The House Appropriations Committee (HAC) on Tuesday released its proposed $44.3 billion Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget request for fiscal year 2018, including $1.6 billion for the Trump administration’s controversial, long-promised wall along the United States border with Mexico.
The HAC’s recommendation calls for appropriating a slight increase from the administration’s FY ‘18 request of $44.1 billion for DHS, and is nearly $1.9 billion more than the enacted FY ‘17 budget.
“The Committee takes its role in safeguarding our homeland and protecting our citizens seriously. Globalization, cyber-security, and terrorism are changing our way of life and we need to change with it,” HAC Chairman Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) said in a statement. “This bill fully supports our men and women on the frontline lines who work tirelessly to keep us safe. The bill also provides the necessary funding for critical technology and physical barriers to secure our borders. It is a balanced approach that enhances our capabilities and preparedness.”
Along with appropriating $1.6 billion for the proposed wall along the southern border, the committee’s bill calls for $100 million for 500 new border patrol agents and $131 million for border patrol technology. In total, HAC would appropriate $13.8 billion in FY ‘18 for Customs and Border Protection.
For Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the committee is recommending $7 billion, which is an increase of $619.7 million from the enacted FY ‘17 amount. The Coast Guard would also see a $31.7 million increase from the FY ’17 level, with appropriations of $10.5 billion in FY ‘18.
The committee recommends $1.3 billion for Coast Guard acquisition, $95 million more than requested, and includes funding for the first Offshore Patrol Cutter, four Fast Response Cutters, and the polar icebreaker program.
The Transportation Security Administration would receive $7.2 billion, $159.8 million less than in FY ’17, including $3.2 billion for Transportation Security Officers, privatized screening operations, and passenger and baggage screening equipment. The $3.2 billion is level with the request.