H.R. 1791, Medical Preparedness Allowable Use Act

Cost Estimate
November 6, 2013

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Homeland Security on October 29, 2013

H.R. 1791 would allow certain grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to be used for enhancing medical preparedness, medical surge capacity, and mass prophylaxis capabilities. CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would not affect federal expenditures for those grants and would have no impact on the federal budget over the next five years. Enacting this legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

H.R. 1791 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.

FEMA’s Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) provide grants to state and local governments to prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism. Funds may be used for a variety of activities that include developing emergency management plans, training and conducting exercises, purchasing equipment, and paying salaries and expenses. The Congress provided $913 million for those two programs in fiscal year 2013.

The bill would expand the eligible use of UASI and SHSGP funds, as defined in statute, to include activities that enhance medical preparedness, medical surge capacity, and mass prophylaxis capabilities. Examples of permissible activities include the purchase of medical kits and diagnostics to protect first responders and victims. Because such items are already included on FEMA’s authorized equipment list for those grants, CBO expects that implementing this language would have no effect on net discretionary spending over the next five years.