National Response Framework: Overview and Possible Issues for Congress [November 20, 2008] [open pdf - 131KB]
"In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress and the President moved to consolidate numerous federal emergency plans into a single, unified national response plan. The end product of these efforts was the National Response Plan (NRP), which established broad lines of authority for agencies responding to emergencies and major disasters. Perceived problems with the implementation of the NRP during Hurricane Katrina led Congress to enact the Post-Katrina Management Reform Act (P.L. 109- 295) to integrate preparedness and response authorities. The legislation directed DHS to issue a successor plan to the NRP entitled the National Response Framework (NRF). Implemented in March 2008, the NRF establishes a new approach to coordinating federal and nonfederal resources and entities. The Department of Homeland Security maintains that the NRF is an improvement over the NRP. Some, however, assert that the NRF is not an improvement because it does not fully address the problems and challenges associated with the NRP. In the 110th Congress, Members of Congress focused, in part, on policy options that addressed issues concerning the NRF as well as attempts to coordinate federal, state, and local preparedness and response efforts more fully. Some examples of federal laws enacted in the 110th Congress that have affected the NRF include [...]. This report discusses how national response planning documents have evolved over time and describes the authorities that shape the NRF. Several issue areas that might be examined for potential lawmaking and oversight concerning the NRF are also highlighted."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34758