CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
S. 3243 is expected to be considered on the House floor on Tuesday, December 21, 2010, under a suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass. This legislation was introduced by Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) on April 21, 2010. The Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent on September 28, 2010.
S. 3243 would require U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), within two years of the bill’s enactment, to administer polygraph examinations to all applicants for law enforcement positions before those individuals are hired. The bill also would direct CBP, within 180 days of enactment, to initiate background reinvestigations for all law enforcement personnel who are currently scheduled to undergo such reviews.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General, 129 CBP officials have been arrested since 2003 on corruption charges. In 2009, 576 investigations were opened on allegations of improper conduct by CBP officials.
The bill's findings note that an established CBP policy calls for all job applicants for law enforcement positions to receive a polygraph examination and a background investigation before being offered employment, and mandates that relevant employees to receive a periodic background reinvestigation every five years. However, less than 15 percent of applicants in 2009 for jobs with CBP received polygraph examinations, and as of March 2010, CBP had a backlog of approximately 10,000 periodic background reinvestigations of existing employees.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing the bill would cost $19 million over five years.