Homeland Security Appropriations Bill Passes House

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

Homeland Security Appropriations Bill Passes House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Homeland Security Appropriations Bill was passed by the U.S. House today on a vote of 389-37. The bill provides $42.4 billion in total funding which is $446 million below the President’s request. When factoring in over $1.5 billion in funding for the Bio-Shield program – which is being transferred from the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of Health and Human Services – the bill actually only represents a 1% increase over last year’s levels. Other non-defense related Appropriations bills will average a 12% increase this year.
While supporting the bill, House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis voiced his serious concerns about the unprecedented process by which the bill was considered on the House floor. Due to a nontraditional and restrictive rule for debate, the majority of Members of Congress were unable to offer relevant amendments to the bill on the House floor. Out of 91 amendments initially offered by Members, the rule allowed only a mere 14 to be considered. This was done under the justification by the Democrat Leadership that an open amendment process would “take too long.”
“The voices of those we represent who want to put our national security first have been stifled by a Democrat Majority that cares more about sticking to arbitrary time-tables than about doing the right thing to protect our people and our homeland,” Lewis said. “By undermining the democratic process and preventing fair consideration of this Homeland Security funding, the Majority has clouded the importance of these critical national security issues and has cast a shadow on the credibility of the legislative process.”
One of the 14 amendments made in order was an amendment by Lewis to add $34 million to the bill for U.S. Customs and Border Protection for 200 additional Border Patrol agents to help fight the growing violence and criminal activity related to Mexican drug cartels on the southern border. This funding was offset by reducing the large increases in the bill for several bureaucracy-laden administrative offices at the Department of Homeland Security.
This amendment was approved on a vote of 375-55.

112th Congress