Organization and Mission of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate: Issues and Options for the 109th Congress [September 7, 2005] [open pdf - 379KB]
"On July 13, 2005, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff released an assessment of departmental functions known as the second stage review, or 2SR. The recommended changes, planned for implementation on October 1, 2005, include one to dismantle the Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Directorate of DHS, also referred to as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA would remain within DHS but become a smaller entity reporting directly to the Secretary and would be responsible for consequence management. [...] Congress would have to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296) if all aspects of the Secretary's recommendation were to be implemented. [...] Perhaps of greatest significance, some Members of Congress are reportedly considering new legislation in the wake of the tragic events at the end of August, 2005, that occurred after Hurricane Katrina. For example, S. 1615, the text of which is not currently available, would establish FEMA as an independent agency. [...] This report provides information on the authorities and missions of EPR and reviews actions taken since the establishment of DHS to modify the directorates functions. In addition, the report examines the homeland security and emergency management authorities that Congress has assigned to federal entities other than DHS. It presents as comprehensive a picture as possible of relevant authorities and administrative issues. The report concludes with options that Congress might elect to consider as it evaluates the merits of Secretary Chertoff's 2SR proposal."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33064