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Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2021 Homeland Security Funding Bill

WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2021 Homeland Security bill on a vote of 30 to 22. The legislation provides annual funding for the components of the Department of Homeland Security.

The bill provides $50.72 billion in discretionary funding, including $48.1 billion in nondefense discretionary funding, the same level as fiscal year 2020, and $2.8 billion in defense funding, $250 million more than in fiscal year 2020. The bill also provides an additional $5.1 billion in funding for disaster relief and $215 million for overseas contingency operations.

“Our FY 21 Homeland Security funding bill will help keep America safe while honoring our nation’s values,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard. “It makes much-needed investments in national priorities like disaster and terrorism preparedness, safety for air travelers, maritime and border security, and cybersecurity. Our bill also adds vital funding for alternatives to detention, reduces ICE detention beds to appropriate levels, phases out family detention by the end of the year, and includes no funds for border barriers. I’m also proud that we’ve included important measures to help keep the administration transparent and accountable to Congress, providing no authority to transfer funds between accounts and only limited authority to reprogram funds within accounts, and withholding funds from the administration if they fail to submit reports to the committee.”

“This bill as a whole will strengthen our security and keep Americans safe while upholding our American values of fairness and respect,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey. “Strong investments in modern, effective technologies will improve homeland security missions, from cybersecurity and disaster preparedness to border and maritime security. It also provides resources to meet the humanitarian needs of migrants and, critically, it prohibits the administration from raiding funds for the President’s wasteful border wall.”

The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full Committee:

Rep. Roybal-Allard #1 – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Aguilar #1, cosponsored by Rep. Hurd – The amendment prohibits the removal of individuals who are eligible for DACA or Temporary Protected Status. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Roybal-Allard #2, cosponsored by Rep. Pocan – The amendment prohibits the use of funds to implement changes to ICE’s policy for international students to waive certain in-person class requirements. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Price – The amendment prohibits the use of funds to implement several administration immigration policies. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 30 to 22.

Rep. Cuellar #1, cosponsored by Rep. Newhouse – The amendment requires the admittances of H2A workers in FY21 without regard to whether they will engage in work that is temporary or seasonal in nature. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Meng – The amendment allows unused FY20 diversity visas, employment visas, and family-based visas to remain available in FY21 in addition to what would otherwise be available for FY21, and allows any unused visas at the end of FY21 to remain available during FY22. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Pingree, cosponsored by Reps. Harris and Cuellar – The amendment directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to make available additional H-2B visas. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Watson Coleman – The amendment provides for cancellation of Community Disaster Loans. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Quigley – The amendment prohibits the use of funds for ICE ERO Citizen Academies. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Cuellar #2 – The amendment prohibits ICE from removing certain individuals for whom private relief bills have been introduced. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Aguilar #2 – The amendment requires a FEMA briefing on Procurement of Military Grade Equipment with Urban Area Security Initiative and State Homeland Security Grant Funds. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

A summary of the bill is here. The text of the bill, prior to adoption of amendments in full committee, is here. The bill report is here.

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