Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents flying on board a CBP Air and Marine Blackhawk helicopter located and apprehended a group of illegal aliens near Pisinemo, Ariz., on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation on May 22, 2019. The migrants wore camouflage in hopes of avoiding detection. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Jerry Glaser)

House Appropriations Bill Wants $63.8 Billion for DHS, with Border Funding Prohibitions

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday released the draft fiscal year 2020 Homeland Security funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee today. The legislation provides annual funding for the Department of Homeland Security and its related agencies.

The bill provides a gross total of $63.8 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security, $2.2 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $1.9 billion below the President’s request. When excluding offsetting collections and a cap adjustment for disaster response activities, the net discretionary total for the bill is $49.7 billion.

The bill provides $2.2 billion for departmental management – $398 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $77 million above the President’s budget request, including:

  • $223.8 million, as requested, for phase 2 construction of a new headquarters for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on the St. Elizabeths campus;
  • The realignment of the Federal Protective Service to the Management Directorate, consistent with the May 9, 2019, decision of the Acting Secretary as authorized by P.L. 115-278;
  • $29.6 million for the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, $4.3 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $5.6 million above the request; and
  • $20 million for a new Office of Immigration Detention Ombudsman for oversight of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities and Customs and Border Protection short term holding facilities.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – The bill provides $13.8 billion in discretionary appropriations for CBP – $1.1 billion below the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $4.3 billion below the request, including increases of:

  • $151 million for 1,846 new positions, as follows:
    • $91 million for 1,200 CBP Officers;
    • $30.7 million for 406 mission support personnel; and
    • $29.8 million for 240 agriculture specialists;
  • $242 million for new technology, including:
    • $105 million for border security technology;
    • $20 million for port of entry technology;
    • $30 million for trade enforcement enhancements; and
    • $30 million for a third Multi-Role Enforcement Aircraft;
  • $30 million for Air and Marine Operations for increased flight hours;
  • $21 million for body worn cameras and other camera systems; and
  • $56 million for critical facility repairs and maintenance.

Provides no funding for additional Border Patrol Agents, Border Patrol checkpoints, or border barriers.

Rescinds $601 million from the fiscal year 2019 Procurement, Construction, and Improvements account, equivalent to the amount the Administration announced would be used from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund for border barrier construction.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – The bill provides $7.67 billion in discretionary appropriations for ICE – $82 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $1.11 billion below the President’s budget request, including:

  • $3.9 billion for Enforcement and Removal Operations – $343 million below the 2019 enacted level and $1.26 billion below the request, including:
    • $2.68 billion for an average daily population of 34,000 single adults in detention, of which not more than 17,000 is for interior enforcement;
    • A phase out of family detention by the end of 2019;
    • An additional $387 million potentially available in response to a migration surge, if certified by the Secretary; and
    • $64 million above the request to continue expanding Alternatives to Detention, of which $20 million is for family case management;
  • $2.1 billion for Homeland Security Investigations – $174 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $407 million above the request to sustain prior year increases;
  • $21 million above the request to fund at least two inspections per year at all facilities where detainees may be held for longer than 72 hours; and
  • $54 million above the request to address the detention facility backlog for repairs and improvements at existing locations.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – The bill includes $7.9 billion for TSA – $279 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $581 million above the request, including:

  • $59 million to sustain Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams;
  • $45 million to sustain the Local Law Enforcement Reimbursement Program;
  • $82 million to continue funding TSA staffing of exit lanes;
  • $176 million for computed tomography screening equipment, an increase of $28 million above the request; and
  • $20 million for reimbursements to airports for legacy purchases of in-line explosive detection systems.

Coast Guard – The bill includes $12 billion for the Coast Guard – $162 million above the 2019 enacted level and $894 million above the request, as follows:

  • $8 billion for Operations and Support – $385 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $156 million above the request, including:
    • $78 million above the request for asset and infrastructure maintenance;
    • Additional funding for recruitment and continuation of the increased child care subsidy funded in fiscal year 2019;
  • $2 billion for Procurement, Construction, and Improvements, including:
    • $135 million for initial materials for a 2nd Polar Security Cutter;
    • $290 million for five Fast Response Cutters;
    • $215 million for two H-130J aircraft, including spare parts inventory;
    • $100 million for initial materials for a 12th National Security Cutter;
    • $70 million to replace a command and control aircraft; and
    • $251 million for Shore Facilities and Aids to Navigation, including $78 million above the request for Housing, Family Support, Safety, and Training Facilities.

United States Secret Service – The bill includes $2.4 billion for the United States Secret Service (USSS) nearly $200 million above FY19 and $138 million above the request:

  • $20 million for radio modernization and $21 million for basic and advanced computer forensics training for state and local law enforcement officers, judges, and prosecutors in support of the Secret Service mission; and
  • $60 million to sustain FY19 levels for travel, permanent change of station, overtime, fleet vehicle modernization, retention initiatives, and personnel.

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – The bill includes $2.0 billion for CISA – $335 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $408 million above the request, including:

  • $156 million for Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation; and
  • $41 million for the National Cybersecurity Protection System.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – The bill includes $18.9 billion for FEMA – $2.4 billion above fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $664 million above the request, as follows:

  • $3.06 billion for grants and training – $245.5 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $733.5 million above the request, including:
    • $700 million for the Urban Areas Security Initiative – $60 million above fiscal year 2019;
    • $625 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program – $100 million above fiscal year 2019;
    • $750 million for firefighter grants – $50 million above fiscal year 2019;
    • $110 million for Port Security Grants – $10 million above fiscal year 2019;
    • $110 million for Transit Security Grants – $10 million above fiscal year 2019;
    • $375 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants – $25 million above fiscal year 2019; and
    • $130 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program – $10 million above fiscal year 2019.
  • $14.5 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund – $2.04 billion above fiscal year 2019 and equal to the request, including $14.1 billion for major disasters.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ­– The bill includes $181 million for USCIS – $38 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $59 million above the request, including:

  • $21.3 million for the Office of Citizenship; and
  • $10 million for the Citizenship and Integration Grant program.

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) – The bill provides $308.8 million for FLETC – $39.3 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $17.2 million above the request.

Science and Technology (S&T) – The bill includes $656 million for S&T – $154 million below the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $84 million above the request, including restored funding for University Centers of Excellence and labs.

Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) – The bill includes $435 million for CWMD, equal to the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $11.8 million over the request.

Notable Provisions –

  • Prohibits construction of border barriers, except with funds appropriated for that purpose.
  • Prohibits funding transfers to ICE Operations and Support for Enforcement and Removal Operations.
  • Prohibits ICE from removing sponsors of unaccompanied children based on information provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement as part of the sponsor’s application to accept custody of the child.
  • Limits future detention facility contracts or renewals from having an indefinite period of availability.
  • Provides authority for Coast Guard death gratuity payments in the absence of an annual appropriation.
  • Ensures access by Members of Congress to detention facilities.

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) said the bill “protects our nation’s families and defends our nation’s interests, while honoring the principles of justice and decency that make America a moral beacon for the world.”

“The bill supports the broad array of homeland security missions, from protecting air travel and our territorial waters, to helping state and local governments prepare for terrorism threats and disasters, to securing our cybersecurity systems and physical infrastructure,” she said. “It also takes a balanced approach to border security and immigration enforcement, including new efforts to protect the dignity and safety of every person in U.S. government custody.”

A summary of the draft fiscal year 2020 Homeland Security bill is below. The text of the bill is here. The subcommittee markup will be webcast live and linked from https://appropriations.house.gov/events/markups.

Read more at the Appropriations Committee

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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