From Congressman Pete Gallego’s office:
Pete Gallego (TX-23) passed an amendment to give the Department of Transportation more flexibility to move funds to the Office of intelligence, Security, and Emergency Response in case of an emergency.
The Gallego amendment ensures that should an emergency arise, the office can use discretion in how they use their funds and transfer those funds to best deal with the emergency. The zero-cost amendment is a common-sense approach to ensure that funds are flexible for the sake of national intelligence, national defense or emergency response within the Department of Transportation.
“The Office of Intelligence, Security and Emergency Response is an extremely important office,” said Congressman Gallego. “Under the current legislation, the lawyers at the Department of Transportation have been budgeted to receive twice as much as emergency responders.
We need to ask ourselves, what’s more important – the lawyers at the Department of Transportation, or the emergency responders and the Office of Security? My amendment gives the agency more flexibility for the sake of intelligence, national security and emergency response.”
The Gallego amendment to the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations Act gained the support of both the Republican Chairman and Democratic Ranking Member and passed on a vote of 317 to 91.
What the office of Intelligence, Security and Emergency Response does:
Ensures the development, coordination and execution of plans and procedures for the Department of Transportation to balance transportation security requirements with the safety, mobility and economic needs of the Nation through effective intelligence, security, preparedness and emergency response programs.
Major Projects of the office include:
· Development of DOT staff to provide meaningful and effective assistance and advice in the international crisis arena.
· Plans for acquisition and deployment of transportation resources to support the military engaged in NATO operations.
· Monitoring the insurance market indemnification arrangements to ensure that airlift capability to support NATO operations is not impeded by a lack of war risk insurance.
· Training for transportation experts to apply their expertise in international crisis management situations, including the NATO Rapid Reaction Teams and Civilian Response Corps members.
· Participation in Conflict and Stability Operations per terms of agreement and within the capabilities and mandates of the Department of Transportation.
· Work with emergency management leadership of Transport Canada to address common emergency preparedness and response areas of interest.