Counter-drone authorities used by the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice that are set to expire in October would be extended into December under a proposed continuing resolution to maintain funding for the federal government until Dec. 16.

Congressional Democrats late Monday introduced the continuing resolution, known as a CR, to keep the government operating at fiscal year 2022 funding levels once the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. The CR will give Congress time to conclude budget negotiations for FY ’23.

A summary that accompanies the CR says that Section 141 of the bill “extends the authority for DHS and the Department of Justice to protect certain facilities from unmanned aircraft systems through December 16, 2022.” Those authorities were granted through the Preventing Emerging Threats Act in late 2018.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has already passed a bill to further the counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) authorities of DHS and DoJ and extend them to state, local, tribal, territorial law enforcers, airports and covered critical infrastructure. The Safeguarding the Homeland from Threats Posed by Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act (S. 4687) would allow these entities to detect, track and identify potential UAS threats and also to defeat these threats.

The new bill would also specifically grant the Transportation Security Administration, a component of DHS, authorization to protect transportation infrastructure from drone threats, including to detect, track, identify, monitor and mitigate.

Small, commercially available UAS are rapidly proliferating in use by consumers, private entities and the government. As a consequence, these drones are often used by the careless and clueless near airports, stadiums and other infrastructures, disrupting operations.

Over the weekend, football games hosted by the Univ. of Washington and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks were briefly delayed due to a drone flying over their respective stadiums.

Small drones are also being used to smuggle drugs over the border and contraband into prisons, spy on the deployments of border agents, and conduct surveillance of government facilities.