GAO Study Looks into Disaster Preparedness

WASHINGTON - Today, Committee on House Administration Chairman Bryan Steil (WI-01) sent a letter to 28 Secretaries of State regarding participation in the Government Accountability Offices (GAO) study concerning the practicality of compliance with the existing federal law requirement for filing any vacancies in a state's representation in the House following a mass casualty event.                

In light of recent serious, credible threats against Members of Congress, Chairman Steil is ensuring that States are appropriately positioned to ensure the continuity of government and its operations in the event of a mass casualty event. 

Chairman Steil has released the following statement on the study: 

"In the event of the unthinkable, we must ensure Congress can carry out its operations smoothly. Although Congress' role in elections is limited, we have the responsibility to act should a scenario occur where the continuity of the House is threatened. This study will help us do just that, and I thank Rep. Derek Kilmer for his bipartisan efforts on this issue."

Read the letters here. 


  • During a markup of H.R. 4563, the American Confidence in Elections Act, the Committee on House Administration unanimously approved Rep. Derek Kilmer’s bipartisan amendment directing GAO to study this issue.
  • In the 117th Congress, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress held a related hearing entitled, “Congressional Continuity: Ensuring the First Branch is Prepared in Times of Crisis.” In preparation for that hearing, several Secretaries of State responsible for the administration of special elections in their states raised concerns about their ability to comply with the required timelines.