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Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Homeland Security Bill

Bill targets funds to security operations, border and immigration enforcement


Washington, Jul 11 -

The House Appropriations Committee today released its proposed fiscal year 2018 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill, which will be considered tomorrow by the subcommittee. The bill targets critical programs such as aviation security, border and immigration enforcement, customs activities, protection against cyberterrorism, natural disaster response, and efforts to stop the smuggling of drugs and people into the U.S. The legislation also includes $1.6 billion for physical barrier construction along the U.S. southern border.

In total, the legislation directs $44.3 billion in discretionary funding for DHS, an increase of $1.9 billion above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. In addition, the bill includes $6.8 billion – the same as the President’s request – for disaster relief and emergency response activities through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“The Committee takes its role in safeguarding our homeland and protecting our citizens seriously.  Globalization, cyber-security, and terrorism are changing our way of life and we need to change with it.  This bill fully supports our men and women on the frontline lines who work tirelessly to keep us safe.  The bill also provides the necessary funding for critical technology and physical barriers to secure our borders.  It is a balanced approach that enhances our capabilities and preparedness,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said.

Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman John Carter also commented on the bill:

“Keeping Americans safe by protecting our homeland is a top priority. This funding bill provides the resources to begin building a wall along our southern border, enhance our existing border security infrastructure, hire more border patrol agents, and fund detention operations” Chairman Carter said. “Additionally, this bill will increase funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, support grants in cases of emergency and natural disaster, and provide critical resources to protect our cyber networks.”

Bill Highlights:

Securing our Borders and Enforcing our Laws:

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – The bill includes $7.2 billion for TSA – a decrease of $159.8 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. This includes full funding ($3.2 billion) for Transportation Security Officers, privatized screening operations, and passenger and baggage screening equipment, in order to speed processing and wait times for travelers and cargo. This also includes $151.8 million to hire, train, and deploy 1,047 canine teams to further expedite processing time.

Cybersecurity and Protection of Communications – To combat increasingly dangerous and numerous cyber-attacks, the bill includes a total of $1.8 billion for the National Protection and Programs Directorate to enhance critical infrastructure and prevent hacking.

Within this amount, $1.37 billion is provided to help secure civilian (.gov) networks, detect and prevent cyber-attacks and foreign espionage, and enhance and modernize emergency communications. Funds are also included to enhance emergency communications capabilities and to continue the modernization of the Biometric Identification System.

Secret Service – The bill provides $2 billion for the U.S. Secret Service – a decrease of $101 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level due to the completion of the 2016 campaign cycle. This funding level includes investments in investigations and cybersecurity, and continue funding for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – To respond to both natural and man-made disasters, the bill funds FEMA’s disaster relief account (DRF) at $7.3 billion.

The legislation also includes $2.7 billion for FEMA grant programs. This includes:

Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) – The legislation does not fund most CIS activities, as these are funded outside the appropriations process through the collection of fees However, the bill does contain $131 million for E-Verify, which is funded within CIS and helps companies ensure their employees may legally work in the United States.

Other Provisions – The bill includes several provisions to save taxpayer dollars and increase accountability at DHS. The legislation:

For the complete text of the FY 2018 Subcommittee Draft Homeland Security Appropriations bill, please visit: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP15/20170712/106241/BILLS-115HR-SC-AP-FY2018-HSecurity-FY2018HomelandSecurityAppropriationsBill-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf