The House Appropriations Committee today released its proposed fiscal year 2014 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill, to be marked up in subcommittee tomorrow. The bill provides funding to help strengthen America's homeland security efforts while cutting wasteful or unnecessary programs.
The bill provides $38.9 billion in discretionary funding for DHS. This is a decrease of $617.6 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and a decrease of $34.9 million compared to the President's request. This funding level is approximately $981 million above the current, post-sequestration level for DHS as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.
Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers made the following statement on the bill:
"This bill provides critical resources for our homeland security efforts -- from border security enforcement, to cyber-crime protection, to first responder support, to programs that directly relate to terrorist attacks like the recent tragic event in Boston. However, given our limited resources due to sequestration budget cuts, the bill seeks to prioritize funding and trim excess to help save precious tax dollars wherever possible," Chairman Rogers said.
Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter also commented on the bill:
"This bill strongly supports our most vital homeland security programs, and it does so with fiscal discipline. The President sent Congress a flawed fiscal year 2014 budget request for DHS that relies upon unauthorized fee increases and reckless reductions to vital operational programs for the Coast Guard, ICE, and the Secret Service, among others. This bill rejects this proposal, and instead reduces DHS's overall budget while prioritizing funding for critical programs such as operations, FEMA's First Responder grants, and bombing prevention," Subcommittee Chairman Carter said. "In addition, our bill bolsters congressional oversight to ensure every dollar goes towards strengthening our national security. In short, this bill provides our frontline operators the tools they need to enforce the law and keep our country safe."
The bill provides $38.9 billion in discretionary funding for DHS. Within this total, the bill prioritizes funding for frontline security operations, including all operational, intelligence, and threat-targeting activities, and the acquisition of essential tactical equipment.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) -- The bill contains $10.6 billion for CBP -- an increase of $35 million above the President's request. Adjusted for direct program comparisons, this amount is $255 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level.
This funding will provide for 21,370 Border Patrol agents and nearly 22,800 CBP officers -- the largest totals in history. This also includes increases for CBP's threat-targeting systems to fund needed improvements identified following the Boston Marathon attacks, such as enhancements for the identification of known and suspected terrorists and criminals.
The bill also includes $803 million for Air and Marine operations and procurement to continue critical air patrol efforts on the U.S. border -- $88 million more than the President requested -- as well as $351 million for border security infrastructure and technology, and $12 million for trade enforcement and improvements at land ports of entry.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) -- The bill provides $5.4 billion for ICE -- an increase of $387.6 million above the President's request and $43.1 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. The bill denies the President's request to make steep, harmful cuts to many ICE programs.
ICE funding within the bill includes $1.8 billion for both domestic and international investigation programs, including efforts to combat human trafficking, child exploitation, cyber-crime, and drug smuggling.
The bill also includes a $10 million increase above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level to visa security and overstays enforcement programs, aimed at addressing weaknesses identified after the Boston Marathon attack.
ICE would also receive $2.8 billion for detention programs, including funding to sustain 34,000 detention beds -- the highest detention capacity in history and 2,200 beds above the President's proposed level -- and $96.5 million for alternatives to detention that the President proposed to reduce. The bill also fully funds E-Verify, a program that helps companies check if their employees may legally work in the United States, at $114.2 million.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) -- The bill includes $4.8 billion for TSA -- a decrease of $388 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. This includes funding for security enforcement, cargo inspections, canine detention teams, and intelligence functions.
Within TSA, the bill includes: $163.2 million(a $15.6 million increase above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level) for privatized screening operations; $12.4 million for Federal Flight Deck Officers; $93.7 million (a $5 million increase over the President's request) to support 40 additional canine enforcement teams; and a total of $108.2 million ($2 million above the request) for improvements to SecureFlight and watchlisting systems.
Additionally, the bill encourages reform of passenger screening operations by capping full-time screening personnel at 46,000, reducing TSA's federal screener workforce, and supporting TSA's shift to more risk-based screening.
The bill reflects additional spending cuts both for efficiency and to offset the President's proposed but unauthorized passenger fee increase, including a nearly $80 million reduction to managerial overhead for Federal Air Marshals, a reduction of $18 million in uniform costs, and a 5% reduction to TSA's managerial programs.
Cybersecurity -- The bill includes a total of $786 million for cybersecurity operations, $24 million below the President's request and $30 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. This funding will continue improvements to the Federal Network Security program to help blunt cyber-attacks and foreign espionage.
Bombing Prevention & Awareness -- The bill rejects the President's proposed 39% to cut to Bombing Prevention programs, providing $16.5 million -- an $8.3 million increase above the President's request and almost $3 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted amount. This funding will support efforts to enhance the nation's counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) capabilities and reduce the threat of explosive attacks.
Coast Guard -- The bill contains $9.9 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard -- a decrease of $297 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. The bill sustains military pay and allowances, and denies the President's requested cuts that would have gutted vital Coast Guard operations. Targeted funding is also provided for: cutter and aviation operating hours and training, acquisition of the seventh National Security Cutter (NSC) and long-lead time material for the eighth NSC, four Fast Response Cutter (FRC) patrol boats, two additional MH-60 helicopters, a C-130J aircraft, and urgently needed upgrades to family housing.
Secret Service -- The bill includes $1.6 billion for the U.S. Secret Service -- a decrease of $25 million below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level due to savings from the normal downturn in operations following the Presidential election. The bill increases funding for investigations, and continues funding for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which the President proposed to zero out.
FEMA-- The bill fully funds FEMA's stated requirement for disaster relief at $6.2 billion. The bill also provides a total of $2.5 billion for first responder grants, $36.4 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and $402 million above the President's proposed level. This includes: $1.5 billion for State and Local grants, $675 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants, and $350 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants.
Research and Development -- The bill includes $1.2 billion for Science and Technology, $302 million below the President's request and $391 million above the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. This funding sustains investment in high-priority research and development efforts. The bill includes $404 million in incremental construction funding for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).
Funding Restrictions and Policy Provisions -- The bill continues a prohibition on funds to transfer or release detainees from Guantanamo Bay, and includes numerous other funding restrictions to prevent waste and abuse. Some of these provisions include: a restriction on another "Fast and Furious" type program, extensive reporting requirements for DHS's procurement and usage of ammunition, and limitations and reporting requirements on spending for conferences and ceremonies.
For the complete text of the FY 2014 Subcommittee Draft Homeland Security Appropriations bill, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-113hr-sc-ap-fy2014-hsecurity.pdf
*Due to lack of information provided to Congress by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), fiscal year 2013 post-sequestration funding levels are estimates only based on preliminary CBO scoring.