Obama Passed Legislation Prohibiting DHS From Entering Into Open-Ended, No-Bid Contracts For Emergency Response Activities.

"Legislation authored by U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) that will stop the abuse of no-bid contracting in the aftermath of a disaster was included in the final Department of Homeland Security funding bill likely to pass the Senate today. After Senate passage, the bill will go to the President's desk to be signed into law...After Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency used emergency authority to enter into open-ended, no-bid contracts. What was meant to be temporary stop-gap authority ballooned into wasteful contracts that lasted many months and wasted significant federal resources. Obama and Coburn legislation will stop this practice by restricting the use of emergency contracting authority only to urgent needs in the immediate response to emergencies...On three separate occasions, Obama and Coburn have passed legislation in the Senate that would end no-bid contracting with Gulf Coast reconstruction funds. Legislation that would have specifically prohibited no-bid contracts with Gulf Coast reconstruction was stripped from a previously passed funding bill." [Obama Press Release, 9/29/06]

Obama Passed An Amendment Into Law Creating A National Family Locator System.

In 2006, Obama passed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations Act that required the Department of Homeland Security to create a centralized family locator system through which family members can contact their lost loved ones during disasters. The amendment, which was signed into law as part of the final version of the bill, was based on legislation Obama introduced immediately after Hurricane Katrina. [SA 4573 as modified agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent, 7/13/06; H.R. 5441, Became Public Law No: 109-295; S. 1630, 109th Congress, Referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs]