Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 38
115th Congress      }                                    {      Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                    {      115-29
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                      SECURING OUR AGRICULTURE AND

                                FOOD ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                 S. 500

           TO AMEND THE HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002 TO MAKE
            THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY FOR
            HEALTH AFFAIRS RESPONSIBLE FOR COORDINATING THE
             EFFORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RELATED TO FOOD, AGRICULTURE, AND VETERINARY DEFENSE AGAINST TERRORISM, 
                         AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                 April 24, 2017.--Ordered to be printed
                                  ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

69-010                         WASHINGTON : 2017                  
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
              
                 
                 
                 
                 
              
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  JON TESTER, Montana
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
JOHN HOEVEN, North Dakota            MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
STEVE DAINES, Montana                KAMALA D. HARRIS, California

                  Christopher R. Hixon, Staff Director
                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Chief Counsel
            Christopher S. Boness, Professional Staff Member
               Margaret E. Daum, Minority Staff Director
               Stacia M. Cardille, Minority Chief Counsel
                 Subhasri Ramanathan, Minority Counsel
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk



















                                                       Calendar No. 38
115th Congress      }                                    {      Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                    {      115-29

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



 
                 SECURING OUR AGRICULTURE AND FOOD ACT

                                _______
                                

                 April 24, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                                 REPORT

                         [To accompany S. 500]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 500) to amend the 
Homeland Security Act of 2002 to make the Assistant Secretary 
of Homeland Security for Health Affairs responsible for 
coordinating the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security 
related to food, agriculture, and veterinary defense against 
terrorism, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that 
the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................4
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................5
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................5
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................5
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............6

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    S. 500, Securing our Agriculture and Food Act, amends the 
Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the Assistant 
Secretary for the Office of Health Affairs (OHA) within the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS or Department) to lead the 
coordination of agriculture, food and veterinary defense 
against terrorism. The bill authorizes the creation of a 
program focused in the agriculture, food and veterinary sector 
to provide oversight and management of the Department's 
responsibilities and activities, lead policy initiatives 
related to domestic preparedness and incident response, and 
coordinate within the Department and with appropriate federal 
agencies and departments.

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    The United States agricultural system is critical to our 
nation's security and economic prosperity. Our nation's farms 
not only produce the food that Americans eat, but also play a 
significant role in the domestic and global economy. For 
example, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports 
that the United States agricultural system supports one twelfth 
of the American workforce.\1\ Additionally, according to the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States 
agricultural industry contributes $300 billion annually to our 
economy.\2\ The United States also exports hundreds of billions 
of dollars in agricultural products to countries around the 
world, such as Canada, China, and Latin America.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Agro-Defense: Responding to Threats Against America's 
Agriculture and Food System: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Oversight 
of Gov't Mgmt., the Fed. Workforce, and the Dist. of Columbia of the S. 
Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 112th Cong. 1 (2011) 
[hereinafter Agro-Defense Hearing], available at https://www.gpo.gov/
fdsys/pkg/CHRG-112shrg72478/pdf/CHRG-112shrg72478.pdf.
    \2\Econ. Research Serv., U.S. Dep't Of Agric., Effects Of Trade On 
The U.S. Economy--2015, available at https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-
products/agricultural-trade-multipliers/effects-of-trade-on-the-us-
economy-2015.
    \3\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The potential threat of a terrorist attack against the 
United States' food and agricultural system, referred to as 
agro-terrorism, would have significant consequences for United 
States farmers and consumers. This underscores the need for 
clarity in Federal agencies' roles and responsibilities to 
secure the agricultural sector. In testimony before the Senate 
Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal 
Workforce, and the District of Columbia, John Hoffman of the 
National Center for Food Protection and Defense at the 
University of Minnesota identified four possible consequences 
of an agro-terrorism attack: detrimental impact on human health 
throughout the country, damage to the food supply chain and to 
global trade, severe economic devastation, and harm to the 
United States' standing in the world.\4\ An agro-terrorism 
incident represents a high-risk event with the potential to 
cause severe harm to human health and the economy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Agro-Defense Hearing, supra note 1, at 41 (statement of Col. 
John T. Hoffman (Ret.), Senior Research Fellow, National Center for 
Food Protection and Defense, University of Minnesota).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prior administrations have issued directives to elevate and 
coordinate the security of the agricultural sector. On December 
17, 2003, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security 
Presidential Directive-7 (HSPD-7).\5\ This directive designates 
the food and agriculture system as one of 16 critical 
infrastructure sectors.\6\ Critical infrastructure sectors 
provide resources and services to the American people and 
support the United States economy. The elevation of the food 
and agriculture system to that of a critical infrastructure 
sector is an important first step in recognizing the important 
role it plays within the United States, as well as underscoring 
the crippling and dangerous impacts that an attack on this 
system could have. An attack from terrorists on a critical 
infrastructure sector could potentially cause massive 
casualties, damage the economy, and weaken the confidence of 
the American public.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Office of the President, HSPD-7, Subject: Critical 
Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection, Dec. 17, 
2003 [hereinafter HSPD-7], available at https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/
nspd/hspd-7.html.
    \6\Id.; U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., NIPP 2013 Partnering for 
Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, at 9 (2013), available 
at https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/ NIPP %20 
2013_Partnering %20 for %20 Critical %20 Infrastructure %20 Security 
%20 and %20 Resilience _508_0.pdf/.
    \7\HSPD-7, supra note 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On January 30, 2005, President Bush released Homeland 
Security Presidential Directive--9 (HSPD-9), which established 
a national security policy to defend the agriculture and food 
sector against terrorist attacks and other major 
catastrophes.\8\ The policy called for improved early warning 
systems, prioritization of key areas for protection, 
vulnerability mitigation, and preparedness and recovery 
measures.\9\ As established in HSPD-7 and reaffirmed in HSPD-9, 
the Secretary of Homeland Security is responsible for 
coordinating food and agriculture security across the Federal 
Government acting through the Department's Food, Agriculture 
and Veterinary Defense Division (FAVD) under the OHA. The 
directives also assign responsibilities to the Secretaries of 
Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and the Administrator 
of the Environmental Protection Agency in the protection of 
sector-specific efforts.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Office of the President, HSPD-9, Subject: Defense of United 
States Agriculture and Food, Jan. 30, 2004 [hereinafter HSPD-9], 
available at https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/nspd/hspd-9.html.
    \9\Id.
    \10\HSPD-7, supra note 5; HSPD-9, supra note 8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Additionally, President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety 
Modernization Act in January 2011.\11\ The law requires a 
National Agriculture and Food Defense Strategy prepared by the 
Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services in 
coordination with DHS.\12\ The report details plans to protect 
the nation's food supply and agriculture system, as well as 
plans for preparedness, detection, response, and recovery from 
an attack.\13\ The strategy contains goals, objectives, and key 
initiatives such as: improving agriculture and food system 
detection abilities, guaranteeing a sufficient response to 
emergencies, and long-term response recovery plans.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, Pub. L. No. 111-353, 124 
Stat. 3910-3911 (2011).
    \12\Id.
    \13\U.S. Dep't of Health and Human Services & U.S. Dep't of 
Agriculture, Report to Congress on the National Agriculture and Food 
Defense Strategy, at 7, 10-11, 14 (2015), available at https://
www.fda.gov/downloads/ Food/ Guidance Regulation/ FSMA/ UCM444464.pdf.
    \14\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DHS has also recognized that the security of the 
agricultural system is vital to the nation's homeland security. 
Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act enacted 
in 2007 requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct 
a comprehensive review every four years of the nation's 
security and recommend strategy and priorities for the upcoming 
years in terms of budgets, programs, and policies.\15\ The 
first such report was the 2010 Quadrennial Homeland Security 
Review (QHSR). In this report, the Secretary identified 
agriculture as one of the emergency and support functions of 
the Homeland Security Enterprise.\16\ The 2014 QHSR took a more 
in-depth look at national security and specifically looked at 
preparedness and mitigation of biological threats. Within 
biological threats, the 2014 QHSR outlined the importance of an 
effective response and recovery to an attack on agriculture. It 
specifically discussed the need for Federal, state, local, 
tribal, and territorial governments to ``[s]tabilize food, 
agriculture, and other critical sector functions.''\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 
2007, Pub. L. No. 110-53, 121 Stat. 544 (2007).
    \16\U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., Quadrennial Homeland Security 
Review Report: A Strategic Framework for a Secure Homeland, at A-9 
(2010), available at https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/
publications/2010-qhsr-report.pdf.
    \17\U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., The 2014 Quadrennial Homeland 
Security Review, at 53 (2010), available at https://www.dhs.gov/ sites/ 
default/ files/ publications/ 2010-qhsr-report.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Past congressional hearings have also identified the 
importance of securing the agricultural system. In 2011, the 
Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, 
the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia held a 
hearing entitled ``Agro-Defense: Responding to Threats Against 
America's Agriculture and Food System.''\18\ The GAO testified 
during the hearing about the challenges the Federal Government 
faces in securing and responding to an attack on the food and 
agriculture sector.\19\ Lisa Shames, the GAO Director for 
Natural Resources and Environment, stated that there is no 
coordinated effort in food and agriculture security policy.\20\ 
Ms. Shames testified that the White House Homeland Security 
Council (HSC), supplemented by DHS, used to coordinate on food 
and agriculture security; however, when the HSC merged with the 
National Security Council in 2009 interest in the sector waned 
and coordination ceased.\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\Agro-Defense Hearing, supra note 1.
    \19\Id. at 16-18 (statement of Lisa Shames, Natural Resources and 
Environment Director, Government Accountability Office).
    \20\Id. at 16.
    \21\Id. at 24.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Additionally, the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, 
Response, and Communications of the House Homeland Security 
Committee held a hearing in February 2016, entitled, Food for 
Thought: Efforts to Defend the Nation's Agriculture and 
Food.\22\ In the hearing, Bobby Acord, the former administrator 
for the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, testified, 
``[t]here seems to be a growing consensus that there are 
serious flaws in the country's preparedness to deal with 
threats to the U.S. agriculture and the U.S. food supply.''\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\Food for Thought: Efforts to Defend the Nation's Agriculture 
and Food: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Emergency Preparedness, 
Response, and Commc'ns of the H. Comm. On Homeland Sec., 114th Cong. 
(2016), available at https://www.gpo.gov/ fdsys/pkg/ CHRG-114hhrg21528/ 
pdf/CHRG-114hhrg21528.pdf.
    \23\Id. at 28 (statement of Bobby Acord, former Animal Plant Health 
Inspection Service Administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    S. 500 codifies an existing program within DHS and requires 
the Department to coordinate with other federal agencies and 
its own components on food and agriculture security. The bill 
also tasks DHS with management and oversight of HSPD-9 and 
integrating security policy and initiatives. Lastly, the bill 
designates DHS as the lead agency in the response and recovery 
of an attack on the food or agricultural system.

                        III. Legislative History

    On March 2, 2017, Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Claire 
McCaskill, introduced S. 500, which was referred to the Senate 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
    The Committee considered S. 500 at a business meeting on 
March 15, 2017. The bill was ordered reported favorably en bloc 
by voice vote. Senators Johnson, Portman, Lankford, Daines, 
McCaskill, Carper, Tester, Heitkamp, Peters, Hassan, and Harris 
were present for the vote.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Act, as Reported


Section 1. Short title

    This section names the bill, ``Securing Our Agriculture and 
Food Act''.

Section 2. Coordination of food, agriculture, and veterinary defense 
        against terrorism

    This section codifies a program under the Assistant 
Secretary of Health Affairs to coordinate efforts across the 
Federal Government regarding the defense of food, agriculture, 
and veterinary systems. The bill requires the program to, at a 
minimum, provide oversight of the food and agriculture critical 
infrastructure sector. It also designates the Department as the 
lead for creating policy on security and preparedness for an 
attack on the food and agriculture system, but clarifies that 
this in no way alters the authority of the Secretary of 
Agriculture. This legislation also authorizes FAVD for the 
first time.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                    March 24, 2017.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 500, the Securing 
our Agriculture and Food Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Robert Reese.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

S. 500--Securing Our Agriculture and Food Act

    S. 500 would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to 
authorize a program within the Department of Homeland 
Security's Office of Health Affairs to coordinate efforts to 
defend U.S. food, agriculture, and veterinary systems against 
terrorism.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 500 would cost about 
$500,000 a year; such spending would be subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds. In 2016, the department 
allocated $475,000 for this activity. A full year appropriation 
for the department has not yet been enacted for 2017.
    Enacting S. 500 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting S. 500 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 500 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    On March 13, 2017, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
1238, the Securing our Agriculture and Food Act, as ordered 
reported by the House Committee on Homeland Security on March 
8, 2017. The two pieces of legislation are similar and CBO's 
estimates of their budgetary effects are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Robert Reese. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill as reported are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE V--EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 528. COORDINATION OF DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY EFFORTS 
                    RELATED TO FOOD, AGRICULTURE, AND VETERINARY 
                    DEFENSE AGAINST TERRORISM

    (a) Program Required.--The Secretary, acting through the 
Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs, shall carry out a 
program to coordinate the efforts of the Department relating to 
defending the food, agriculture, and veterinary systems of the 
United States against terrorism and other high-consequence 
events that pose a high risk to homeland security.
    (b) Program Elements.--The coordination program required by 
subsection (a) shall include, at a minimum, the following:
          (1) Providing oversight and management of the 
        responsibilities of the Department under Homeland 
        Security Presidential Directive 9--Defense of United 
        States Agriculture and Food.
          (2) Providing oversight and integration of the 
        activities of the Department relating to veterinary 
        public health, food defense, and agricultural security.
          (3) Leading the policy initiatives of the Department 
        relating to food, animal, and agricultural incidents, 
        and the impact of such incidents on animal and public 
        health.
          (4) Leading the policy initiatives of the Department 
        relating to overall domestic preparedness for and 
        collective response to agricultural terrorism.
          (5) Coordinating with other components of the 
        Department, including U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection, as appropriate, on activities relating to 
        food and agriculture security and screening procedures 
        for domestic and imported products.
          (6) Coordinating with appropriate Federal departments 
        and agencies.
          (7) Other activities as determined necessary by the 
        Secretary.
    (c) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to alter or supersede the authority of the Secretary 
of Agriculture relating to food and agriculture.

                                  [all]