House appropriators release Homeland Security bill

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“Once again, the Committee has proposed a bill that is within the range of what would have been expected if Republicans had stuck to the discretionary number agreed to in the Budget Control Act,” Appropriations ranking member Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) said. “The subcommittee allocations based on the Ryan budget confirm that Republican leadership intends to reserve the worst cuts for domestic discretionary bills that they have postponed until later in the budget process.”
 
Dicks said that, as opposed to last year’s GOP efforts, this bill adequately funds disaster aid grants to states and for firefighters. On the other hand he said that the new Washington headquarters for DHS at the site of the former St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is once again underfunded.

“The reductions in spending are focused and precise, thus ensuring that there is full funding for frontline operations. There are appropriate increases for cybersecurity, preparedness grants, and research programs,” Homeland Security subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) countered in a press release.

When the bill comes to a floor vote in the coming weeks, several policy riders will get attention.

The bill continues a prohibition on funds to transfer or release detainees from Guantánamo Bay and contain language meant to prevent another “Fast and Furious” gun-running program and to head off lavish conferences like the one that brought down the chief of the General Services Administration last month.