President Signs Peters and Portman Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Federal Disaster Response by Repealing Outdated DHS Contracting Requirements

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to repeal a section of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 that required the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prohibit the use of subcontracts for more than 65% of the cost of certain emergency response and recovery contracts has been signed into law. The section conflicts with a provision of the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act that imposed a government-wide limitation to prevent excessive subcontracting. Peters and Portman’s bill, the Repeal of Obsolete DHS Contracting Requirements Act, reinforces the government-wide standard and provides greater clarity to federal contractors and DHS employees who are responsible for managing our nation’s federal disaster response.

“Providing clear guidance to contractors and federal officials responsible for our nation’s disaster relief efforts is essential to helping communities in Michigan and across the nation recover from extreme weather events and other emergencies,” said Senator Peters. “I am pleased this new law will remove outdated and conflicting subcontracting requirements and significantly bolster FEMA’s ability to serve Americans during their greatest times of need.” 

“I’m pleased that this common-sense bipartisan legislation is now law of the land as it will provide greater clarity to FEMA officials and other contract workers and ensure a faster response time during natural emergencies,” said Senator Portman.