H.R. 240

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015

Sponsor
Rep. Hal Rogers

Committee
Appropriations

Date
January 13, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Kimberly Betz

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, January 13, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 240, the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, under a rule.  H.R. 240 was introduced on January 9, 2015 by Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations.  Five amendments have been made in order. (See below).

Bill Summary

H.R. 240 provides $39.7 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Homeland Security, an increase of $400 million compared to the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. According to the Committee, ‘[T]he bill prioritizes frontline security – including all operational, counterterrorism, and threat-targeting activities, and essential tactical equipment – and saves taxpayer dollars by reducing overhead costs and cutting funds for lower priority programs.”[1] Highlights of the bill include:

  • $10.7 billion for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an increase of $118 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Funding supports the largest operational force in history – 21,370 border patrol agents and 23,775 CBP officers.
  • $5.96 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an increase of $689.4 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This includes $3.4 billion for ICE detention programs sustaining 34,000 detention beds and increasing family detention by 3,732 beds.
  • $4.8 billion for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a decrease of $94.3 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The bill targets funding to passenger security, cargo inspections, intelligence functions, Federal Flight Deck Officers, and increases for canine detection teams and privatized screening operations. The bill rescinds more than $202 million in unobligated balances from TSA.
  • $753.2 million for cybersecurity operations in the National Programs and Protection Directorate.
  • $10 billion for the United States Coast Guard, a decrease of $159 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, but $439.5 above the President’s request. Targeted increases are provided for cutter and aviation operating hours, training and maintenance; acquisition of the eighth National Security Cutter (NSC); two fast response cutter patrol boats; an additional C-130 J aircraft; one H-60 remanufactured helicopter; and urgently needed upgrades to family housing.
  • $1.7 billion for the United States Secret Service, an increase of $80.5 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Funding is targeted toward preparing and training for candidate protection for the 2016 presidential election and to address critical failures in communications and training at the White House Complex.
  • $7 billion for disaster relief, fully funding the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The bill includes $1.5 billion for state and local grants; $680 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants; and $350 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants.
  • $1.1 billion for Science and Technology, $116.3 million below fiscal year 2014 enacted levels, but $32.1 million above the President’s request.
  • The bill requires the Department of Homeland Security to submit comprehensive spending plans to Congress to increase transparency, and congressional and public oversight.

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[1] See House Committee on Appropriations document titled “January 9, 2015 Homeland bill release.”

Cost

According to CBO, enactment of H.R. 240 would result in a budget authority of $39.7 billion.

Amendments

1) Representative Aderholt (R-LA), Amendment #1 – amendment specifically prevents any funds from any source from being used to carry out: (1) the executive actions announced on November 20, 2014 to grant deferred action to certain unlawful aliens and for other purposes and (2) four of Morton Memos on prosecutorial discretion and immigration enforcement priorities issued in 2011 and 2012 that effectively prevent certain classes of unlawful aliens from being removed from the country. The amendment declares that no funds may be used to carry out any substantially similar policies to those defunded. The amendment declares that the policies defunded and any substantially similar policies have no statutory or constitutional basis and therefore no legal effect. Finally, the amendment provides that no funds may be used to grant any federal benefit to any alien as a result of the policies defunded.

2) Representative Blackburn (R-TN), Amendment #2 – amendment provides that no funds may be used to consider new, renewal, or previously denied deferred action on childhood arrivals (DACA) applications.

3) Representative DeSantis (R-FL), Amendment #3 – amendment requires that DHS treat any alien convicted of any offense involving domestic violence, sexual abuse, child molestation, or child abuse or exploitation as within the categories of aliens subject to DHS’s highest civil immigration enforcement.

4) Representative Salmon (R-AZ), Amendment #4 – amendment expresses the Sense of Congress that the Executive Branch should not pursue policies that disadvantage the hiring of U.S. citizens and those lawfully present in the United States by making it economically advantageous to hire workers who came to the country illegally.

5) Representative Schock (R-IL), Amendment #5 – amendment expresses the Sense of Congress that the Administration should stop putting the interest of immigrants who worked within the legal framework to come to the United States behind those who came here illegally.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.