Cost Estimate for H.R. the Speed Recovery Act

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 13, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DeFAZIO. Madam Speaker, I include in the Record the cost estimate prepared by the Congressional Budget Office for H.R. 5641, the SPEED Recovery Act. The cost estimate was not available at the time of the Committee report filing. U.S. Congress, Congressional Budget Office, Washington, DC, August 22, 2022. Hon. Gary Peters, 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 H.R. 5641, the SPEED Recovery Act.

If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jon Sperl. Sincerely, Phillip L. Swagel, Director.

Enclosure. H.R. 5641, SPEED Recovery Act--August 3, 2022 [By Fiscal Year, Millions of Dollars] ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 2022 2022-2027 2022-2032 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Direct Spending (Outlays)........... 0 0 0 Revenues............................ 0 0 0 Increase or Decrease (-) in the 0 0 0 Deficit............................ Spending Subject to Appropriation 0 1 * (Outlays).......................... ------------------------------------------------------------------------ * = not estimated. Mandate Effects:

Statutory pay-as-you-go procedures apply? No.

Increases on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2033? No.

Contains intergovernmental mandate? No.

Contains private-sector mandate? No.

H.R. 5641 would codify a final rule issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in August 2022 that allows more disaster relief projects to qualify as small projects and thus be approved for federal assistance under a simplified review process. That rule increased the upper monetary threshold for small projects from $139,800 to $1 million. Projects under the threshold are approved for assistance based on estimated costs rather than on the actual costs of projects and are typically approved for assistance more quickly.

Because H.R. 5641 would codify an existing regulation, CBO estimates that enacting the provision related to a higher threshold for small projects would not affect the budget, relative to current law.

In addition, within three years of enactment, H.R. 5641 would require the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security to audit projects that have received assistance under the higher threshold for the simplified review process to determine whether there has been waste or abuse. Using information from FEMA and the Government Accountability Office about the cost of similar audits, CBO estimates that implementing that requirement would cost about $1 million over the 2022-2027 period. Any spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jon Sperl. The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Director of Budget Analysis.