10:58 AM EST

Henry Cuellar, D-TX 28th

Mr. CUELLAR. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 3978) to amend the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 to authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to accept and use gifts for otherwise authorized activities of the Center for Domestic Preparedness that are related to preparedness for and response to terrorism, and for other purposes.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The text of the bill is as follows:

H.R. 3978

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``First Responder Anti-Terrorism Training Resources Act''.

SEC. 2. ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS FOR FIRST RESPONDER TERRORISM PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE TRAINING.

Section 1204 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (6 U.S.C. 1102) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

``(f) Acceptance of Gifts.--

``(1) AUTHORITY.--Notwithstanding section 873(b) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 453(b)), the Secretary may accept and use gifts of property, both real and personal, and may accept gifts of services, including from guest lecturers, for otherwise authorized activities of the Center for Domestic Preparedness that are related to preparedness for and response to terrorism.

``(2) REPORT.--The Secretary shall report annually to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate--

``(A) any gifts that were accepted under this subsection in the preceding year;

``(B) how such gifts contribute to the mission of the Center for Domestic Preparedness; and

``(C) the amount of Federal savings that were generated from the acceptance of such gifts.''.

10:58 AM EST

Henry Cuellar, D-TX 28th

Mr. CUELLAR. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 3978) to amend the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 to authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to accept and use gifts for otherwise authorized activities of the Center for Domestic Preparedness that are related to preparedness for and response to terrorism, and for other purposes.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The text of the bill is as follows:

H.R. 3978

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``First Responder Anti-Terrorism Training Resources Act''.

SEC. 2. ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS FOR FIRST RESPONDER TERRORISM PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE TRAINING.

Section 1204 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (6 U.S.C. 1102) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

``(f) Acceptance of Gifts.--

``(1) AUTHORITY.--Notwithstanding section 873(b) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 453(b)), the Secretary may accept and use gifts of property, both real and personal, and may accept gifts of services, including from guest lecturers, for otherwise authorized activities of the Center for Domestic Preparedness that are related to preparedness for and response to terrorism.

``(2) REPORT.--The Secretary shall report annually to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate--

``(A) any gifts that were accepted under this subsection in the preceding year;

``(B) how such gifts contribute to the mission of the Center for Domestic Preparedness; and

``(C) the amount of Federal savings that were generated from the acceptance of such gifts.''.

10:58 AM EST

Henry Cuellar, D-TX 28th

Mr. CUELLAR. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous materials on the bill that is under consideration.

10:59 AM EST

Henry Cuellar, D-TX 28th

Mr. CUELLAR. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this bill and yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 3978, which is sponsored by my friend from Alabama (Mr. Rogers). I am pleased to serve with Mr. Rogers on the Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response Subcommittee. He is the ranking member and works with us in a very bipartisan manner. I thank him for his service.

Mr. Rogers' district is home to the Center For Domestic Preparedness. It is the premier training site for our Nation's first responders, and it is the Department of Homeland Security's only federally chartered weapons of mass destruction training center.

DHS has facilitated training at the center for thousands of first responders from all 50 States, territories and the District of Columbia. Given the center's prominence in the first responders' community, it often receives offers of gifts and donations from a variety of sources. These donations and services include training, displays, emergency response equipment, and offers of guest lectures.

[Time: 11:00]

These donations and gifts would strengthen the center's ability to offer high-quality emergency response training.

Unfortunately, the center currently lacks the legal authority at this time to accept these types of services. H.R. 3978 will permit the Secretary of Homeland Security to accept and use gifts for otherwise authorized activities of the Center for Domestic Preparedness that are related to preparedness for and in response to terrorism.

The legislation further directs DHS to report annually to the Congress on any gifts that were accepted in the preceding year and how they have contributed to the center's mission. Other DHS-supported training centers are permitted to accept gifts and donations, and it is past due to give the Center for Domestic Preparedness the same authority.

I urge all my colleagues to support H.R. 3978.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

11:01 AM EST

Mike Rogers, R-AL 3rd

Mr. ROGERS of Alabama. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the First Responder Anti-Terrorism Training Resources Act.

H.R. 3978, which I introduced last month, ensures that first responders who train at East Alabama's Center for Domestic Preparedness have access to even better training resources. As many here know, the Center for Domestic Preparedness, located in my district in Anniston, Alabama, delivers one-of-a-kind training to America's emergency responders. It's our Nation's premier all-hazards training center. It's also the only federally chartered weapons of mass destruction training center in the Nation.

Responders from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories have trained at the CDP. In fact, this year the CDP celebrated its 500,000th graduate.

Like other first responder training centers, often the CDP receives offers of donations, such as railcars, trailers, and emergency response equipment, to assist their training courses. However, since the CDP's activities are conducted under the 9/11 Act of 2007 rather than the Stafford Act, the CDP lacks the legal authority to accept donations that could further training resources.

My bill fixes that problem. It amends the 9/11 Act so that the CDP may accept donations of property and services for antiterrorism and training activities. It's a win-win for our first responders, the taxpayer, and this important east Alabama training facility.

I would like to thank my good friend from Texas (Mr. Cuellar) for supporting this bill and holding a markup in the subcommittee last month. I would also like to thank the full committee chairman, Mr. Thompson, for holding a markup in the full committee.

I urge my colleagues to support this important measure.

Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.

11:03 AM EST

Henry Cuellar, D-TX 28th

Mr. CUELLAR. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleagues to support this important Homeland Security legislation. The gentleman from Alabama has worked very hard, has been very dedicated in this piece of legislation, and I would ask all my colleagues to support this important legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

11:03 AM EST

Henry Cuellar, D-TX 28th

Mr. CUELLAR. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleagues to support this important Homeland Security legislation. The gentleman from Alabama has worked very hard, has been very dedicated in this piece of legislation, and I would ask all my colleagues to support this important legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.