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Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DENT. I rise in support of the 2014 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill being debated this afternoon. I certainly want to applaud the chairman of the full committee, Mr. Rogers, and certainly the chair of the subcommittee, Mr. Carter, as well as Ranking

Member Price and the ranking member of the full committee, Mrs. Lowey, for carefully piecing together a bill that appropriately addresses the evolving threats that face our Nation. This bill strikes a proper balance of fiscal responsibility while fulfilling the mission of vital security programs and providing the resources to enforce current law.

Regarding fiscal restraint, we're considering a bill today that provides for a reduction in the Department's annual budget by $613 million, eliminating ineffectual programs. Yet the legislation was crafted in such a way that agencies and programs will receive the resources and flexibility they need to meet the security needs facing communities across the country day in and day out.

For example, in the wake of the Boston bombings this spring, the bill before us restores DHS' Bombing Prevention program and increases counter-IED training. The Disaster Relief Fund, or the DRF, is robustly funded and will meet the disaster needs of Oklahoma, as well as those who were affected by the hurricanes in the Northeast, such as Hurricane Sandy.

The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Hultgren). The time of the gentleman has expired.

Mr. CARTER. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.

Mr. DENT. The FEMA first responder grants, including fire grants, will receive a 20 percent increase. Further, these SAFER grants will continue to provide additional flexibility to allow communities to use grants to retain or rehire firefighters facing layoffs. As an aside, I want to thank again Ranking Member Price as well as Chairman Rogers for working with me on this critical issue once again.

The bottom line is this is a smart, responsible bill that practices fiscal restraint while addressing our most pressing needs in securing our homeland. I urge support of the underlying bill.


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