H.R. 2786, Cross-Border Rail Security Act of 2015

H.R. 2786

Cross-Border Rail Security Act of 2015

Sponsor
Rep. Filemon Vela Jr.

Date
September 28, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, September 28, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 2786, the Cross-Border Rail Security Act of 2015, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 2786 was introduced on June 15, 2015 by Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, which ordered the bill reported by voice vote on June 25, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2786 requires the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), not later than 180 days after enactment, to report to Congress on high-risk rail shipments entering the United States.  The bill also requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to periodically audit CBP operations at rail crossings on the northern and southern international borders to ensure rail shipments are targeted, examined, and that the results of such examinations properly documented.

Background

CBP’s Office of Field Operations is principally responsible for facilitating trade and travel entering the United States and ensuring adequate security measures. CBP attempts to prevent terrorist and terrorist instruments from entering the United States and works to enforce trade, agriculture, and immigration regulations across all transportation domains.[1]

CBP targets shipments to the United States that may pose a high risk. The DHS Inspector General reported in March of 2015 that high-risk rail shipments arriving in the U.S. from Canada and Mexico were not being targeted and screened properly. This bill fulfills the recommendations from the DHS Office of Inspector General.[2]

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[1] House Report 114-233 at 2.
[2] Id.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 2786 would cost about $1 million in 2016 and less than $500,000 annually thereafter, assuming appropriation of the necessary funds. Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.