Friday, July 16, 2010

DHS Appropriations Bill Reported in Senate

According to the Congressional Record for Thursday (pg D794) the Senate Appropriations Committee ordered a DHS Appropriations bill reported. No bill has yet been introduced (probably next week) nor has the bill actually been reported; though the Agriculture appropriations bill has been reported (Sen. Report 111-221). The Senate Appropriations Committee web site does have a press release covering the reporting of three bills (DHS, Agriculture, and Military Construction). That press release provides a link to a 5 page summary of the DHS bill. From that summary we can see that the Senate bill will provide the full $105 million requested by the Administration for the CFATS program and would include a one-year extension of the authorization for that program. Until we can see the actual wording of that extension section of the bill, we can’t be sure if there are any additions to that authorization. Since Sen. Lautenberg is now the acting chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, he has a certain amount of leeway on what could be added to that section. Also of potential interest to the chemical security community is the spending authorization for the surface transportation security section of the TSA budget. The bill provides “$137 million for surface transportation security, including funds to annualize 100 new inspectors [emphasis added]” (page 3). This is compared to the 5,355 added Transportation Security Officers at airports to “staff new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units”; we can see where surface transportation security ranks. We’ll just have to wait until next week to see what other interesting tidbits of information will be found in the Senate bill. Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee is not scheduled to take up the bill approved by their Homeland Security Subcommittee. So as has been the recent habit, the DHS Appropriations bill will not have any real chance of getting to the President before the end of the fiscal year.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */