President Barack Obama is set to sign a continuing resolution (HR 933) to fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year 2013, ostensibly increasing funding for border security efforts for the year. The appropriations bill allocated $39.6 billion to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), detailing DHS spending while keeping the overall budget within the caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 — at $984 billion overall for FY 2013. The White House has not yet announced if Obama will sign the consolidated appropriations bill Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, hailed the legislation as good for border security in remarks Thursday.
“This funding will support critical law enforcement agencies, protect our nation’s borders and food supplies, and provide important agriculture and rural development investments,” Rogers said.
A House analysis of the bill suggests DHS may face automatic budget cuts but the law bolstered spending in key areas like border security to offset any potential damage to those accounts.
Under the bill, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would receive $10.4 billion, which the House said was up $215 million from FY 2012. The legislation would require DHS to employ 21,370 Border Patrol agents and 21,775 CBP officers. (Border Patrol agents remain equivalent to last year’s numbers while CBO officers tick up slightly from 21,186.)
The bill would provide $799 million for CBP Air and Marine patrol activities and $68 million for the CBP National Targeting Center, up $16 million from FY 2012, for the identification of known and suspected terrorists and criminals.
The legislation also would fund border security fencing, infrastructure and technology with $324 million, down from $400 million in FY 2012.
CBP automation modernization efforts and salaries would receive $720 million, of which $139 million would go to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), the CBP commercial trade processing system. ACE funding is about the same as last year.
Another $233.5 million would go to CBP construction and facilities management, down only a few million from FY 2012.
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