H.R. 1471 would authorize appropriations totaling $3.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) over the 2016-2018 period, CBO estimates. Those authorizations include about $2.8 billion for FEMA salaries and expenses. H.R. 1471 also would expand the availability of assistance for mitigating hazards related to wildfires. Based on historical spending patterns, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost about $3 billion over the 2016-2020 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.
Enacting this legislation would affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that there would be no net effect on direct spending over the 2016-2025 period. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
H.R. 1471 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 (US&R) 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 ($77 million and $154 million, respectively, in 2015, adjusted annually for inflation).