As part of the President’s budget request the Administration publishes proposed language for each of the spending bills that would support that budget process. This, of course, includes the DHS spending bill language. Now most of this is pure boiler plate; standard language that changes little from year to year. The most important policy provisions are found in ‘General Provisions’ portion of the language (starting on page 559).
Most of these policy provisions were added to modify various requirements that were enacted at one time or another by Congress. Rather than change the underlying law, these provisions make ‘temporary’ changes that, for the most part, get repeated from year to year. The Administration’s proposed language makes some significant changes to many of these repeating modifications including the complete elimination of 30 of the provisions found in last year’s spending bill.
All of the proposed eliminations from the General Provisions have placed various restrictions on the spending of the Administration. The following sections from last year’s DHS spending bill were eliminated in this proposed language: 512, 513, 515, 518, 521, 523, 527, 529, 532, 533, 534, 535, 537, 539, 542, 543, 544, 546, 547, 553, 554, 557, 558, 559, 560, 565, 566, 568, 570, 571, and 572. Additionally, all of the ‘Rescission’ sections (573 thru 577) were deleted.
Of these three (523, 529, and 533) would have restricted the Administration’s ability to make the cuts to the Coast Guard spending that I described in an earlier post.
The proposed DHS spending bill language includes the obligatory extension of the CFATS §550 authorization. Early in the Obama Administration there had been an attempt made to make this a two year extension, but this version only includes (§524) a standard one year extension of the current authorization.
Moving Forward (NOT)
As I mentioned in my earlier post, the proposed language, like the budget numbers, will be completely ignored by the House when they write the DHS spending bill. Almost all of the sections removed by the Administration will be put back in as a matter of course by the Republican staff of the Appropriations Committee. The only provision that I am sure will be included will be the CFATS authorization language.