland security at the local level.
Here are three bipartisan bills the House will act on this week:
- H.R. 5859, the Community Counterterrorism Preparedness Act, sponsored by Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX): This bill authorizes funding for emergency responders in major metropolitan areas to conduct training and exercises to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the most likely terrorist attack scenarios, including active shooters and the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
- H.R. 5460, the First Responder Access to Innovative Technologies Act, sponsored by Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ): This bill requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a clear and uniform process to review grant applications for first responder equipment that doesn’t meet a consensus standard or for which one doesn’t exist. This bill will make it easier for first responders to cut through red tape and acquire new technologies they will need to respond to evolving threats.
- H.R. 5943, the Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act, sponsored by Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY): This bill improves the ability of transit agencies to prevent terror attacks by making the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) more flexible. By expanding the scope of this funding, it allows transit organizations to use their security funds more effectively for training and other purposes.
These are commonsense steps to help our first responders stay ahead of the curve when dealing with new threats. And confronting these threats at home is a key aspect of a broader national security plan House Republicans put forward earlier this year. To learn more about our plan, visit Better.gop.