Press Releases

House Passes Rice, Garbarino Legislation to Make Permanent New York Facility that Supports Nation’s First Responders

Bill authorizes the NYC-based National Urban Security Technology Laboratory within the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate

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Washington, July 20, 2021 | Stuart Malec ((202) 225-5516) | comments

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1850, the Supporting Research and Development for First Responders Act, a bipartisan bill authored by Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-04) and Rep. Andrew Garbarino (NY-02). The bill would permanently authorize the New York City-based National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL), a federal laboratory that directly supports first responders in New York City, Long Island, and urban areas across the country by testing and evaluating new technologies and systems that would be used in the event of a terrorist attack, industrial accident, or natural disaster. Rice spoke in support of the bill on the House floor today before final passage. 

“Whether it’s to respond to incidents of domestic extremism, or to severe weather events, we must ensure our first responders are best equipped to handle any potential emergency,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “As the only federal lab in the country dedicated to helping first responders carry out their missions, NUSTL’s counterterrorism and emergency response work is critical in this effort. I am thrilled the House passed my bipartisan bill to permanently authorize NUSTL, and I encourage the Senate to follow suit and deliver this much-needed support to our nation’s brave first responders.”  

“New Yorkers, and especially Long Islanders, continue to deal with the aftermath of 9/11 and the loss of so many first responders from our community that day," said Rep. Andrew Garbarino. "First responders put themselves in harm's way in order to protect us, so we need to make sure they have the best tools, technology, and protection available. This bill permanently authorizes the DHS National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) to develop new technologies to assist first responders in preparing for, and protecting against, threats of terrorism like those experienced on that fateful day almost 20 years ago. I'm glad to see this important legislation pass in the House with resounding bipartisan support and I urge the Senate to take up this bill right away so that we can better protect the Homeland and our first responders.”

As a federal laboratory organized within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, NUSTL’s mission is to help state and local governments and first responders prepare for, prevent, and respond to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other threats against cities. Additionally, NUSTL’s staff experts work side-by-side with the nation’s first responders to test and analyze existing and emerging technologies that keep emergency responders safe. 

The Supporting Research and Development for First Responders Act would permanently authorize NUSTL and help ensure that the lab’s vital work of protecting first responders can continue.  

Full text of the legislation.

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