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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    110-387

======================================================================



 
     HURRICANES KATRINA AND RITA RECOVERY FACILITATION ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

October 18, 2007.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Oberstar, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3247]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 3247) to improve the provision of 
disaster assistance for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Recovery 
Facilitation Act of 2007''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act, the following definitions apply:
          (1) Covered hurricane damages.--The term ``covered hurricane 
        damages'' means damages suffered in the States of Louisiana and 
        Mississippi as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
          (2) President.--The term ``President'' means the President 
        acting through the Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
        Management Agency.
          (3) Stafford act.--The term ``Stafford Act'' means the Robert 
        T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 
        U.S.C. 5121 et seq.).

SEC. 3. SPECIAL RULES FOR COVERED HURRICANE DAMAGES.

  (a) In Lieu Contributions.--In providing contributions under section 
406(c) of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5172(c)) for covered hurricane 
damages, the President shall substitute 90 percent for the otherwise 
applicable percentage specified in paragraphs (1)(A) and (2)(A) of such 
section.
  (b) Participation in Pilot Projects.--The States of Louisiana and 
Mississippi and local governments in such States shall be eligible to 
participate in the pilot program established by section 689j of the 
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007 (6 U.S.C. 777) 
with respect to covered hurricane damages.
  (c) Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures.--
          (1) In general.--Notwithstanding section 423 of the Stafford 
        Act (42 U.S.C. 5189a) or any regulation, the President is 
        authorized and encouraged to use alternative dispute resolution 
        procedures for appeals of decisions made under sections 403, 
        406, and 407 of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5179b, 5172, and 
        5173) regarding the award or denial of assistance, or the 
        amount of assistance, provided to a State, local government, or 
        owner or operator of a private facility for covered hurricane 
        damages.
          (2) Denials of requests.--
                  (A) Written notice.--If a State, local government, or 
                owner or operator of a private facility requests the 
                use of alternative dispute resolution procedures for an 
                appeal pursuant to paragraph (1) and the President 
                denies the request, the President shall provide to the 
                State, local government, or owner or operator written 
                notice of the denial, including the reasons for the 
                denial.
                  (B) Quarterly reports.--The President shall submit to 
                the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of 
                the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
                Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the 
                Senate, on at least a quarterly basis, a report 
                containing information on any denial described in 
                subparagraph (A) made by the President during the 
                period covered by the report, including the reasons for 
                the denial.
          (3) Applicability.--Paragraph (1) shall apply to an appeal 
        made by a State, local government, or owner or operator of a 
        private facility within 60 days after the date on which the 
        State, local government, or owner or operator is notified of 
        the decision that is the subject of the appeal.
          (4) Report to congress.--Not later than one year after the 
        date of enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to 
        the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House 
        of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and 
        Governmental Affairs of the Senate a report containing a 
        description of how alternative dispute resolution procedures 
        are being used pursuant to this subsection and recommendations 
        on whether the President should be given the authority to use 
        such procedures under the Stafford Act on a permanent basis.
  (d) Essential Assistance.--In providing assistance under section 403 
of the Stafford Act for covered hurricane damages, the President may 
provide assistance for the re-interment of human remains at a 
privately-owned or private nonprofit cemetery.
  (e) Use of Simplified Procedures.--For covered hurricane damages, the 
President may use, if requested by a State or local government or the 
owner or operator of a private nonprofit facility, section 422 of the 
Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5189) for a project for which the Federal 
estimate of the cost is less than $100,000.
  (f) Use of Temporary Housing Units To Provide Housing to 
Volunteers.--
          (1) In general.--In providing assistance under title IV of 
        the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5170 et seq.) for covered hurricane 
        damages, the President may provide temporary housing units 
        purchased under section 408 of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 
        5174) to State and local governments and appropriate private 
        nonprofit entities for the purpose of providing housing to 
        volunteers assisting in the recovery from such damages.
          (2) Feasibility determination.--The President may provide 
        temporary housing units for the purposes described in paragraph 
        (1) only if the President determines that such assistance is 
        appropriate, cost effective, and would not unduly interfere 
        with the ability of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to 
        provide housing for individuals and households with respect to 
        other major disasters.
  (g) Contributions for Public Facilities Used To Host Public Events.--
          (1) In general.--Notwithstanding sections 403 and 406 of the 
        Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5170b and 5172), the President may make 
        contributions to the State of Louisiana for--
                  (A) costs incurred for the repair or restoration of a 
                public facility used to host public events if the 
                facility was damaged as a result of use in conducting 
                response activities for Hurricane Katrina or Rita;
                  (B) costs incurred because response activities for 
                Hurricane Katrina or Rita precluded the normal use of 
                the facility for public events; and
                  (C) costs incurred for necessary materials provided 
                to evacuees in a public facility used to host public 
                events.
          (2) Limitations.--
                  (A) Contributions for repair and restoration costs.--
                Contributions made under paragraph (1)(A) shall be 
                limited to repair and restoration costs associated with 
                damages described in paragraph (1)(A) that occurred--
                          (i) in the case of damages related to 
                        Hurricane Katrina, on or before October 27, 
                        2005; and
                          (ii) in the case of damages related to 
                        Hurricane Rita, on or before November 23, 2005.
                  (B) Contributions for costs incurred for cancelled 
                events.--
                          (i) Event requirements.--Contributions made 
                        under paragraph (1)(B) shall be limited to 
                        costs that are documented for an event--
                                  (I) for which there was a binding 
                                commitment for use of the facility in 
                                effect prior to August 29, 2005; and
                                  (II) that was scheduled to be held on 
                                or before December 31, 2005, at the 
                                facility.
                          (ii) Lost revenues.--Contributions under 
                        paragraph (1)(B) shall not be made for any lost 
                        revenues.
          (3) Costs recoverable from other sources.--Costs that may be 
        recovered by the State of Louisiana from any other program or 
        from insurance or another source shall not be eligible for 
        assistance under this subsection.
          (4) Limitation on statutory construction.--Nothing in this 
        section shall be construed to affect eligibility for assistance 
        under section 403 or 406 of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5170b 
        or 5172), except to the extent that such assistance would 
        result in a duplication of benefits.
          (5) Federal share.--The Federal share of assistance under 
        this subsection shall be 100 percent of the eligible costs.
          (6) Funding.--Amounts appropriated to carry out sections 403 
        and 406 of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5170b and 5172) shall be 
        available to carry out this section, including amounts 
        appropriated before the date of enactment of this Act.
  (h) Status Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and 
the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs of the Senate 
a report regarding the status of recovery for the States of Louisiana 
and Mississippi from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
  (i) Hazard Mitigation Projects.--
          (1) In general.--A project for covered hurricane damages 
        initiated by the State of Louisiana or Mississippi in the 
        period beginning on August 29, 2005, and ending on the date of 
        enactment of this Act may contribute toward the non-Federal 
        share of assistance under section 404 of the Stafford Act (42 
        U.S.C. 5170c) if the project--
                  (A) complies with all applicable Federal laws 
                governing assistance under such section, and
                  (B) otherwise is eligible to contribute to the non-
                Federal share of assistance under such section,
        notwithstanding any requirement for approval of the eligibility 
        and compliance of a project by the President prior to the 
        initiation of the project contributing toward the non-Federal 
        share.
          (2) Applications.--The States of Louisiana and Mississippi 
        may submit an application to the President under section 404 of 
        the Stafford Act with respect to any project described in 
        paragraph (1).

                       PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION

    H.R. 3247, as amended, the ``Hurricanes Katrina and Rita 
Recovery Facilitation Act of 2007'', provides relief for 
problems associated with recovery efforts specific to 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The bill authorizes changes to 
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act 
(``Stafford Act'') programs exclusively for the recovery from 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and applies these changes 
retroactively. Specifically, the bill increases the Federal 
share from 75 percent to 90 percent for ``alternate projects'' 
for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, to allow money designated for 
a specific facility to be used toward another facility for the 
same purposes; permits a public assistance pilot program 
authorized in Public Law 109-295 to apply retroactively to 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; allows for third parties to review 
and speed up public assistance appeals through the use of 
alternative dispute resolution procedures; allows use of 
temporary housing for volunteers; increases the ``small 
project'' limit from $55,000 to $100,000; authorizes re-
interment of remains in private cemeteries; and provides 
additional flexibility for the projects that count toward the 
non-Federal share for Stafford Act hazard mitigation programs.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005, and 
proved to be the costliest natural disaster in American 
history. The storm had a massive physical impact on the land, 
affecting 90,000 square miles, which is an area the size of 
Great Britain. More than 80 percent of the City of New Orleans 
flooded, an area comparable to seven times the size of 
Manhattan. Under the authority granted to the President in the 
Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. 5121-5207), the President declared a 
Major Disaster in the States of Mississippi and Louisiana on 
the date the storm made landfall.
    The Stafford Act authorizes disaster assistance that the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency (``FEMA'') provides after a 
major disaster. While the authority of the Stafford Act is very 
broad and flexible, it does not anticipate every circumstance 
that can arise in a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina. 
Historically, when catastrophic or unusual disasters strike, 
FEMA and Congress work cooperatively to identify areas where 
FEMA needs specific authority or direction. However, 
circumstances were different in dealing with Hurricane Katrina. 
When Katrina struck, FEMA was no longer a flexible or 
independent government agency. Rather, FEMA was an organization 
within the large bureaucracy of the Department of Homeland 
Security. FEMA no longer had direct access to the President and 
Congress. FEMA's lack of autonomy was magnified by the 
unprecedented scope and magnitude of this hurricane.
    At a hearing of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, 
Public Buildings, and Emergency Management on May 10, 2007, 
Members testified on issues that are still affecting and 
hindering recovery in their Congressional Districts, even 
though two years have elapsed since Katrina. At the hearing, 
Members proposed specific solutions to the problems identified. 
The provisions of this bill draw on the findings and 
recommendations from this hearing.

                       SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 of the bill states that the short title of the 
Act is the ``Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Recovery Facilitation 
Act of 2007''.

Section 2. Definitions

    Section 2 defines ``Covered Hurricane Damages'' and 
clarifies that this bill only applies to damages from 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana and Mississippi. The 
section further defines ``President'' as the President acting 
through the Administrator of FEMA and defines ``Stafford Act'' 
as the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
Assistance Act.

Section 3. Special rules for covered hurricane damages

    Subsection (a) increases the Federal share for large in-
lieu projects, also known as ``alternate projects'' from 75 
percent to 90 percent for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita for both 
public and private non-profit facilities. Under the Stafford 
Act, the Federal share is currently 75 percent for public and 
private non-profit facilities damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and 
Rita. Subsequent to these hurricanes, Congress increased the 
Federal share to 90 percent for public facilities. This 
provision will help communities, which have had multiple 
facilities destroyed by these hurricanes, rebuild facilities 
and reestablish services in a manner that will best suit their 
needs.
    Subsection (b) gives the Administrator of FEMA the 
discretion to make public assistance programs for Hurricanes 
Katrina and Rita in Louisiana and Mississippi eligible under an 
existing public assistance pilot program authorized in section 
689j of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (P.L. 
109-295). This pilot program increases flexibility in FEMA's 
administration of program regulations to expedite the provision 
of assistance to States. The Committee recognizes that FEMA 
historically has applied changes to the Stafford Act and its 
regulations prospectively to disasters declared on or after the 
effective date of the change, unless expressly provided 
otherwise. In most circumstances, this approach is prudent 
because it provides clarity and stability in implementing 
assistance. However, as was discussed in the May 10, 2007 
hearing of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public 
Buildings, and Emergency Management, Hurricanes Katrina and 
Rita posed and continue to pose unique challenges in complexity 
and magnitude. By authorizing programs for Hurricanes Katrina 
and Rita to be eligible for participation in the pilot program 
retroactively, the Committee anticipates this provision will 
help facilitate the recovery in the Gulf Coast.
    Subsection (c) encourages alternative dispute resolution 
procedures for appeals of public assistance decisions by FEMA 
for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Committee is concerned 
about the speed of the implementation of the public assistance 
program for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the impact of the 
delays on recovery in the Gulf Coast. In a hearing of the 
Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and 
Emergency Management, several Members of Congress testified 
about delays in the public assistance appeals process. In 
particular, Members were concerned about the same officials 
reviewing both first and second appeals in the public 
assistance program and about delays in processing of appeals. 
This provision permits the Administrator to use alternative 
dispute resolution procedures to facilitate the review of 
appeals in a timely and fair manner. Applicants are permitted 
to elect alternative dispute resolution for either first or 
second appeals, but are only allowed to do so once, and only if 
FEMA concurs. In implementing this pilot program, the 
Administrator is encouraged to use FEMA's Office of Alternative 
Dispute Resolution as well as resources outside of FEMA. Under 
this provision, FEMA is not required to use alternative dispute 
resolution when requested by applicants, but if the 
Administrator rejects such a request, he must provide a written 
notice of the denial including the reasons for the denial. This 
provision requires FEMA to report to the Committee on denials 
and to report within one year whether this authority should be 
granted permanently.
    Subsection (d) authorizes FEMA to provide assistance under 
section 403 of the Stafford Act to reimburse expenses incurred 
for the re-interment of human remains at privately-owned or 
private non-profit cemeteries following Hurricanes Katrina and 
Rita. As a result of these storms, hundreds of bodies were 
washed away from public and private cemeteries, and in many 
cases, no one claimed the bodies. In Cameron Parish, nearly 350 
bodies, crypts, and caskets had to be re-interred. Because FEMA 
does not usually provide assistance directly to privately-owned 
facilities, the Committee recommends that privately-owned and 
private non-profit cemeteries applying for assistance under 
this provision apply through the State, if the State agrees to 
apply on their behalf. The Committee does not intend for this 
process to preclude cemeteries from receiving assistance. In 
providing this assistance, FEMA should apply similar 
eligibility criteria for expenses incurred for the re-interment 
of human remains at publicly-owned cemeteries under the 
provisions of the disaster-specific guidance dated October 29, 
2005.
    Subsection (e) allows the Administrator of FEMA to apply 
the Simplified Procedure, under section 422 of the Stafford 
Act, for the administration of ``small projects'' for projects 
up to $100,000. The current limit is $55,000. Small projects 
are allowed to begin based on cost estimates.
    Subsection (f) allows FEMA to provide temporary housing 
units for use by volunteers assisting in recovery and 
reconstruction on the Gulf Coast. At the May 10, 2007 hearing 
of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, 
and Emergency Management, the lack of volunteer housing was 
cited as an impediment to the use of volunteers in the Gulf 
Coast and, as a result, a hindrance to recovery.
    Subsection (g) authorizes the reimbursement of certain 
facilities that housed evacuees after Hurricanes Katrina and 
Rita. The Committee is concerned that two years after 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, a number of arenas and other 
similar facilities in the State of Louisiana that housed 
evacuees in the immediate aftermath of the storms have not been 
adequately reimbursed for costs incurred in hosting those 
evacuees including repair or restoration of those facilities. 
These facilities include the Baton Rouge River Center, 
facilities of the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish 
of East Baton Rouge, the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Ascension 
Parish, and the Cajundome in Lafayette. In providing this 
assistance, the Committee expects FEMA will require similar 
documentation and procedures as it does for the public 
assistance program. Subsection (g)(3) provides that assistance 
shall not be provided if reimbursement is available from any 
other program, insurance, or any other source. In implementing 
this specific requirement, the Committee intends that FEMA use 
the same guidelines applicable under section 312 of the 
Stafford Act.
    Subsection (g)(1)(C) allows reimbursement for costs 
incurred for necessary materials provided to evacuees in a 
public facility used to host public events. The necessary 
materials include supplies provided directly to or for the 
benefit of children who were evacuees including school supplies 
(such as backpacks, water bottles, and lunch bags), recreation 
materials, and art supplies. The Committee recognizes the 
extraordinary circumstances children faced while in shelters 
and the efforts made to provide as much support and comfort as 
possible to these young evacuees.
    Subsection (h) requires the Administrator to report to the 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and 
Government Affairs of the Senate on the status of recovery for 
the States of Louisiana and Mississippi from Hurricanes Katrina 
and Rita within 180 days. The Committee intends the report to 
include the following issues:
            Coastal High Hazard Areas
    The Committee is concerned about FEMA's recent guidance 
concerning the restrictions on construction in Coastal High 
Hazard Areas for public assistance. Flood plain management 
regulations permit construction in Coastal High Hazard Areas as 
long as the construction complies with elevation, wave-load 
standards, and free-of-obstruction requirements. For 21 months, 
FEMA cooperated with the State of Mississippi and local 
officials to approve public assistance projects to rebuild 
schools and other public facilities inside Coastal High Hazard 
Areas. On June 5, 2007, FEMA issued a memorandum that 
reinterpreted its previous guidance and declared that no new 
construction is permitted in Coastal High Hazard Areas. This 
sudden change of policy is causing significant delay and 
difficulty for school districts and local governments that were 
forced to relocate and redesign projects.
            Public utilities
    The Committee instructs FEMA to report on the requirements 
that apply to contracts for clearing the rights-of-way of 
eligible utilities for the purpose of restoring services after 
a disaster. The Committee has received reports that FEMA has 
advised eligible utilities that it will reimburse contracts on 
the basis of time and materials or time and equipment for the 
first 72 hours after a disaster, but after 72 hours, the 
contracts must be rebid to conform to the standard debris 
removal contract payable by the cubic yard. Utilities hire 
contractors to clear their rights-of-way as quickly as possible 
to restore services to communities. The Committee is concerned 
that this practice to reopen public utility right-of-way 
clearance contracts after 72 hours and to reimburse these 
contracts according to volume rather than according to 
reasonable time and equipment costs stands to greatly increase 
the government's costs while delaying the restoration of 
utility services.
            Schools
    The Committee is very concerned about the slow pace of 
reconstruction of schools in Mississippi and Louisiana. Many 
students are in their third school year in temporary 
classrooms. The Committee instructs FEMA to report on the 
status of each proposed school facility project in the Bay St. 
Louis-Waveland School District, the Pass Christian School 
District, and the Hancock County School District in 
Mississippi, with an explanation of any disputes that have 
delayed approval of the project.
            Building to code
    According to local governments in Louisiana and 
Mississippi, the Federal share of public assistance to rebuild 
or repair a damaged facility may not account for additional 
costs to comply with modern building codes, accessibility 
requirements, environmental standards, and other construction 
requirements. The Committee is concerned to learn this, 
especially in light of FEMA's regulations under 44 CFR 
206.226(d), which addresses eligibility of additional costs due 
to compliance with current codes. FEMA estimates the Federal 
share of public assistance based on the cost of restoring or 
replacing a facility to its condition before the disaster. 
However, many older facilities are not fully compliant with 
current building codes and standards. Sometimes, the additional 
costs that are required to comply with building codes, 
accessibility requirements, environmental standards, and other 
building requirements are not within the scope of work for 
FEMA's determination of the Federal share. The Committee 
instructs FEMA to identify and report on the status of any 
pending project in which the difference between the cost to 
restore or replace a facility to its pre-disaster condition is 
less than 75 percent of the estimated cost to rebuild or repair 
the facility to current codes and standards.
    Subsection (i) waives the pre-certification requirement for 
a State's non-Federal share for Stafford Act hazard mitigation 
projects. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (``HMGP'') is 
designed to provide funds to mitigate future loss of property 
and life. The program requires States to provide at least 25 
percent of the cost of eligible projects to access Federal 
funds. This State matching requirement may be made through in-
kind projects (also referred to as ``global match'') funded 
with non-Federal dollars. The language in this subsection 
allows in-kind projects initiated in the recovery efforts after 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to contribute the non-Federal share 
in an HMGP application, if FEMA can determine that the project 
meets all eligibility and compliance requirements that apply to 
HMGP projects. This provision simply waives the requirement for 
pre-approval of a project that is intended for use as the non-
Federal share of an HMGP project, and is not intended to waive 
any substantive eligibility or compliance requirement. This 
language allows for the review and determination by FEMA to 
occur after project implementation.

            LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    In the 110th Congress, the Subcommittee on Economic 
Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management held a 
hearing on May 10, 2007, entitled ``Legislative Fixes for 
Lingering Problems that Hinder Katrina Recovery''. At the 
hearing Members of Congress from Louisiana and Mississippi 
testified regarding issues that communities and citizens still 
face in recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
    On July 31, 2007, Subcommittee Chairwoman Norton introduced 
H.R. 3247, the ``Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Recovery 
Facilitation Act of 2007''.
    On August 1, 2007, the Subcommittee on Economic 
Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management met in 
open session to consider H.R. 3247. The Subcommittee favorably 
recommended the bill to the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure by voice vote.
    On August 2, 2007, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session to consider H.R. 3247. An 
amendment to add subsection (i) to the bill, to waive the pre-
certification requirement for a State's non-Federal share for 
Stafford Act hazard mitigation grant program projects, was 
adopted by voice vote. The Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure ordered the bill, as amended, reported favorably 
to the House by voice vote with a quorum present.

                              RECORD VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each record vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. There 
were no recorded votes taken in connection with the amendment 
offered to H.R. 3247 or ordering H.R. 3247 reported. A motion 
to order H.R. 3247, as amended, reported favorably to the House 
was agreed to by voice vote with a quorum present.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          COST OF LEGISLATION

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
references the report of the Congressional Budget Office 
included in the report.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objectives of this legislation are to 
authorize assistance for the recovery from Hurricanes Katrina 
and Rita.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 
3247, as amended, from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 24, 2007.
Hon. James L. Oberstar,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3247, the 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Recovery Facilitation Act of 2007.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Daniel 
Hoople.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert A. Sunshine
                                   (For Peter R. Orszag, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3247--Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Recovery Facilitation Act of 
        2007

    H.R. 3247 would authorize the Federal Emergency Management 
Agency (FEMA) to provide additional forms of assistance to 
certain areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Funding 
for such assistance would come from the $43.5 billion already 
appropriated to FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) for the 
hurricanes. Because CBO does not expect that the proposed 
changes in this legislation would have a significant effect on 
the pace or amount of federal expenditures from the DRF, we 
estimate that enacting H.R. 3247 would have no significant 
effect on direct spending. Enacting the bill would not affect 
revenues.
    H.R. 3247 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    Under current law, Gulf Coast states are eligible to 
receive from FEMA 100 percent of the funds needed to repair or 
replace public infrastructure damaged by the 2005 hurricanes, 
If, however, states choose to relocate such buildings or other 
structures, the federal cost share falls to 75 percent. H.R. 
3247 would raise the federal cost share on relocated 
infrastructure to 90 percent. Allowing states to receive a 
higher portion of their reconstruction costs from the federal 
government could affect the rate of spending from previously 
appropriated funds, but CBO expects that the pace of such 
expenditures would not change significantly because other 
factors that affect the speed of reconstruction activities 
would remain unchanged.
    H.R. 3247 also would authorize some new types of assistance 
to areas of Louisiana and Mississippi affected by Hurricanes 
Katrina and Rita. The legislation would authorize FEMA to 
provide temporary housing units (for example, trailers and 
mobile homes) to state and local governments and nonprofit 
organizations to house volunteers working in the Gulf Coast 
region. In view of FEMA's decision to suspend the sale and 
donation of its trailer units pending a further investigation 
into the safety of those units, it is unclear how FEMA might 
use this authority. However, CBO estimates that if sales and 
donations resume, implementing this provision would not lead to 
a significant acceleration of spending or a net impact on 
expenditures from the DRF. Moreover, H.R. 3247 would authorize 
FEMA to provide assistance for re-interment in private 
cemeteries and for the compensation of business losses 
(excluding losses in revenue) stemming from events that were 
scheduled to be held in public facilities damaged by the 2005 
Gulf Coast hurricanes.
    Funding for the assistance authorized by H.R. 3247 would 
come from the $43.5 billion appropriated thus far to the DRF 
for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. CBO estimates that 
about $13.5 billion of such funding remains unspent as of July 
2007. We expect that enacting H.R. 3247 could lead to some 
reallocation of those existing funds, but that the rate of 
spending such balances would not change significantly under the 
bill.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Daniel Hoople. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                     COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XXI

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee is required to include a list 
of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of 
rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. The 
Committee has required Members of Congress to comply with all 
requirements of clause 9(d), (9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI. The 
following table provides the list of such provisions included 
in the Committee Report:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Section                Subject             Requested by
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Committee Report............  Baton Rouge      Richard H. Baker
                               River Center,
                               Baton Rouge,
                               Louisiana.
Committee Report............  Recreation and   Richard H. Baker
                               Park
                               Commission,
                               East Baton
                               Rouge Parish,
                               Louisiana,.
Committee Report............  Lamar Dixon      Charlie Melancon
                               Expo Center,
                               Ascension
                               Parish,
                               Louisiana.
Committee Report............  Cajundome,       Charles W. Boustany, Jr.
                               Lafayette,
                               Louisiana.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Pursuant to clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or 
joint resolution of a public character shall include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (Public Law 104-4).

                        PREEMPTION CLARIFICATION

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 3247, as amended, 
does not preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

                APPLICABILITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 
104-1).

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H.R. 3247 makes no changes to existing law.