A picture of Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson
Eddie J.
Democrat TX 30

About Rep. Eddie
  • National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization of 2015

    by Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson

    Posted on 2015-01-07

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    JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 23, legislation that would reauthorize the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program--or NWIRP.

    The last few years have been devastating years for natural disasters across the country. There were massive tornadoes across the Midwest that resulted in loss of life and significant economic damages. In addition, Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012 caused widespread destruction and death along the Eastern seaboard.

    H.R. 23 directs NIST, NSF, NOAA, and FEMA to support activities to improve the understanding of windstorms and their impacts. We can use that knowledge to reduce the vulnerability of our communities to natural disasters. The NWIRP program helps our federal agencies and communities across the nation develop and implement many measures that help minimize the loss of life and property during windstorms and to rebuild effectively and safely after such storms.

    I was pleased that when this bill was considered by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee last Congress, we worked in a bipartisan manner and made several improvements to the bill.

    We worked together to increase the authorization for FEMA, the agency tasked with implementing the research conducted by the other NWIRP agencies. Additionally, we added several social science-related provisions to the bill. We cannot design effective disaster preparation strategies without understanding how people make decisions and respond to disaster warnings.

    This is a compromise bill and so it doesn't contain as much as I think should be done. In particular, I wish this bill included authorization increases for the NWIRP agencies--increases that are justified by the important activities those agencies carry out. However, it is still a good bill and an important bill for us to act on.

    I want to thank my fellow Texans--Chairman Smith and Mr. Neugebauer-- for working across the aisle on this bill and for bringing it to the floor today. And I want to thank Ms. Wilson for her efforts on this legislation. It was good to see Members of the Committee coming together, working out their differences, compromising, and ending up with a bill with bipartisan support.

    I support the bill and urge my colleagues to support this important bill.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Smith) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 23.

    The question was taken.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.

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