House Subcommittee Approves FY23 DHS Funding

This week, the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee approved a draft bill providing $60.3 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Homeland Security in fiscal year 2023.

Until the full committee considers the bill later this month, all we have are the text of the draft bill itself (which only has account-level data in it), and a summary press release.

TSA. The House bill appropriates a net $9.4 billion for the Transportation Security Administration for 2023, offset by an estimated $2.5 billion in discretionary offsetting collections from the Aviation Passenger Security Fee, for an estimated net appropriation of $6.9 billion. The gross appropriation is $1.1 billion above the fiscal 2022 appropriation but is $302 million less than the budget request.

The Administration once again proposed that Congress enact a law transferring the proceeds from the 2013 security fee increase from the mandatory (deficit reduction) ledger to the discretionary (offsetting collection) ledger, which would increase the size of TSA’s partial “pay-for” by $1.52 billion. However, that kind of thing is not in the Appropriations Committee’s jurisdiction, so they shy away from doing it, leaving the net total for TSA to look like it is $1.2 billion more than the Administration asked for instead of $300 million less than requested.

Most of the big gross increase from FY 2022 is probably going to go to this, per the subcommittee press release: “The bill also provides $615.8 million to support a TSA initiative to pay its workforce at levels commensurate with other federal agencies and to extend other equivalent rights and protections.”

Coast Guard. The House bill appropriates $14.1 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard, an increase of $941 million over 2022 and of $778 million over the budget request.

Operations and Support is only 1.3 percent ($131 million) more than the budget request. As usual, the big discrepancy is in on the capital side, where Congress (prodded by its members who represent shipyards and aerospace factories) often have different plans for how many, and which, new and refitted boats, planes and helicopters the Coast Guard should buy each year.

The Procurement, Construction and Improvements appropriation in the House bill is $646 million (39 percent) higher than the budget request and $271 million more than last year. Per the press release, the plus-ups over the request include $90 million to start procurement of a third Polar Security Cutter, $87 million towards two additional National Security Cutters,$125 million for more Fast Response Cutters, and $129 million for another HC-130J aircraft.

FEMA Transportation Security. It took 20 years after 9/11, but in 2022, Congress finally appropriated $105 million for the surface transportation port security program instead of the regular $100 million per year. The budget (written before the 2022 bill was finished) proposed to go back to $100 million, but the House stays at $105 million, with the usual $10 million set-aside for Amtrak security and $2 million for over-the-road bus security.

Port security grants are still stuck at $100 million per year.

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