Chair DeLauro Statement at Subcommittee Markup of Fiscal Year 2022 Homeland Security Funding Bill

2021-06-30 12:11

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee's markup of its fiscal year 2022 bill:

Thank you so much, Chairwoman Roybal-Allard and thank you Ranking Member Fleischmann, for your work on this bill. Thanks to the staff as well because it is all of your passion, your dedication, your hard work, and teamwork, that make this effort possible.  

This subcommittee has the important duty of funding the Department of Homeland Security, which has a diverse set of missions that together help keep the United States safe and resilient. The bill before us confronts the threats that we face, while upholding our values. 

For starters, this bill protects America’s cyber infrastructure with historic funding for cybersecurity. The Colonial Pipeline hack demonstrated just how dangerous cyber attacks and intrusions are to our national and economic security and how important it is that we continue to invest in protecting our networks. The bill responds with $2.42 billion for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a $397.4 million increase over last year. The bill also provides funding for universities to continue to research voting technologies and election procedures, which is more critical than ever.  

Similarly, the Coast Guard has, in this year alone, shown how essential it is in responding to everything from Russian aggression in the Arctic to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is clear that we must invest in a strong Coast Guard, and I am proud that this bill ensures it is prepared for any future challenges, with $13.17 billion in discretionary and mandatory appropriations, an increase of $327.8 million above last year’s level. 

This bill responsibly secures the border and facilitates commerce and tourism, which is essential to our national security and economic prosperity. I have long been concerned about the conditions that migrants encounter at our southern border, particularly children and families who are fleeing deplorable conditions in their home countries and it is our obligation to keep them safe and secure. The bill protects our most vulnerable immigrants, especially children and their families, by respecting their physical and mental well-being through $20 million for CBP for migrant processing improvements and $3 million for migrant child caregivers. The bill also includes increases for alternatives to detention and clearing out backlogs in refugee and asylum processing and investing in improvements to our existing ports of entry and the construction of new ones. I want to just say I know how strongly the Chair and the Ranking Memberbut I’ve worked with the Chair on this issue of children at our southern border and I thank you Madame Chair for mentioning the risks of COVID to our children and migrants at the border and resulting in the death of some. 

Finally, I am grateful to this bill for its inclusion of language related to the removal of debris from an owner-occupied private residence or property for a major disaster. In 2018, several towns in my district were devastated by an F1. tornado, and when I spoke on this provision in July last year, homeowners still had upwards of $70,000 in costs for debris and tree removal. A month later, these same towns were struck by another F-1 tornado. Some of these homeowners had just finished repairs and removal from the 2018 storm, only to be inflicted with the same damage and costs again. FEMA can and should step up and help these homeowners cover these costs. 

I am proud to support this bill, which protects our nation and upholds our values. And once again I’d like to say thank you to Chairwoman Roybal-Allard and Ranking Member Fleischmann and their staffs for their work and I urge my colleagues to support this important bill.  

117th Congress