House Appropriations OKs FY19 Homeland Bill

July 27, 2018

The House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2018 Homeland Security appropriations bill this week, the last of the twelve FY19 bills to be considered in committee in either the House or Senate.

The debate in committee focused largely on the immigration and border security responsibilities of DHS (and the $5 billion contained in the bill for construction of the US-Mexico border wall) but the bill also funds the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the port and public transportation security grant programs of FEMA.

TSA. The House bill appropriates $7.32 billion for TSA, $195 million less than the Senate bill but $82 million more than the budget request. After being reduced by the estimated amounts of aviation security fees (the House bill, like the Senate bill, once again rejects the President’s request for a fee increase), the net appropriation for TSA will be $4.65 billion.


As shown in the table above, the main differences from the budget request are:

  • $103 million above the request for full staffing of airport exit lanes plus an additional 360 FTEs.
  • $7.3 million above the request for 50 additional canine teams and $2.2 million above the request for the canine cargo screening program.
  • $23 million below the request for Federal Air Marshals (with no explanation).
  • $3 million above the request for the armed pilot and crew training programs “to establish additional training capacity at a location that is more conducive to pilot participation.”
  • $20 million above the request for computed tomography (CT) equipment at airport checkpoints.

Coast Guard. The House bill appropriates $11.0 billion for the Coast Guard in 2019, $913 million less than the Senate bill and $416 million less than the budget request.

Major differences with the budget request or the Senate bill include:

  • The budget request and the Senate bill provide $166 million for Coast Guard Operations and Support from the Overseas Contingency Operations (Iraq/Afghanistan/GWOT) fund. The House Appropriations Committee put that $165 million in the Defense bill, under Navy Operations and Maintenance, for eventual transfer to the Coast Guard.
  • Like the Senate bill, the House bill does not move Environmental Compliance and Restoration into the Operations and Support account and maintains it as a separate account.
  • The House bill does not include money for a new polar icebreaker, by far the biggest discrepancy ($750 million). (An amendment to add the $750 million was defeated, 29 to 21, because the amendment also would have eliminated funding for the border wall.)
  • The House bill has $75 million above the request for post-delivery activities for the seventh, eighth and ninth National Security Cutters.
  • The House bill, like the Senate bill, has $100 million above the request for two extra Fast Response Cutters.
  • The House bill buys another HC-130J aircraft, which puts it $105 million above the request or the Senate bill. (This will be the sixteenth such aircraft, towards an eventual goal of 22.)
  • The House bill does not buy more MH-60T helicopters, which puts it $150 million below the Senate bill.

FEMA Security Grants. The markup did not address the FEMA port and rail/transit security grants, which were not changed from the subcommittee bill.

The draft bill is here and the draft committee report is here (neither reflects any amendments adopted at the markup session).

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