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SPECIAL REPORT:  FY 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Report and California Implications -- October 2006


[printable pdf version]

Border Protection and Immigration Enforcement
Port, Container and Cargo Security
Grants for State & Local First Responders
Emergency Preparedness
Transportation Security Administration
Other Areas

On Thursday, September 28, 2006, a compromise was reached that allowed Congress to proceed to passage of a $35 billion conference report on the 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations bill (H.R. 5441). The House and Senate approved the measure on September 29 and 30, and President Bush signed it into law on October 4.

The conference agreement on H.R. 5441, the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for FY 2007, which is expected to be approved on September 29, 2006, provides $34.8 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an increase of $2.3 billion above FY 2006. The bill includes $1.8 in emergency spending, which is not subject to budget balancing requirements.

Border Protection and Immigration Enforcement

The largest portion of the conference report is its provision of $21.3 billion for border protection, immigration enforcement, and related activities. This total includes $5.2 billion for the Secure Border Initiative. Major components include $2.3 billion for border patrol (which, according to the House Appropriations Committee, would add 1,500 new Border Patrol agents, for a total of 14,800); $1.2 billion for border fencing, vehicle barriers, technology and infrastructure; $4.2 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); $3.1 billion for the Coast Guard’s homeland security missions; and $1.38 billion for ICE custody operations. Specific components would include $28.2 million to assist state and local efforts to enforce immigration law; $238 million for transportation and removal of undocumented aliens; $600 million for Air and Marine Operations for border and airspace security; $137 million for the Criminal Alien Program; $362 million for the US-VISIT program; and $135 million to support immigration verification systems. (The bill includes language criminalizing the creation of tunnels to illegally cross U.S. borders.)

Port, Container and Cargo Security

In provisions related to port, container and cargo security, the CR provides $4.34 billion, (an increase of $600 million from 2006). According to a committee statement, language would "mandate a strategy to double the amount of cargo currently inspected, screen 100% of cargo

through the Automated Targeting System, and establish minimum security standards for cargo containers. The agreement further requires DHS to maintain a 100% manifest review rate at all CSI ports; a 100% validation rate of all C-TPAT participants; and doubling the amount of cargo entering the U.S. screened for radiation." In the port and cargo area, major funding highlights include $2.05 billion for Coast Guard port and waterway security operations; $1.435 billion for CBP cargo inspection and trade operations; $139 million for Container Security Initiative (expanding the program to 58 foreign seaports); $241 million for non-intrusive inspection equipment; $55 million for C-TPAT; $178 million for radiation portal monitors; $15 million to increase port facility and vessel inspections domestically and overseas; $210 million for port security grants; $23 million for the DHS Cargo Security Program.

Grants for State & Local First Responders

A total of $3.4 billion is provided for grants for state and local first responders, and the current-law formulas for grants would remain in place. Appropriations levels for FY 2007 would include $1.23 billion for high risk area grants (with $770 million of that for urban area grants, $175 million for rail security, $210 million for port security, and $74 million for other infrastructure protection); $525 million for basic formula grants; $547 million for firefighter grants and $115 million for the SAFER program; $375 million for state and local law enforcement terrorism prevention grants; $200 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants; and $352 million for First Responder training, exercise, and assistance programs.

California’s share of high risk area grants (traditionally focused on urban areas via the Urban Area Security Initiative or UASI) has been high - typically between 16 and 20 percent. On the other hand, California’s share of most other first responder grant funding has been low - typically less than 10 percent. Whereas urban area funding is targeted toward high-threat areas and densely urban populations (both of which California has in large numbers), most of the other grant programs have favored rural over urban areas. For more state-focused information regarding homeland security grant issues, see "Federal Formula Grants and California: Homeland Security" -- part of a joint series from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and the California Institute, at http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=481 .

Emergency Preparedness

For the DHS Preparedness Directorate - comprised primarily of the formerly independent Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - the CR includes $1.5 billion for Disaster Relief; $526 million for FEMA’s operational capability; and $196 million for flood map modernization. The $1.5 billion for FEMA’s disaster relief fund is considerably less than the administration had requested. (Much of the language and a large portion of specialized funding is focused on areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in September 2005.) It also includes several provisions that seek to protect critical infrastructure, such as $69 million for critical infrastructure identification and evaluation; - $101 million for critical infrastructure outreach and partnerships with industry; and $496 million for biological, chemical and explosives countermeasure. For DHS’s so-called "Traditional Missions" such as Drug Interdiction, Law Enforcement, and Maritime Safety, the 2007 HS agreement calls for $2.4 billion for traditional Coast Guard work, and $1.065 billion for the Coast Guard’s Deepwater program.

Transportation Security Administration

For the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) the agreement provides $6.3 billion (partially offset by fees), which includes $2.6 billion for passenger and baggage screeners; $524 million for explosive detection systems; $55 million for air cargo; $13.2 million for rail security inspectors and explosive detection canines; and $714 million for Federal Air Marshals.

Other Areas

In other text, the CR requires DHS to develop a "comprehensive strategic plan" for port, cargo and container security and the Secure Border Initiative. It also requires expenditure plans for the SBInet border security system, US-VISIT, business transformation for CIS, explosive detection systems in airports, and Customs IT systems. And it would direct the Preparedness Directorate and FEMA to improve its capabilities in communications, training, capabilities assessments, incident management, logistics, emergency housing, debris removal, and victim registration.


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