The House Appropriations Committee today passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill. The bill funds the Department Homeland Security, including 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. It also includes funding for the U.S. Coast Guard, including the acquisition of six Fast Response Cutters. Congressman John Rutherford (FL-04), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement upon the Committee’s passage of this bill:
“I am pleased to have voted in support of this legislation, which provides the resources needed to safeguard our homeland and protect the citizens of the United States,” said Rutherford. “This bill fully funds our border protection agencies who work tirelessly every day to protect our country from criminal aliens, terrorist attacks, human and drug-trafficking, and so much more. The legislation also contains funding for more than 200 miles of physical barrier, vital funding for FEMA disaster response, and makes significant investments in cybersecurity efforts that detect and prevent cyber-attacks and foreign espionage, including protections for our elections infrastructure. Additionally, it continues support for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and increases funding for cyber-crime investigations.
“As we invest in our land border, it is equally important to maintain a secure maritime border, as we know all too well in Northeast Florida. That is why I fought to ensure this bill fully funds the U.S. Coast Guard, particularly the acquisition of the second Offshore Patrol Cutter, six Fast Response Cutters, and an HC-130J aircraft. Importantly, this bill also includes a rightfully earned pay increase for the brave men and women of our Coast Guard. I thank Chairmen Frelinghuysen and Yoder for their leadership and work on this important legislation and I look forward to the bill’s swift passage by the full House.”
U.S. Coast Guard – The bill contains $9.3 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard. The bill provides for a 2.6 percent military pay increase, and targets resources to improve readiness. Specifically, the bill includes:
- $7.6 billion for operations and training, military personnel costs, aviation and cutter hours, and maintenance of assets required to sustain readiness and response capabilities.
- $1.4 billion for modernization and recapitalization of vessels, aircraft, and facility improvements. This includes funding for the acquisition of six Fast Response Cutters and follow-on costs for the ninth National Security Cutter.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – The bill funds FEMA disaster response and recovery efforts at $7.2 billion. The legislation also includes $3.1 billion for FEMA grant programs, including:
- $538 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program – an increase of $31 million above fiscal year 2018;
- $661 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative – an increase of $31 million above fiscal year 2018 – including $50 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program;
- $700 million for firefighter assistance grants;
- $249 million for pre-disaster mitigation grants; and
- $262.5 million for flood mapping activities.
Cybersecurity and Protection of Communications – To combat increasingly dangerous and numerous cyber-attacks, the bill includes a total of $1.9 billion for the National Protection and Programs Directorate. Within this amount, $1.1 billion is provided to help secure civilian networks and to detect and prevent cyber-attacks and foreign espionage. Funds are also included to enhance and modernize emergency communications capabilities, as well as support cybersecurity investments in our election infrastructure.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – The bill contains $17.8 billion in discretionary appropriations for CBP – an increase of $3.8 billion above FY 2018. These resources ensure our borders are protected by putting boots on the ground, improving infrastructure and technology, and helping to stop illegal drugs and immigrants entering our country. Within this total, the legislation includes:
- $5 billion for border security assets and infrastructure, for over 200 miles of new physical barrier construction along the southern border and $126 million for border technology.
- $223 million for new non-intrusive inspection equipment and 140 new CBP canine teams to initiate a five-year strategy towards achieving 100 percent scanning on the southern border.
- 375 new CBP Officers above the request.
- $108 million specifically for opioid detection at international mail and express consignment facilities.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – The bill provides $7.4 billion for ICE – $328 million above FY 2018, which includes:
- $78 million to hire over 400 additional law enforcement officers and support staff.
- $1.9 billion – an increase of $275 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.
- $4.1 billion for detention and removal programs, including 44,000 detention beds, an increase 3,480 beds over fiscal year 2018.
Source: U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations