Hearing of the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security - FY2014 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

Hearing

By:  John Carter
Date: May 22, 2013
Location: Unknown

I thank the distinguished Chairman. Because we got off to a late start today, I'm going to be brief with my remarks.

It is my honor to present to the full Committee the fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security.

But, before I discuss the bill, let me ask us all to take a moment to consider the tragic loss of life and property in and around Moore, Oklahoma -- it's horrific natural disasters like this that soberly remind us that homeland security is about a lot more than counterterrorism.

I know our friend and colleague Tom Cole wishes he could be here, but we all know he is tending to the significant needs of his constituents at their time of grave loss. Our Subcommittee has been in touch with Tom and his staff and we are at his service.

The bill before us today builds on our actions of last year and includes robust funding for FEMA's disaster relief -- funding that will most definitely assist those who lost so much in Oklahoma this week.

Similar to our Subcommittee's work over the past three fiscal years under Chairman Aderholt, this bill demonstrates how we can fund vital security programs while also reducing discretionary spending overall.

So, this bill is about our security and fiscal priorities...and getting them right.

The President's fiscal year 2014 budget proposal for DHS presents a harmful budget for our frontline homeland security agencies--diminishing their operational workforces and
undermining mission capabilities.

The end result of the President's budget proposal would be a far less capable DHS. That's why our Subcommittee -- on a bipartisan basis -- strove to significantly improve the flawed request through the bill before you today.

This bill addresses the very programs and systems displayed during and after the recent, horrific attack on the Boston Marathon.

More broadly, this bill does what it ought to do -- fund the crucial programs that secure the homeland, enforce the law, and provide for disaster relief.

It is a good bill. It is a bipartisan bill. And I urge my colleagues to support this bill here today.

In closing, let me first thank Ranking Member Price -- I sincerely thank him for his statesmanship and his dedicated professional staff for their input and notable contributions. In addition, let me thank the thoughtful Members of the entire full Committee--your input was critical to our oversight work over the past few months as well as the production of this bill.

Finally, I must thank the distinguished Chairman and Ranking Member of the full Committee, Chairman Rogers and Ms. Lowey--your input and support for this bill are genuinely appreciated.

I sincerely believe this bill reflects our best effort to address our Nation's most urgent needs--security, enforcement, and fiscal restraint. I urge my colleagues to support this measure and look forward to working with you as we move this bill through the legislative process.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.