As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on May 15, 2019
H.R. 1590 would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop and carry out national exercises designed to evaluate the nation’s preparedness against the threat of foreign fighters and terrorists. Using information from FEMA, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would not significantly affect the federal budget over the 2020-2024 period because the new exercises would be integrated into existing programs.
Under current law, at least every two years, the agency conducts a national exercise to evaluate the preparedness of federal, state, local, and tribal governments to respond to catastrophic events—including acts of terrorism—in a coordinated manner. The agency allocated approximately $21 million in fiscal year 2018 under the National Exercise Program for such activities including education and training efforts related to the ability to respond to emergencies.
Under the act, the agency would develop and conduct an exercise to test the ability to respond to the threat of persons leaving the United States to join or provide material support to terrorist organizations or of foreign fighters attempting to enter the United States. The agency also would be required to submit a report to the Congress following the exercise. Using information from FEMA, CBO estimates that the agency would develop and integrate the new exercises into existing preparedness activities and would incur no significant additional costs to implement the act.
On March 28, 2019, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 1590, the Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Homeland Security on March 13, 2019. The two versions of the legislation are similar and CBO’s estimates of their budgetary effects are the same.