WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. House Appropriations Committee passed the Homeland Security funding bill today, the 12th and final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019. U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers, Chairman Emeritus of the Committee, voted for the bill to secure our borders, provide for national defense, enhance emergency response and combat illegal trafficking of opioids across the border.
The legislation directs $51.4 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an increase of $3.7 billion above the current enacted level. The bill also includes President Trump's requested $6.7 billion for major disaster relief and emergency response activities through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
It also includes $5 billion for physical barriers and modern technology along the U.S. southern border, including more than 200 miles of new physical barrier construction. Additionally, the bill includes $223 million for 140 new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) canine teams to initiate a five-year strategy towards achieving 100 percent scanning on the southern border.
Chairman Rogers made the following remarks in support of the legislation:
"As many of you know, as its former Chairman—and its first Chairman—this subcommittee is still near and dear to my heart.
"In this year’s bill, I was particularly pleased to see the increase in funding for opioid detection at Customs and Border Protection--$108 million, specifically to enable for the scanning of mail at international and express consignment facilities. We've heard from law enforcement that is one of the major avenues for importing fentanyl and that's through the mail and the consignment operations. You fight back and I thank you very much.
"Fentanyl is having a catastrophic invasion in our families and in our communities. We know that Fentanyl and its analogs are driving the nationwide spike in drug overdose deaths.
"The additional support for these mail facilities is an important step to counter those exploiting the postal service for criminal gain, and I was proud to see the prioritization of these efforts. Job well done.
"Thank you, and I yield back."
The bill now moves to the full U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.
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