U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines secured passage of two pieces of legislation that ensures that children are adequately protected when an emergency arises and brings government technology into the 21st century.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs unanimously passed the Homeland Security for Children Act and the FITARA Enhancement Act.
The Homeland Security for Children Act requires the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to solicit input from organizations representing the needs of children and take into consideration those unique needs when developing Department-wide policies and specifically when the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) is developing emergency preparedness plans. The recent tragedies of wildfires and hurricanes causing families to flee their homes across the nation is another reminder DHS and FEMA must prepare for the unique needs of children when responding to disasters.
“When a disaster strikes, we need to be prepared which includes the necessary preparedness plans for families and kids,” Daines stated. “The federal government should have the information it needs to and be well-equipped to protect our kids in the event of a tragedy.”
“In developing disaster plans, we must remember that children are not small adults, and policy cannot be created without considering their unique needs,” Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10). “I am happy that this bill easily passed through the House of Representatives and now passed Senate HSGAC. As the Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security – Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee, I look forward to working with Senator Daines to ensure that DHS’ accountability is a top priority in implementing this important bill that will keep children safe.”
“In the event of a natural disaster or other emergency, the safety of our children is paramount for families and communities across America,” Senator Hassan said. “Organizations that represent the needs of children have valuable information and best practices that can help DHS prepare to meet the needs of children and families during these challenging events, and I look forward to seeing this legislation advance to the Senate floor.”
The FITARA Enhancement Act brings federal government into the 21st Century. The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) passed Congress in 2014. Many important programs were created as part of this legislation. The bill simply ensures these programs continue to modernize technology, promote transparency and eliminate duplicative and unnecessary technologies.
“Government hasn’t been able to keep the pace of the private sector and that needs to change,” Daines stated. “We need to be able to run as fast as technology advances and that includes updating our laws for a 21st century workforce.”
The text of the Homeland Security for Children Act is available to download HERE.
The text of the FITARA Enhancement Act is available to download HERE.