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International Emergency Management Assistance Memorandum Of Understanding

Sen. Sherrod Brown

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Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of Calendar No. 397, S.J. Res.

The clerk will report the resolution by title.

The legislative clerk read as follows:

A joint resolution (S.J. Res. 13) granting the consent of Congress to the International Emergency Management Assistance Memorandum of Understanding.

There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the joint resolution.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy

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Mr. President, this joint resolution reflects the best traditions of international cooperation between our nation and our Canadian neighbors to the north.

Formally, this joint resolution would grant the consent of Congress to the International Emergency Management Assistance Memorandum of Understanding, which allows emergency responders from the United States and Canada to help each other across our shared border during natural disasters and other serious emergencies. But beyond this legal formality, this agreement reflects our longstanding cooperative partnership with Canada, and how, in times of emergency or natural disaster, we respond together, as neighbors across a largely unguarded border.

When our communities need help, we must join together and come to their aid, whether or not a border is drawn between us. This agreement allows us to honor the extraordinary tradition of international cooperation and good will between our nations, and will make the citizens of both the United States and Canada more secure and safer.

We must all do our best to prepare for the most serious emergencies that can harm our communities. These crises may arise from natural or manmade disasters, from technological hazards, civil emergencies, or even terrorist events. As those who live in the Northeast know, extreme weather is not uncommon in New England, or in the eastern Provinces of Canada, and we have endured catastrophic blizzards and ice storms as recently as this winter that have closed roads and highways, shut down power for extended periods, and stranded travelers and rural residents for days, or longer. Under this agreement, first responders and emergency management professionals from the United States and Canada can work together to provide the necessary assistance to secure public safety.

This compact works well for New England and the eastern Canadian Provinces, and it stands as a model for emergency management planning and cooperation. It has the support of all the emergency management directors in the New England States, and the bipartisan support of all of the New England Senators who have joined me and Senator Snowe to cosponsor this resolution. It is a crucial element of the security and safety planning for all communities in New England and eastern Canada.

Sen. Sherrod Brown

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I ask unanimous consent that the joint resolution be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate, and any statements be printed in the Record.

Without objection, it is so ordered.

The joint resolution (S.J. Res. 13) was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, was read the third time, and passed, as follows:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Congress consents to the International Emergency Management Assistance Memorandum of Understanding entered into between the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut and the Provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The compact is substantially as follows:

The validity of the arrangements consented to by this Act shall not be affected by any insubstantial difference in their form or language as adopted by the States and provinces.

The right to alter, amend, or repeal this Act is hereby expressly reserved.