House Appropriators Approve FY20 Homeland Funding

House Appropriators Approve FY20 Homeland Funding

June 14, 2019  | Jeff Davis

June 14, 2019

The House Appropriations Committee on June 11 approved a $64 billion draft bill making appropriations for the Homeland Security Department for fiscal year 2020.

The text of the draft bill is here, the draft committee report is here, and the amendments adopted in the full committee markup are here.

Debate in committee focused almost entirely on immigration and border concerns, along with some mentions of FEMA disaster relief activities. The amendments adopted in the full committee markup only address transportation issues in two places: the bipartisan manager’s amendment increased the over-the-road bus security set-aside in the FEMA transit and rail security grant program from $2 million to $3 million, and a paragraph of report language supportive of enhanced advanced imaging technology at TSA was added. That’s it.

The writeup in last week’s ETW was based on draft bill text only (plus a fact sheet from the committee), but most of the detail in this bill is in the accompanying committee report, not in the bill itself. So, now that we have the report, here is a bit more detail on this year’s bill.

Transportation Security Administration. The report breaks down the $533 million increase for the Operations and Support account over the budget request: “ $24,545,000 to annualize the 2019 pay raise; $118,305,000 to provide a 2020 pay raise; $45,000,000 to continue the Law Enforcement Officer Reimbursement Program; $58,800,000 to continue the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Team program; $81,633,000 to continue legally mandated staffing at certain exit lanes; and $204,906,000 to maintain current services.”

The $47.8 million increase in the Procurement, Construction and Improvements account (over the request) is split between $27,782,000 for additional procurement of computed tomography (CT) equipment and $20,000,000 for reimbursements to airports for legacy in-line explosive detection equipment.

Coast Guard. The big account (Operations and Support) gets a $156 million increase above the budget request: $6,100,000 for additional resources to support increased recruiting with a focus on women and minority populations; $42,399,000 for additional maintenance for cutters, boats, and aircraft; $36,000,000 for depot-level maintenance for shore assets; $2,000,000 to add 10 billets for the Maritime Safety Response Team (MSRT)—West; $4,399,000 to annualize the 2019 civilian personnel pay raise; and $23,151,000 to provide a 2020 civilian personnel pay raise.

The biggest discrepancies with the budget request are usually over big-ticket items in the capital account (now called Procurement, Construction, and Improvements). This account is $738 million over the budget request. Those big discrepancies are:

  • Polar Ice Breaker – the House is $100 million over the request, to buy long lead time materials to build a second new vessel.
  • Fast Response Cutter – the House is $150 million over the request, to buy five vessels instead of two.
  • National Security Cutter – the House is $101 million over the request, to buy long lead time materials for a 12th vessel.
  • HC-130J Search and Rescue Aircraft – no money was requested this year, but the House bill provides $215 million, $205 million to buy two new planes and another $10 million for spares.
  • Long Range Command and Control Aircraft – this was not in the request, but the House bill provides $70 million “to replace a currently leased asset.”

FEMA transportation security grants. As mentioned last week, the House bill not only disregards the cuts proposed by the Administration, but gives the first increase in these accounts in what seems like ages (they have been stuck at $100 million per year for a good while, and the House bill provides a $10 million increase). As mentioned above, the bill as reported to the House increases the over-the-road bus set-aside from $2 million to $3 million.

FEMA Transportation Security Grants
Thousands of dollars of budget authority.
FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2020
Enacted Enacted Request House
Rail/Transit Security Grants 100,000 100,000 36,358 110,000
Set-Aside: Amtrak 10,000 10,000 0 10,000
Set-Aside: Over-the-Road Buses 2,000 2,000 0 3,000
Remainder 88,000 88,000 36,358 97,000
Port Security Grants 100,000 100,000 36,358 110,000
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