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IAEM-USA Government Affairs Committee

U.S. Capitol Dome (photo: Architect of the Capitol)

Committee Chair:
Doug Bryson, CEM

Committee Vice Chair:
Brad Gilbert, OCEM

Board Liaison:
Judd Freed, MA,CEM, USA1stVP@iaem.com

Government Affairs Director & Staff Liaison:
Thad Huguley, thad@iaem.com

Purpose Statement | Documents & Links | News

IAEM-USA members interested in participating in this committee should email the committee leadership and tell them how you can contribute to or learn from this committee's important work. Members may retrieve leadership email addresses by searching the membership directory.

Purpose Statement

Monitor proposed legislation at the federal, state and/or local level which may impact emergency management activities or the goals of the association, or may set a precedent for the future legal implications.

U.S. Government Affairs Documents & Links

U.S. Government Affairs News

  • IAEM-USA Signs on to Coalition Letter Supporting the FEMA Assistance Act (29 Sept 2020) IAEM-USA joined a coalition of 10 stakeholder organizations in support of the H.R. 8266, the FEMA Assistance Act, in a Sept. 19 letter urging swift passage of this legislation in the House as it will make timely changes to assistance provided during an unparalleled 2020 disaster season. This legislation would make a critical change to FEMA assistance by adjusting the FEMA cost share for all emergencies and major disasters declared in calendar year 2020 to not less than 90 percent federal and 10 percent non-federal. From hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, and myriad other events, this will provide much needed relief to state and local governments that are struggling with a pandemic, higher-than-usual unemployment, and economic recovery. Download the coalition letter for details.
     
  • IAEM-USA Addresses Support for PPE and Disinfectants to Remain Covered Under Public Assistance for COVID-19 (31 Aug 2020) The International Association of Emergency Managers USA Council (IAEM-USA) President Teri Smith, CEM, CPM, sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Pete Gaynor on Aug. 31, expressing IAEM-USA concerns about reports that FEMA intends to eliminate personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfectants as eligible reimbursable expenses under Public Assistance for COVID-19. Supporting a previous Aug. 25 letter from other emergency management related organizations, the IAEM-USA letter states that “PPE is a fundamental need for all COVID-19 related operations and is the definition of an ‘emergency protective measure.’ Shifting policy guidance in the middle of a pandemic is impractical, causes confusion, and disrupts operations in states and localities. It also imposes significant bureaucratic and administrative burdens at a time when state and local resources are critically strained. IAEM-USA maintains its long-standing request that FEMA waive the state cost share for COVID-19 assistance, which has not been addressed.” The association called on FEMA to retain its current guidance on emergency protective measures, while requesting clear guidance on eligibility of funding streams across the federal government.
     
  • IAEM-USA Signed On to Letter to Senate Leaders Advocating for Support for State and Local Governments (29 June 2020) A letter was to Senate Majority and Minority Leaders advocating on behalf of immediate financial support for state and local governments, "without which our nation's recovery from pandemic-induced recession will suffer and millions of Americans will be harmed." IAEM joined 175+ stakeholder organizations in signing on to the letter. Download letter to U.S. Senate Majority and Minority Leaders.

  • IAEM-USA Signed On to 3DEP Coalition Letters Signed by 52 Organizations Supportive of USGS 3DEP funding in FY 2021 (24 Apr 2020) The letters were sent today to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The requests state: "As you develop FY 2021 appropriations, we ask for your support for the USGS recommendation to provide $146 million to 3DEP, as requested by John Palatiello, on behalf of the 3DEP Coalition, in his testimony before the Subcommittee on February 6, 2020."
  • IAEM-USA Signed on to Flood Map Coalition Letter to Senate and House Appropriations Leaders (23 Apr 2020) IAEM-USA signed on to the Flood Map Coalition letter sent Apr. 23 to Senate and House Appropriations Committee leaders, strongly supporting at least maintaining FY 2020 appropriated levels ($262.5 million) for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Flood Hazard and Risk Analysis Program. The coalition, which represents a diverse group of partners, stakeholders and interests, noted in the letter that “Appropriations as close as possible to the full authorization level of $400 million would help move the nation to better coverage with up-to-date flood maps more quickly.” The reasons for the coalition’s request include: Flooding is responsible for more loss of life and property than any other natural disaster in the United States; current and accurate flood mapping is the key to minimizing future losses; both taxpayers and policyholders benefit from flood mapping; flood mapping is a cost-effective taxpayer investment; and mapping also reduces National Flood Insurance Program borrowing from the Treasury.
     
  • IAEM-USA Joined 10 Other Stakeholders in Requesting Delay of Implementation on New Grant Requirements for One Year (06 Apr 2020) On April 3, IAEM and 10 other organizations sent a letter to DHS and FEMA requesting a one-year delay on recently-issued, new guidance for FY 2020 preparedness grants. The new guidance would require grantees to obligate 20% of grant funds to comply with core DHS priorities. IAEM does not oppose the new guidance, but feels the COVID 19 response is creating unprecedented challenges that make an implementation delay prudent. Download the letter to acting DHS secretary and FEMA administrator here.

  • IAEM-USA Joined NACo, NEMA, and BCEM in a Letter to House Appropriations Committee Leaders Requesting Supplemental Funding for COVID-19 (04 Mar 2020) The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM-USA Council), the National Association of Counties, the National Emergency Management Association, and the Big City Emergency Managers sent a joint letter to the leaders of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee (Nita Lowey, Chairwoman, and Kay Granger, Ranking Member). The letter requests the committee's consideration of supplemental funding for the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) by including $100 million for the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Download the letter here.
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  • Local and tribal emergency managers are needed to complete the EMPG funding survey for IAEM and NEMA by Jan. 31 (08 Jan 2020) IAEM-USA is conducting the 13th annual survey seeking information from U.S. local government and tribal emergency management offices about Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) funding. This is a joint effort with the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA). NEMA is using a separate survey monkey for state directors to report on state activities. IAEM is seeking input from local and tribal jurisdictions. NEMA will analyze the state data, and IAEM-USA will analyze the local and tribal data. Once the data has been compiled, IAEM and NEMA will write a joint report to be distributed to key policy makers on Capitol Hill and within the Trump Administration. The narrative questions in the survey are of particular importance. Examples of how EMPG was directly related to an emergency response or emergency management program activity, help “paint the picture” of the importance of EMPG. The survey is available here. To help gather the data needed to complete the survey, a PDF-version of the survey is available hereThe deadline to complete the survey is 6:00 p.m. EST, Jan. 31.  Should you need to exit the survey prior to completing it, you may return to your survey from the same computer before the deadline to finish by following the survey link. If you have any technical problems or questions with the survey, please contact Kyler Bartee at kbartee@iaem.com. If you have any questions about the survey questions, please contact Thad Huguley at thad@iaem.com.
     
  • IAEM Supports $25 Million Increase for EMPG (25 Oct 2019) IAEM and NEMA coordinated a group letter sent to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in support of the $25 million increase for EMPG in the House version. Supporters included International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), National Association of Counties (NACo), U.S. Conference of Mayors, Council of State Governments, Big City Emergency Managers, and National League of Cities. 
     
  • IAEM-USA Provides Testimony for Congressional Hearing on Disaster Preparedness (22 May 2019) IAEM-USA Past President Nick Crossley, CEM, CPM, director, Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Hamilton, County, Ohio, provided a written statement and delivered oral testimony before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, U.S. House of Representatives, on May 22, 2019, in Washington, D.C. The subcommittee was holding a hearing on “Disaster Preparedness: DRAA Implementation and FEMA Readiness.”

  • USGS Briefing on ED Elevation Program (06 May 2019) On May 1, Kevin Gallagher with the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a briefing on the status and future of the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) to the 3DEP Coalition and Flood Map Coalition. The presentation slides can be viewed here.
  • DHS Announces Release of FY 2019 Notice of Funding Opportunities (16 Apr 2019) The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the release of FY 2019 Notice of Funding Opportunities for eight DHS preparedness grant programs totaling more than $1.7 billion. On Apr. 17, the DHS Office of Partnership and Engagement and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Grants Programs Directorate will host a conference call with State Administrative Agency Partners to discuss the grant program rollout. The conference call is set for Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The call-in number is 877-414-2195, or use the Adobe Connect Link. The presentation slide deck can be downloaded here. DHS asks that you start dialing in 15 minutes before the start of the call; identify yourself, title, and the agency you are representing to the operator when you call in. The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector, to improve the nation’s readiness in preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. Questions should be directed to (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov.
  • IAEM-USA UCC Urges Support of Funding Request for National Center for Campus Public Safety (29 Mar 2019) The International Association of Emergency Managers USA Council (IAEM-USA) – University and College Caucus (IAEM-UCC) urges the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies to include the $2 million funding request proposed by Representative Bobby Scott for the National Center for Campus Public Safety (NCCPS). The IAEM-UCC is comprised of more than 300 members who serve more than 150 institutions of higher education and more than 3.5 million students. Our members are found in 41 U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces. Download letter.
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  • IAEM Signs onto Letter to House and Senate Leadership in Support of Senate Action on the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (22 Mar 2019) IAEM, along with 70 other stakeholder organizations - representing public health, healthcare providers, emergency managers, environmental health, biotechnology innovators, and researchers - signed and sent a letter to House and Senate leadership urging Senate action on the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness & Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPAL, H.R. 269). The Bill overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives in January, but the path forward in the Senate is unclear. IAEM's Healthcare Caucus supports H.R. 269, and the Government Affairs Committee is advocating for the legislation on Capitol Hill.
     
  • IAEM and NEMA Release 2019 Report on Return on Investment of EMPG (20 Mar 2019) Each year, IAEM and NEMA work together to report on the return on investment of the Emergency Management Performance Grants (part of FEMA’s suite of grants). The 2019 edition, released Mar. 20, 2019, represents input from 46 states, two territories, and 1,042 local emergency management agencies. One of the key data points in this report each year is the fact that state and local emergency managers respond to thousands of events which never reach the level of a Federal disaster declaration.  In 2019, there were 23,331 such events.  The report also provides data on planning, training, and exercise efforts, public outreach campaigns, communications systems, and maintaining thousands of mutual aid agreements. Please direct questions to Thad Huguley, IAEM-USA Government Affairs director, at thad@iaem.comDownload the report here.
     
  • IAEM-USA Signs onto Letter from Stakeholders to Support Increased Investment in NOAA in FY2020 (15 Nov 2018) IAEM-USA and a group of stakeholders on Nov. 13 sent a letter to Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., secretary, Department of Commerce; Mick Mulvaney, director, Office of Management and Budget; and Michael J. Kratsios, Deputy U.S. chief technology officer, urging increased investment in the National Oceania and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Fiscal Year 2010. The letter stated that the science, technology and stewardship provided by NOAA is essential for U.S. health, security and economic prosperity. For example, NOAA provides weather and drought forecasts that farmers use to plan crops, sea state conditions to bring super tankers safely into port, water quality information to detect harmful algae blooms that threaten public health and much more. The federal NOAA investment is part of a broader government effort to provide essential, high-quality data and observations, along with a better understanding of the underlying science which are necessary to many planning, strategy, and investment decisions in both the private and public sectors, including national security. The letter makes the case that increased investment in NOAA will provide a significant return to the U.S. economy. Read the stakeholder letter online.
  • Emergency Managers Urge Congress to Pass Disaster Reforms
    IAEM Press Release, Sept. 25, 2018
  • IAEM Urges FCC to Allow Use of Multimedia in Wireless Alerts (29 May 2018) IAEM, in coordination with Big City Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association, sent a letter on May 29 to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), urging the FCC to allow the inclusion of multimedia in wireless alerts, a long over-due and desperately needed update to the WEA system. Download letter.


IAEM-USA member, Mary Jo Flynn, met May 29, 2018, on Capitol Hill with staff from the Senate
Commerce Committee to discuss the use and operation of autonomous vehicles during a mass
evacuation, an issue of interest to IAEM-USA's Emerging Technology Caucus.

  • IAEM, NEMA, and NACO Submit a Joint Statement for the Record to the Senate Homeland Security Committee (17 Apr 2018) In conjunction with their hearing last week entitled “FEMA: Prioritizing a Culture of Preparedness,” the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee individually asked the National Association of Counties (NACo), the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), and IAEM to submit a statement for the record. To demonstrate a united front to Capitol Hill, all three organizations opted to submit a joint statement to the Committee. Download the joint statement here.
  • IAEM-USA and NEMA Release 7th Annual Report on "Emergency Management Performance Grants: Providing Returns on a Nation’s Investment" (06 Mar 2018) Without a robust emergency management system, the responses to many disasters would falter or require federal support. Capabilities afforded through Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG) allow these events to be managed without additional federal expenditures. As demonstrated in this report, local, tribal, and state governments managed 57,673 events without federal assistance in Fiscal Year 2017. While disasters remain unpredictable, and no investment can completely eliminate risk, supporting the development of nationwide capabilities continues minimizing disaster effects. This report represents a mere glimpse into how EMPG impacts the disaster preparedness and response landscape. However, there is so much more happening across the country that cannot be expressed on paper. EMPG stands as a beacon of Congressional support, and both IAEM-USA and NEMA remain appreciative of the support. We hope such support continues as emergency managers put these funds to good use and work tirelessly to demonstrate the return on the nation’s investment.

  • FEMA Seeks Public Feedback by Feb. 5 for an Update of NIMS Implementation Objectives (16 Jan 2018) FEMA’s National Integration Center is seeking public feedback for an update of the state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) National Incident Management System (NIMS) Implementation Objectives for SLTT organizations and jurisdictions. The national engagement period opened on Jan. 16, 2018, and will conclude on Feb. 5, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. National engagement provides an opportunity for interested parties to comment on the draft implementation objectives, to ensure that they are relevant for all implementing partners. FEMA most recently revised the NIMS Implementation Objectives in 2009 and is now updating them to ensure they are consistent with the Third Edition of NIMS, to incorporate stakeholder input, and to make them a more useful tool for organizations as they implement NIMS. FEMA will host three webinars to discuss the proposed SLTT NIMS Implementation Objectives and answer related questions. For more information on the webinars and to review the draft objectives, visit the FEMA website. To provide comments on the draft, complete the feedback form and submit it to FEMA-NIMS@fema.dhs.gov.

FEMA will host a series of webinars to discuss the proposed SLTT NIMS Implementation Objectives and answer related objectives (Federal departments and agencies use a separate set of Implementation Objectives). Advance registration for the webinars is required due to space limitations. Registration is on a first come, first served basis. To register, click on your preferred webinar session from the list below:

Webinar 1: Thursday, January 18, 2:00 pm EDT
Webinar 2: Monday, January 22, 5:00 pm EDT
Webinar 3: Tuesday, January 23, 12:00 pm EDT
For more information on the webinars, visit the FEMA website.

  • IAEM-USA and Other National Public Safety Organizations Call for Improvements in the Wireless Emergency Alert System (05 Jan 2018) IAEM-USA, along with NEMA, Big City Emergency Managers, US Conference of Mayors, and the National Emergency Number Association sent a letter to the FCC today urging expeditious implementation of much-needed improvements to the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. Download letter.

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