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Two More Maloney Provisions to Be Signed into Law

Oct 3, 2018
Press Release
Legislation Improves Safety for Children on Airplanes, Requires Audit of Shady FEMA Contract for Puerto Rico Relief

WASHINGTON –  Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) has announced that two more of his legislative provisions will head to the president’s desk to be signed into law. The first provision requires airlines to upgrade the contents of emergency medical kits, which have not been updated for nearly 20 years, to include appropriately-sized doses of medication for children. The second provision requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to investigate a questionable contractor, Florida-based Bronze Star, which failed to deliver $30 million worth of supplies during Hurricane Maria. Both provisions passed the House of Representatives in April as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, and passed the Senate today.

Airline Kids in Transit Safety (KiTS) Act

The Airline Kids in Transit Safety (KiTS) Act would modernize FAA regulations to protect children on commercial airlines. Airplanes are currently not required to carry child-sized doses of emergency medicine or medical devices onboard passenger aircrafts. The KiTS Act would require the FAA to update these regulations within a year. Rep. Maloney first introduced the legislation in 2015 alongside former Republican Rep. Richard Hanna, and again in 2017 with Rep. John Faso (NY-19).

“Millions of Americans fly every year, and a lot of them are kids – we need our airlines to be prepared to handle emergencies for all of their passengers, not just adults,” said Rep. Maloney. “My legislation will ensure that kids who have allergies have the supplies they need if they have a health issue while on a flight.”

With more Americans traveling by air than ever before, adult travelers can generally feel safe knowing that, in the case of a medical emergency, a well-trained flight crew will have the medical equipment necessary to treat them. But shockingly, the Emergency Medical Kits (EMKs) required on commercial flights are woefully inadequate for treating the most vulnerable passengers. Given the vulnerability of infants, children and adolescents during medical emergencies, the FAA should update their outdated regulations on the contents of EMKs.

The Airline KiTS Act would specifically require the FAA, within one year of enactment, to initiate a rulemaking to update the requirements for EMKs to ensure that they contain appropriate medication and equipment to meet the emergency needs of children. The bill has been endorsed by the American Association of Pediatrics.

Bronze Star Contract Audit

After news reports revealed that a two-month old company with no prior business experience was awarded a $30 million dollar contract to provide tarps and plastic sheeting to victims of Hurricane Maria, Rep. Maloney introduced a provision to conduct a formal audit of the contracting process. The company, Bronze Star LLC, failed to deliver on the contract, leaving tens of thousands of Americans in Puerto Rico without aid supplies necessary to keep homes dry as repairs were made.

“The Trump Administration bungled the response to Hurricane Maria so badly that almost 3,000 people died – we need to get to the bottom of what happened, and that includes figuring out why we gave a $30 million contract for necessary emergency supplies to people who didn’t know what the hell they were doing,” said Rep. Maloney. “This audit should be part of a comprehensive look at what this administration did wrong. We can’t ever let this happen again.”

Bronze Star, a Florida-based contractor that was founded in August 2017, received a FEMA contract in October 2017 to supply 500,000 plastic tarps and 60,000 rolls of plastic sheeting to Americans in Puerto Rico reeling from Hurricane Maria. These materials are used to temporarily patch holes in roofs and walls caused by hurricane damage, and are designed to keep homes dry until permanent repairs can be made. Bronze Star was only two months old at the time the contract was awarded, had no history of fulfilling government contracts, and was headquartered at a single-family private residence in Florida. Unsurprisingly, the company failed to deliver on the contract. 

Rep. Maloney’s provision was initially included in the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2017, which passed unanimously through the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during the bill’s mark-up in November 2017. The provision requires the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security to begin an audit of the Bronze Star contract within 30 days and issue a report to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as well as the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs within 270 days. The audit must consider the contracting and evaluation process, accountability requirements, and how the contract cancellation affected the provision of supplies to people in need in Puerto Rico.