House bill rejects Obama cuts to DHS

A House spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security rejects a 3 percent cut for the agency sought by President Obama and shifts funding toward border security the administration had targeted for the deepest cuts.

The new DHS spending bill for 2015, released Tuesday evening, spends $39.2 billion, $887.8 million more than the president sought in his request.

Republicans said they were rejecting Obama's attempt to be more lax on the anti-illegal immigration efforts.

“This bill rejects the President’s attempt to undermine our laws and uses our funds in a fiscally responsible manner by pushing for reforms within DHS, like reducing ineffectual offices and programs, and requires the President to enforce current laws as they are written not as he would like them to be,” subcommittee Chairman John Carter (R-Texas) said in a release.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which rounds up illegal immigrants, gets $5.5 billion, an increase of $466.2 million above the president’s request and $210.9 million more than this year. For detention programs, the bill grants an increase of $146 million.

Overall, Customs and Border Protection, of which it is a part, gets $10.8 billion, an increase of $219.6 million above the fiscal-2014-enacted level and $98.3 million more than Obama wanted. It would allow for 21,370 border agents, the largest in history.

To help pay for the increases, the bill saves $73 million by blocking the long-stalled DHS headquarters in Washington, D.C., and it reduces the cap on the number of employees for the unpopular Transportation Security Agency at airports.

The TSA is cut by $300 million and the cap is reduced to 45,000 screeners.

In other parts of the bill, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief funds gets the $7 billion that Obama requested. 

The DHS bill will be marked up in subcommittee on Wednesday evening.