Senate Committee Advances FY2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

Measure Prioritizes Investments in Border Security, Cybersecurity, Aviation Security, State and Local Grants, and Other Important Missions


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Appropriations today advanced its FY2019 Homeland Security funding bill, making investments in border security, cybersecurity, aviation security, state and local grants, and other programs to keep Americans safe.


The 55.15 billion measure is written to provide for the security of the American people.  The bill makes a major down payment on border security and fully funds the fiscal year 2019 request for the border wall system.  The bill was approved by a vote of 26-5.


The bill also recommends greater support for cybersecurity, aviation security, disaster relief, state and local grants, and the U.S. Coast Guard.  Notably, the legislation includes funding to build the United States’ first heavy polar icebreaker in more than 40 years.  It also provides $148 million specifically to combat opioids, more than doubling the FY2018 amount.  Additionally the measure continues to carry provisions requiring greater transparency and accountability from the Department of Homeland Security and its components.


“This legislation fully funds the President’s budget request for a border wall system while also meeting a wide range of security needs and providing critical resources for disaster preparedness and recovery,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).  “Senators Capito and Tester have been successful in their efforts to reach a strong, bipartisan agreement.  I am grateful for their steadfast and thoughtful approach to writing this bill.”


“We have a very strong bill that funds critical Homeland Security priorities and meets our national security needs, providing the department and its nearly 250,000 employees with the resources they need to carry out a broad set of missions around the world,” said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. “My highest priority in writing this bill was to secure U.S. borders, and I’m proud to say that our legislation makes a major down payment to do that. This legislation also provides critical resources that will help strengthen cybersecurity, improve our efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, support state and local law enforcement, and keep Americans safe.”



Bill Highlights:


Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – $55.15 billion, including $48.33 billion in base discretionary funding, which is $611 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $900 million above the President’s budget request, to fund DHS missions including border security, disaster relief, transportation security, immigration enforcement, and cybersecurity.


Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – $14.30 billion, an increase of $239 million above the FY2018 enacted level, to support 375 new Border Patrol agents, 375 new CBP officers, equipment, and technology required to support operations at our borders and ports of entry.  The total fully funds the President’s budget request for the border wall system, making a major down payment on border security.  It includes a substantial increase to dedicated funding to combat the illicit movement of opioids through ports of entry, as well as funding for tactical communications, recapitalization of Non-Intrusive Inspection equipment, procurement of additional surveillance systems and other situational awareness technology, three multi-role enforcement aircraft, and enhancements to unmanned aerial system capabilities. 


Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) – $7.21 billion, $134 million above the FY2018 enacted level, to maintain a record level for immigration enforcement.  The bill continues support for new teams targeting at-large criminal aliens and those who overstay their visas.  It also includes significant investments to combat drug and human trafficking and other transnational criminal activity.  It also provides $84 million for ICE vehicles and includes $41 million above the budget request for new personnel to investigate opioid trafficking.


Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – $4.84 billion net, $83 million below the FY2018 enacted level and $797 million above the FY2018 request (which included an assumption of $520 million in unauthorized fee revenue).  The bill makes targeted investments in personnel, canine teams, and advanced checkpoint technology.  Specifically, the measure includes:  funding for 1,450 new TSA personnel to staff checkpoints and mitigate wait times; an additional 50 canine teams to allow for increased throughput of passengers; and investments in future checkpoint technology.  The bill also fully funds other critical layers of security, from passenger pre-screening and intelligence functions, to the Federal Air Marshal Service and the Federal Flight Deck Officer program.


U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) – $10.19 billion, which is $237 million below the historic FY2018 enacted level and $496 million above the budget request level.  This amount supports a robust USCG operations and support budget, including additional military personnel.  This bill provides necessary increases for acquisitions, including $750 million for heavy polar icebreaker recapitalization, ongoing Offshore Patrol Cutter acquisition, additional Fast Response Cutters, and support for aircraft recapitalization and enhanced shore infrastructure.  The bill also adopts a new appropriations structure for USCG, aligning its structure with that of the rest of DHS.


U.S. Secret Service (USSS) – $2.18 billion, $173 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $28 million above the budget request, to fully support USSS activities and additional hiring needed for the 2020 presidential campaign and support for upcoming National Security Special Events.  The bill provides full funding to support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and provides a $6 million increase in funding to train State and local officials in computer forensics and cyber investigations.


National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) – $1.95 billion, an increase of $38 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $128 million above the request.  This level is in addition to $1.53 billion in fees for the Federal Protective Service accounted for in the bill.  Cybersecurity, including protection of civilian Federal networks, is supported at $1.1 billion, $86 million above the budget request level.  Included is $406 million for the National Cybersecurity Protection System and an additional $47 million above the request for Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation.  The bill also provides $33 million above the FY2018 enacted level to help states and localities guard with election security information sharing and assistance.


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – $11.69 billion, of which $7.23 billion is for the Disaster Relief Fund.  Non-disaster funding is $96 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $672 million above the budget request. 


The bill includes strong support for state and local first responders and emergency management personnel, providing a total of $3.27 billion for these grant and training programs, including:

  • $512 million for State Homeland Security Grants, including $90 million for Operation Stonegarden;
  • $605 million for Urban Area Security Initiative grants, including $25 million for non-profit organizations;
  • $100 million each for Port and Transit Security grants;
  • $700 million for Fire and SAFER grants;
  • $350 million for Emergency Management Performance grants;
  • $250 million for Pre-disaster Mitigation;
  • $250 million for Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program;
  • $15 million for Regional Catastrophic Preparedness grants;
  • $15 million for the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams grants;
  • $66 million for the Center for Domestic Preparedness;
  • $18 million for the Center for Homeland Defense and Security;
  • $21 million for the Emergency Management Institute; and
  • $101 million for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium.


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – $132 million for E-Verify operations and enhancements.


Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) – $361 million for FLETC, including funds to train more than 95,000 students and funds to complete important facility construction, expansion, and renovation efforts at the FLETC campuses.


Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) – $813 million for S&T, which is $230 million above the budget request.  This amount includes sufficient funding to continue the operation of S&T laboratories.  A total of $41 million is provided to maintain all current Centers of Excellence.


Domestic Nuclear Detection Office/Office of Health Affairs (DNDO/OHA) – $457 million, the same as the FY2018 enacted level and $28 million above the budget request.  While the Department merged these two components to establish the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) office, the bill recommends providing appropriations to that office via the legacy DNDO/OHA account structure as the CWMD office has not been explicitly authorized by law.


Departmental Management and Operations – $1.50 billion for Departmental management, which is $104 million below the budget request.  This level fully supports headquarters management, intelligence, and oversight activities. 


Oversight and Accountability

The measure also includes extensive direction regarding metrics and performance evaluation to hold DHS accountable for operational outcomes associated with the included investments.  The bill includes oversight measures:


  • Limiting the diversion of funds provided for personnel to unrequested and unplanned expenditures.
  • Requiring the Department to submit a report on visa overstays and publish border security metrics;
  • Requiring the Department to submit quarterly obligation and staffing plans and better details in budget justification;
  • Requiring the Department to report conference spending to the inspector general and limiting the use of funds for certain conferences; and
  • Requiring the Department to link all contracts that provide award fees to successful acquisition outcomes, and prohibiting funds to pay for award or incentive fees for contractors with below satisfactory performance.




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