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Space Launch Liability Indemnification Extension Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Chairman Rogers, thank you for the time and thank you, more importantly, for the leadership that you and Ranking Member Lowey have shown in completing this process and giving us a fiscal year 2014 appropriation bill. I rise in support of that bill.

Madam Speaker, the Homeland Security division of this bill is built on three themes: funding essential security and enforcement; increasing legitimate travel and trade; and demanding fiscal discipline and accountability.

The Homeland Security division includes a nearly 10 percent increase to the CBP officer workforce and nearly 5 percent increase to ICE's investigations and funding to support ICE's statutorily mandated 34,000 detention beds; more than 13 percent increase to privatization of airport screening; nearly 14 percent increase to cybersecurity; a total of $404 million for the National Bio and Agro-Defense facility in Kansas; and significant increases to the Border Patrol assets, Coast Guard operations and acquisitions, Secret Service operations and investigations, FEMA's first responder grants and bombing prevention efforts.

In addition, this bill does more to address the wait times, trade and resource shortfalls at our ports of entry, including a landmark provision for a public-private partnership authority and a mandate for CBP to work with industry on performance metrics and improved operational plans at our Nation's busiest airports.

However, this bill cuts the overall DHS budget by nearly $400 million below the fiscal year 2013 level, and it holds administrative overhead at 2 percent below the current sequestered level.

In addition, the Homeland Security division requires 31 departments to provide expenditure plans, terminates ICE public advocacy programs, zeros out three new headquarters offices, and mandates the most comprehensive accounting in DHS history.

Madam Speaker, this is a bill that is worthy of support. I rise in support of this great work and thank both the majority and the minority staffs for their work.

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