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Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2017 Homeland Security Bill

Bill targets funds to security operations, border and immigration enforcement

Washington, June 22, 2016

The House Appropriations Committee today approved its proposed fiscal year 2017 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill. The bill targets critical programs such as aviation security, border and immigration enforcement, customs activities, the protection against cyberterrorism, natural disaster response, and efforts to stop the smuggling of drugs and people into the U.S.

In total, the legislation directs $41.1 billion in discretionary funding for DHS, an increase of $100 million (0.25 percent) above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $432 million above the President’s budget request. In addition, the bill includes $7.3 billion – the same as the President’s request – for disaster relief and emergency response activities through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Now, more than ever, we need to remain vigilant in the protection of our homeland. New threats to our people and way of life emerge every day, and the difficult challenges along our borders continue,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This legislation makes responsible investments in the programs that keep Americans and communities safe, that empower law enforcement officers to enforce our laws, and that enable first responders to react effectively when either man-made or natural disasters strike.”

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

“Protecting the homeland is my priority, and this funding bill provides our frontline personnel the tools they need to do that. This bill secures our border, funds detention operations, and provides critical funding to protect our cyber networks,” said Chairman Carter. “In addition, it directs the Transportation Security Agency to conduct a critical assessment of its operations and requirements to handle increased passenger traffic while enhancing aviation security. It also includes steps to block the President’s attempts at rewriting our laws through executive order, and instructs our agencies to uphold the law of the land.”

The following amendments to the bill were approved by the full committee today:

Rep. Carter – The amendment made technical and other noncontroversial changes and additions to the report. The Manager’s amendment also includes an additional $49 million for the FEMA “Countering Violent Extremism/Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks” state and local grant program, and requires the Secretary to submit a report on the assessment used by DHS to determine grant allocations to high-risk urban areas.  The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Aderholt – The amendment restates current law prohibiting federal funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide for abortions, except in certain life-threatening cases, rape, and incest. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 29-15.

Rep. Harris – The amendment allows returning non-agriculture temporary workers (H2B workers) who have previously been a part of the program in the prior three years to not be counted towards the FY17 H2B cap. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

Rep. Culberson – The amendment requires ICE to detain Priority 1 and Priority 2 illegal aliens. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

Rep. Amodei – The amendment adds bill language to expand the Public Private Partnership program – allowing up to five ports of entry to pay the salaries of up to five Customs and Border Protection officers. Current law only allows for overtime to be paid. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

The bill was approved on a voice vote.


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