Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DHS Funding in House Proposed Full Year CR

Okay, I’ve now had a chance to review the 423 page proposed amendment to HR 3082 proposed by Rep. Obey (written by the Appropriations Committee Majority Staff, to be sure) and being considered by the House Rules Committee. I hope that you noted that I said ‘reviewed’ not read. No one actually reads this stuff, certainly not in a couple of hours or even a couple of days. Additionally, I’ve looked over the House Appropriations Committee’s summary of the amendment. So here is what I’ve learned.

First off the amendment would rename HR 3082 the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (FYCAA). It would act as a continuing resolution funding the federal government until September 30, 2011. With some significant exceptions it would continue funding at the FY 2010 levels. Most of those exceptions will be of no specific interest to the chemical security community. If you’re interested in those details see the committee summary.


For the chemical security community the substitute language for the bill would specifically extend the current authorization for CFATS until October 4, 2011. The actual language can be found in §2636:

● “Section 550(b) of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007 (Public Law 109–295; 6 U.S.C. 121 note), is amended by striking ‘on October 4, 2010’ and inserting ‘on October 4, 2011’.”
The bill would not set the funding level for the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division, the organization in DHS that manages the CFATS program. The bill does require (§2601) DHS to provide a spending plan for their planned expenditures at that level to Congress within 30 days of the passage of the bill.

The lowest level specifically addressed of concern to the chemical security community is for the Infrastructure Protection and Information Security folks in the National Protection and Programs Directorate. This group is specifically mentioned (§2614) and their budget is set at $878,316,000. This is a decrease from the FY 2010 budget ($899,416,000), but an increase over the President’s budget request for FY 2011 ($865,965,000). It doesn’t quite split the difference. You can see my budget blog from last February to see how the ISCD folks would expect to fair under this proposal.

Now we just have to wait and see how this proposal makes it through the rest of the legislative process.

NOTE: While I was researching/writing this the House Rules Committee scheduled their meeting on this for 1:00 pm EST today and the House just started their debate on H. Res 1752 which would allow for expedited consideration of this bill, perhaps this afternoon.

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