Legislation to authorize Customs and Border Protection passed in the House by voice vote on Monday.

Passage of the measure comes as the House wrangles with an emergency spending package to address the surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the border.

Members of both parties noted the Department of Homeland Security, which houses the CBP, has not been authorized since it was created in 2002.

"The fact that this agency has operated for as long as they have without a clear statutory mandate from Congress and the American people certainly is a problem that needs to be corrected," said Rep. Candice MillerCandice Sue MillerGOP puts Obama on notice over visa carve-outs Wilson endorses Foxx as next House Education chairman ACLU cheers visa waiver fix bill MORE (R-Mich.).

"Issues like the recent surge remind us of why we continually update the authorities of key law enforcement agencies within the Department of Homeland Security," Miller said. 

Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeOvernight Defense: Defense spending bill amendments target hot-button issues | Space Force already facing hurdles | Senators voice 'deep' concerns at using military lawyers on immigration cases Live coverage: Justice IG testifies before House on report criticizing FBI Merkley leads Dem lawmakers to border amid migrant policy outcry MORE (D-Texas) said a formal authorization would empower the agency.

"Authorization equals affirmation," Jackson Lee said. "It is important for us in this Congress to affirm an agency that is handling some of the most precious responsibilities."

The authorization directs the CBP commissioner to establish standards for sharing information, use of force procedures and mission requests. It also would mandate the CBP to provide a report to Congress on its contract management acquisition. 

Additionally, the CBP would be required to make public any data it has collected on deaths of immigrants along the southern border within 180 days of the legislation's enactment. A separate report would be required on all apprehended child migrants crossing the border.