The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2013 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill. The legislation strengthens America's homeland security efforts while at the same time reducing government spending. The bill provides $39.1 billion in discretionary funding for DHS, a decrease of $484 million below last year's level and a decrease of $393 million below the President's request.
"The safety and protection of our citizens is of the utmost importance -- and we must keep a sharp eye on how and why we are spending our tax dollars on national security. This bill shores up the most important programs, ensuring DHS has the resources it needs to do its job well, while reducing spending below last year's level. At a time when we are facing both security threats, as well as the perils of mountains of debt, we can neither afford to overspend nor withstand the risks of an overburdened security system. This bill achieves that delicate balance," House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said.
This bill addresses our Nation's most two most urgent needs-- security and fiscal discipline. Over the past three fiscal years, this Subcommittee has cut over $3.4 billion in discretionary funding and has reduced the Department's budget by 8 percent. While the bill the Committee reported out today is a reduction of $484 million below the current fiscal year and $394 below the President's request, we were still able to make key investments for cybersecurity, preparedness grants and research programs that promote job growth and innovation," Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt said.
"Further, the bill again focuses on fiscal discipline, hard-hitting oversight and support for our nation's most vital security programs. It fully funds frontline and high-risk security operations, including targeted increases above the President's request for every security program that is a direct countermeasure to recent terrorist attacks. The bill also challenges the Administration to include in all current and future grant guidance giving hiring preference to post 9/11veterans and to use over $700 million in unobligated SAFER grants to do so immediately. After risking their lives for our country, they deserve no less," continued Aderholt.