Tuesday, May 8, 2012

House DHS Spending Bill – Committee Print

The House Appropriations Committee published a press release today announcing the availability of their Committee Print of the FY 2013 DHS Appropriations bill that is being introduced today. The Committee Print will allow us to take a look at the provisions of the bill before the official GPO version gets printed.

I haven’t had a chance to take a detailed look at the bill, but I do note that §532 would provide a one-year extension of the current CFATS authorization until October 4th, 2013. One odd thing though; that section is set off with heavy brackets. The only time that I have seen them in legislative documents was when they were setting off sections or phrases that were being deleted by an amendment. I don’t think that was the case here, but we will just have to wait for the publication of the official version to be sure.

The press release does mention the CFATS program. It explains:

“The bill provides $45.4 million for CFATS, $29.1 million below the amount requested and $47.9 million below last year’s level. This reduction is due to significant managerial problems, program delays, and poor budget execution.”

If this stands it will be a mighty blow against the program. A 50% reduction in spending when the program is so far behind will almost certainly cripple whatever hope the managers might have had of fixing the problems. A cut of that magnitude will absolutely require a reduction in manpower.

These figures will not show up in the language of the bill. Rather we can expect to see something (perhaps this same language) in the Committee Report that will also be filed today. It will probably be a day or two before we see this on the GPO site.

NOTE: Could this cut be a slap at the oversight committees that have done nothing about the ISCD problems that came to light last December beyond holding some lame hearings?

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