WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) applauds the U.S. House Appropriations Committee for approving the fiscal year 2018 federal funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The legislation provides $44.3 billion for DHS, which includes $1.6 billion to construct a southern border barrier and other security improvements, meeting the full White House request.
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.
"This bill is a complicated and vital piece of the nation's defense," said Congressman Rogers, who served as the very first chairman of the subcommittee when it was created 15 years ago. "I wholeheartedly support securing our borders; however, we must do so using these tax dollars wisely, leveraging the right mix of physical security, personnel and technology. Together, we will continue supporting the Department of Homeland Security and its vision of ensuring a homeland that is safe, secure and resilient against terrorism and other hazards."
As Chairman Emeritus of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers advocated for continued provisions to focus Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Continuing Training Grant funding on training for rural communities, as well as $690 million for the DHS Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, for which dozens of volunteer fire departments across the country and in southern and eastern Kentucky compete for funding.
The bill now heads to the House floor for consideration.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – The bill contains $13.8 billion in discretionary appropriations for CBP – an increase of $1.6 billion above the FY 2017 enacted level. These resources ensure our borders are protected by putting boots on the ground, improving infrastructure and technology, and helping to stem the flow of illegal goods both into and out of the country. Within this total, the legislation includes:
- $1.6 billion for physical barrier construction along the southern border – including bollards and levee improvements – meeting the full White House request;
- $100 million to hire 500 new Border Patrol agents;
- $131 million for new border technology;
- $106 million for new aircraft and sensors; and
- $109 million for new, non-intrusive inspection equipment.
- $185.6 million to hire 1,000 additional law enforcement officers and 606 support staff;
- $2 billion – an increase of $30 million above the requested level – for domestic and international investigations programs, including efforts to combat human trafficking, child exploitation, cybercrime, visa screening, and drug smuggling;
- $4.4 billion for detention and removal programs, including:
- 44,000 detention beds, an increase 4,676 beds over FY 2017;
- 129 Fugitive Operations teams; and
- Criminal Alien Program operations, including the addition of 26 new communities to the 287(g) program, which partners with local law enforcement to process, arrest, and book illegal immigrants into state or local detention facilities.
- 44,000 detention beds, an increase 4,676 beds over FY 2017;
- $7.2 billion for operations and training, military personnel costs, aviation and cutter hours, and maintenance of assets required to sustain readiness and response capabilities; and
- $1.3 billion – $95 million above the request – for modernization and recapitalization of vessels, aircraft, and facilities. This includes funding for the Polar Icebreaking Vessel program, the acquisition of an Offshore Patrol Cutter, an HC130-J aircraft, four Fast Response Cutters, and facility improvements at multiple locations throughout the United States.
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 FY 2017 enacted level due to the completion of the 2016 campaign cycle. This funding level includes investments in investigations and cybersecurity, and continued 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:
- $467 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program;
- $630 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative, including an increase of $25 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program;
- $690 million for firefighter assistance grants; and
- $350 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants.
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.
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 amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Newhouse – The amendment adds bill language changing the H-2-A seasonal agriculture worker program from seasonal to year round. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler – The amendment adds bill language that would grant lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. to Charlie Gard and his family for the purposes of medical treatment. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Wasserman-Schultz – The amendment adds bill language changing the statute of limitations on the recovery of FEMA Public Assistance Grants. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
The bill was approved on a vote of 30-22.
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