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house Bill H.R. 654

Does the Pacific Northwest Need an Early Warning System for Earthquakes and Tsunamis?

Argument in favor

Major earthquakes have occurred off the Pacific Northwest coast in the past, and the tsunami the next one causes could kill tens of thousands of people. An early warning system would give locals more time to get to a safe place when their current lead time is as little as 10 minutes after the ground stops shaking.

Ryan's Opinion
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03/26/2017
With millions of lives at risk, and little-to-no warning system in place, this seems like a no-brainer.
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JenniferL's Opinion
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03/26/2017
We need to do whatever we can to try to prevent a tragedy. This is a small percentage of what this Republican administration has spent traveling to the "Winter Whitehouse."
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Leslie's Opinion
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03/26/2017
These states are huge contributors to our national tax coffers, so spending here seems fair. If we are unprepared for a major seismic event, the deviation would have a massive cost to our economy, not to mention the possible lives lost. This is the kind of infrastructure we need to update / implement.
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Argument opposed

The fault that could cause a major earthquake and tsunami in the Pacific Northwest — the Cascadia Subduction Zone — has historically had such sudden, violent quakes that a warning system would be of limited value. Besides, the next “big” earthquake could be relatively mild or not occur for hundreds of years.

andreww88's Opinion
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03/26/2017
This is another bill that will increase national debt and put more power in the hands of the federal government. The state governments together can put an emergency warning system together, without FEMA. Also, it would be more efficient than a federal one too probably.
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operaman's Opinion
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03/27/2017
My wife and I RVed through OR and WA for years. Big signs Warning of Tsunami all along the ocean coast. This bill wants the Red states to pay for Blue states specific needs regarding tsunamis or earthquakes. Guess Socialism may have run out of money and looking for a Federal bailout. California, another socialist state spending their reserves supporting illegal immigrants. The shoe 👠 falls.
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TuckerWantsLiberty's Opinion
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03/26/2017
Not one paid for by people not living there. I have no idea if one is necessary, but if one is then it should be considered a cost of living there and not foisted upon the entire nation. If the Pacific Northwest wants this, let them pay for it, but don't make me.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house Passed March 27th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 395 Yea / 11 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
    IntroducedJanuary 24th, 2017

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    I am reading the comments against this and it makes me ashamed
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    From the PDF of the bill. To direct the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to carry out a plan for the purchase and installation of an earthquake early warning system for the Cascadia Subduction Zone, and for other purposes.
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    This is a pork barrel project with no end result that does not already exist. Read the details members. Read the details twice if the proposer is a Democrat.
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    I'd like to point out that commenter "operaman" neglects the fact that blue states make red states' continued existence possible. Their collective share of the GDP and tax base is significantly larger than the red states, who continue to benefit unknowingly from the dreaded "s-word"... #MakeAmericaSaneAgain
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    Our current president wastes more than this costs in trips to Florida. A drop in the bucket for saving lives...
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    Many tornado sirens in the midwest and south are federally funded. The government has a duty to protect every citizen, and our tax dollars should go to help other Americans, regardless of their geographical location and the natural disasters that may occur.
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    Not if this is going to be paid for by citizens in other states...states can do this better and the fed should have no power to do so. When someone says "yes, no brainer," they are not thinking it through.
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    Yes, an early warning system is needed but I think this should be handled but the states rather than the federal government. Education and infrastructure should be focuses of federal funds before this.
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    Why is this a Federal issue? I smell "pork".
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    As an archaeologist, I have participated in research on how precolonial regional earthquake and tsunami events impacted the Native peoples and the landscape. The scientific consensus is clear: The Pacific NW is due for one of the largest and most destructive natural events this planet is capable of - and our survival and resilience depends on preperation, good governance, and forewarning. This bill would be a crucial step in saving lives when disaster inevitably strikes.
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    Can't believe people would say no to this. So they are saying because they don't have earthquakes the Govt shouldn't help? So then when the midwest has tornadoes we shouldn't help either because, hey, here in CT we don't have tornadoes. And what about hurricanes? So from Fla to Maine- no FEMA help? No disaster help? Flooding on the Mississippi? The rivers all over? No help for them either? It's a no-brainer. Glad they passed this bill. It's not a political issue.
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    The argument that red states shouldn't pay for blue states disaster warning systems is a bad one. Let's just forget about tornado warning systems.
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    Of course it does. Why is this even a question?
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    There are too many lives, industries, and economic risks to NOT have such a warning system! Please vote yea, and encourage your colleagues to value American lives wherever they happen to be.
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    You can't accurately predict where and when earthquakes will occur.... all we have is data on earthquakes from the past which oftentimes isn't a true reflection of when another earthquake will occur, thus making this bill a waste of money.
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    This type of system seems like it is in everyone's best interest.
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    Thank you for voting yes.
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    Please vote for this.
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    I really don't see why there wouldn't be an early warning system. No Brainer.
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    The PNW is drastically unprepared for the massive cascadia rising earthquake expected soon. Please protect our region.
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