09.22.16

House Passes Homeland Security Legislation to Assist First Responders

Bill Ensures First Responders are Properly Prepared for Active Shooters and Other Threats

WASHINGTON D.C.– Last night, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5859, The Community Counterterrorism Preparedness Act, introduced by Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), which provides assistance to first responders across the country. This bipartisan bill authorizes grants to first responders so they can receive training and conduct exercises to best position them to prevent the types of attacks we saw in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota this past weekend, and respond to them when they occur. The bill passed with a vote of 395 to 30.

Chairman McCaul: “We are currently in the highest threat level environment since 9/11. Fewer jihadists are going to Syria to join the fight, instead being instructed to stay where they are and kill where they are. This past weekend, Islamist inspired attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota highlight the resolve of jihadists to attack our people and our way of life. The fact that there were no casualties is a testament to the brave men and women on America’s frontlines—including federal, state, and local law enforcement. This bill makes sure our heroic first responders have access to the training they need and ability to conduct exercises to address the most likely terrorist attacks—including threats posed by active shooters, IEDs and suicide bombers.”

Key points of the Community Counterterrorism Preparedness Act include:

  • The bill authorizes $39 million for emergency response providers in major metropolitan areas to conduct training and exercises to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the most likely terrorist attack scenarios, such as active shooters or improvised explosive devices.
  • Emergency response providers (defined in the Homeland Security Act as law enforcement, fire fighters, emergency management, etc.) are the only eligible recipients of funding under the bill.

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