SUMMARY: Fiscal Year 2020 Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Bill
Washington, D.C. – The fiscal year 2020 Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Bill provides a total discretionary level of $70.725 billion, of which $17.352 billion is provided for Disaster Relief, as defined by the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, and $190 million is provided for Coast Guard Overseas Contingency Operations funds. After excluding these two amounts, the net discretionary appropriation for DHS is $53.183 billion, $3.772 billion more than the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) “This bill funds critical national and homeland security priorities including cybersecurity, election security, Coast Guard readiness, and disaster relief. However it also includes $5 billion to build an ineffective border wall at the expense of American taxpayers— a wall that will do nothing to fix the current situation at the border, where most migrants are seeking asylum and presenting themselves to the border patrol, a wall that won’t stop hard narcotics from entering the country because the vast majority come through legal ports of entry, and a wall that could require thousands of acres private property to be seized through eminent domain. We just saw the President ransack $6.1 billion from the military for his wall—another $5 billion is a bridge too far.”
Key Points & Highlights
Customs and Border Protection (CBP): The bill provides $18.118 billion in discretionary appropriations, $3.159 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. Unfortunately, this includes $5 billion to build a controversial and ineffective wall on our southern border – money that could be better invested elsewhere to address real homeland security needs, as well as infrastructure that will grow our economy and investments in education for our children. The bill also funds 267 new CBP positons (119 officers, 75 mission support specialists, 60 technicians, 5 agriculture specialists, and 4 seizure property specialists, as requested) as well as 200 new border patrol technicians to perform non-law enforcement duties. The bill provides no funding for additional Border Patrol Agents due to the agency’s inability to meet hiring goals. The bill funds $98.8 million for border security technology, including improved mobile surveillance technology; $127 million for small scale non-intrusive inspection (NII) equipment to assist detection of narcotics and $59.1 million for NII systems at ports of entry for vehicle scans; $92.8 million for a total of 3 multi-role enforcement aircraft; $14.8 million for continued procurement of coastal interceptor vessels; and $99.6 million for construction and upgrades to CBP facilities.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): The bill provides $8.368 billion in discretionary appropriations, $780 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. The bill provides $32.959 million above the request to fully annualize the counter-opioid initiative funded in fiscal year 2019. Unfortunately, the bill also provides an increase to ICE to fund an average daily population of 52,161 ICE detention beds, 6,887 more than enacted in fiscal year 2019, and well above a level that has ever received bipartisan support. ICE has continually failed in its responsibility to appropriately manage resources provided by Congress and prioritize detention decisions, and this increase is not warranted. More humane and cost efficient ways to address these issues exist, and we should be using them. Unfortunately, the bill includes only $269 million for Alternatives to Detention, $4.9 million below fiscal year 2019.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA): The bill includes a gross discretionary level of $7.723 billion, $123 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. After accounting for offsetting collections from aviation security passenger fees, the net discretionary appropriation level is $4.893 billion, $37 million below the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. The bill provides $46.275 million to sustain the Law Enforcement Reimbursement program, $55.6 million to sustain 31 TSA Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams, $77 million to continue funding TSA staffing of exit lanes, $165.7 million to support 1,097 explosives detection canine teams, $142.1 million for 237 new computed tomography (CT) screening units for airport checkpoints (an additional $49.8 million and 83 units to be funded through the Aviation Security Capital Fund), $21 million to develop improved CT detection algorithms, $2 million as a new initiative for development of a reduced size CT unit for small and rural airports, and $40 million to continue reimbursing airports for in-line baggage screening systems built after 9/11.
Coast Guard: The bill includes a total discretionary level of $9.640 billion, $471 million below the fiscal year 2019 enacted level (totals exclude overseas contingency funding). The bill includes $7.9 billion for operations and support, $269 million above the enacted level, including increases for readiness, recruitment, and continuation of the child care subsidy funded in fiscal year 2019. The bill includes $1.518 billion for procurement, construction and improvements, $731 million below the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. Investments include: $457 million for the third Offshore Patrol Cutter; $240 million for four Fast Response Cutters; and $210.7 million for construction of shore facilities.
United States Secret Service: The bill provides $2.349 billion, $101 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. A total of $155.1 million is provided for the 2020 presidential campaign and National Security Special Events, $639.7 million is provided for domestic and international field operations, and $6 million is continued as a grant to support missing and exploited children investigations.
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency: The bill includes $2.017 billion, $335.6 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. Notable increases above fiscal year 2019 include: $129 million for federal network security; $117 million to reduce the 12-month backlog in vulnerability assessments for state and local governments and critical infrastructure; $10 million for supply chain analysis; and $6.7 million for cybersecurity workforce development. The bill also includes $24.1 million to assist state and local governments in enhancing security and providing resilience for elections infrastructure.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): The bill includes $21.8 billion, including $4.428 billion in discretionary funding and $17.352 billion as a cap adjustment for disaster relief. The discretionary total is $124 million below the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and the cap adjustment for disaster relief is $5.3 billion above the enacted level. The discretionary total includes $2.948 billion for grants and training – $146 million below the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. Specific grant levels include:
- $525 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) – the same as fiscal year 2019 (includes a set aside of $90 million for Operations Stonegarden);
- $600 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) – $40 million below fiscal year 2019;
- A set aside of $60 million for Nonprofit Security Grants through SHSGP and UASI – the same as fiscal year 2019;
- $710 million for Firefighter Grants – $10 million above fiscal year 2019;
- $100 million for Port Security Grants – the same as fiscal year 2019;
- $100 million for Transit Security Grants – the same as fiscal year 2019;
- $355 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants – $5 million above fiscal year 2019;
- $147.5 million for Flood Mapping Grants – $115 million below fiscal year 2019;
- $10 million each for Regional Catastrophic Preparedness and High Hazard Dams – the same as fiscal year 2019;
- $120 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program – the same as fiscal year 2019; and
- $270.5 million for Education, Training and Exercises - $6 million below fiscal year 2019.
Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers: The bill provides $351 million, $22 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
Science and Technology: The bill includes $710 million, $109 million below the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $128 million above the request, including restored funding for University Centers of Excellence and laboratory facilities.
Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office: The bill includes $424.7 million, $10 million below the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
Departmental Management, Operations, Intelligence, and Oversight: The bill provides $1.8 billion, $47.1 million below the fiscal year 2019 enacted level, including:
- $17.5 million for the Office for Target Violence and Terrorism Prevention;
- $8.593 million for the Privacy Office;
- $25.3 million for the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; and
- The realignment of the Federal Protective Service is realigned to the Management Directorate, as authorized by P.L. 115-278.
Requested funding for DHS Headquarters consolidation and Financial Systems Modernization is not included.
Notable Provisions in the Bill:
- Continues a requirement of weekly reports to Congress and the public on the average daily detained population;
- Continues to prohibit the use of any funds to detain or remove from the U.S., a sponsor or potential sponsor of an unaccompanied alien child based on information shared with DHS by Health and Human Services – with certain exceptions regarding the safety of the child;
- Continues to ensure access by Members of Congress to detention facilities;
- Continues to require monthly public disclosures on all family separation incidents;
- Continues to require expeditious notification of any alien deaths in CBP or ICE custody;
- Continues construction prohibitions of physical barriers in certain environmentally and historically sensitive areas in the Rio Grande Valley; and
- Continues to prevent construction of a concrete wall by requiring designs to be consistent with those currently deployed along the southern border, such as bollard fencing.
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