FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino gives statement in support of DPA
The statement was given at a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs titled Oversight of the Defense Production Act: Issues and Opportunities for Reauthorizations. Serino argued for a 5 year extension of negotiable provisions, and said that the DPA is a necessary component to support national defense and FEMA's goals.
"On behalf of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), I appreciate this opportunity to appear before you to support a 5-year reauthorization of the nonpermanent provisions of the Defense Production Act and to discuss the importance of the DPA to support our national defense, including disaster preparedness and response, protection and restoration of critical infrastructure operations, and homeland security capabilities," Serino said.
The DPA is a way for executive personnel to expedite the process of ordering necessary materials and services when national disasters strike. Some of the provisions of the DPA are permanent, but Serino said some of the nonpermanent authorities are necessary to preparare for natural disasters and national threats, such as tornadoes, hurricanes or incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear threats.
"Without renewal of expiring provisions of the DPA, a critical statutory authority to ensure timely procurement of materials and services to protect and restore critical infrastructure operations - whether they are key transportation capabilities, floodwalls, or levees - would be lost," Serino said.
Serino said that the DPA supports numerous federal agencies that are unable to prioritize resource contracts to support organizations in the face of emergencies, such as infrastructural restoration or keeping terrorist attacks at bay.
"In closing, I urge that Congress reauthorize the DPA authorities that remain critical to our national defense," Serino said.