FY 2014 DHS Appropriations Bill Passed the House
This week, the House passed its version of the FY 2014 DHS Appropriations bill. The bill provides DHS with $38.9 billion in discretionary funding, $35 million less than requested by the President, $618 million below the level enacted by FY 2013, but $918 million more than the department’s current level after sequestration. It was this “higher” funding level that made the DHS bill one of four that members of Congress are hopeful will be passed by both chambers under regular order. In the meantime, the President has said that he will not sign any appropriations bill lower than his budget request until the House and Senate agree on a budget framework. Currently, the House has set a budget cap based on the sequestration ceiling of $967 billion; the Senate cap is set at $1.058 trillion, the limit of the President’s budget proposal.
During floor action, no changes were made to the funding of ISCD programs for CFATS or the proposed ANSP. The only amendment of interest, which was adopted, was proposed by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA). The Lynch amendment transferred $15.7 million from the Office of the Undersecretary for Management to the Surface Transportation Security account administered by TSA. The argument was that $69.3 billion has been spent for aviation security since 9/11, while only $3.3 billion for surface transportation security. Lynch is particularly concerns about funding for transit security. Nothing was said on the floor to countermand the directive in the House Appropriations Committee report that TSA is “required … to facilitate” a tracking program for SSHM shipments.