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 two most urgent needs -- security and fiscal discipline. While the bill the Committee reported out today is a reduction of $484 million below the current fiscal year, we were still able to make key investments for cybersecurity, preparedness grants and research programs to promote job growth and innovation, and frontline and high-risk security operations. The bill also includes a provision to give hiring preference to our nation's veterans -- after risking their lives for our country, they deserve no less," Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt said.
The following amendments to the fiscal year 2013 Homeland Security Appropriations bill were approved by the full committee today:
Rep. Aderholt -- The amendment made technical and other non-controversial changes and additions to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Reps. Latham/Price/Dent/Lowey -- The amendment waives restrictions on SAFER firefighter grants, allowing the retention of existing firefighter personnel. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Aderholt -- The amendment prohibits federal funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide for abortions, except in certain life-threatening cases, rape, and incest. The language is virtually identical to provisions already in existing law. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 28-21.
Rep. Dent --The amendment prohibits funding to require private facilities to use certain personnel identification security measures if the facility already has sufficient security measures in place. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
The FY 2013 Homeland Security Appropriations bill was approved by the full committee on a voice vote.
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