• April 5, 2022

    Congress Is Taking a Strategic Approach to Resilience

    Chuck Chaitovitz

With strong bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives this week approved the Resilient America Act, an important step in addressing climate risks for communities and companies across the country. The Chamber supported the bill with a “Key Vote” letter

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce believes building smart, modern, resilient infrastructure is a top priority. Our resilience principles call for a comprehensive and strategic approach that allows us all to plan ahead and be prepared for future crises. That’s why, in addition to the Resilient America Act, we are so pleased at bipartisan efforts in both the House and Senate to pursue resilience priorities that enjoy the strong support of the business community, including:

  • Elevating resilience as a national priority: The National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act calls for a national resilience strategy and Chief Resilience Officer to unify and integrate the government work to a beyond federal approach.
  • Implementing the provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities and Flood Mitigation programs, the new STORM Act, and other federal programs received IIJA funding to ensure that communities have more tools available to tackle a host of risks, including droughts, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires
  • Increasing predisaster mitigation funding: The Resilient America Act would boost predisaster mitigation funding from a maximum of 6% to 15% of postdisaster spending through BRIC. The return-on-investment from predisaster investments is as much as 11 to 1.[1]
  • Managing federal risks: The Disaster Resiliency & Planning Act would require federal agencies to consider more effective asset management strategies when developing sustainability and resilience plans.
  • Engaging the most vulnerable communities: The Community Disaster Resilience Zones Act, among other efforts, would ensure that more funding is directed to small, disadvantaged communities that are most at risk to extreme weather and other climate hazards. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee recently reported this legislation [with strong bipartisan support for consideration by the full Senate. More technical assistance is also needed to ensure these communities have the wherewithal to pursue and secure funding.

These policies each offer the opportunity for incremental progress but together form a more comprehensive and strategic approach that can help safeguard our nation. We will continue to be strong partners with Congress, the Administration, and our coalition partners to advance and implement this approach, starting with Senate passage of the Resilient America Act.

[1] http://2021.nibs.org/files/pdfs/ms_v4_overview.pdf