House panel advances final spending bill, funding Homeland Security

House panel advances final spending bill, funding Homeland Security
© Greg Nash

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday advanced a $39.3 billion bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

It marks the twelfth and final markup of fiscal 2016 spending bills at the committee level in the House.

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“It’s the first time in six years that we’ve marked up all 12 bills in full committee,” Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said.

While Rogers said he wants to bring all of the bills to the finish line, GOP leaders have halted floor votes on spending bills due to a contentious debate over the confederate flag.

The funding bill would provide the Department of Homeland Security with $337 million less than current funding levels and $2.1 billion less than Obama’s request.

Republicans included a provision that would prevent Citizenship and Immigration Services from implementing President Obama’s 2014 immigration executive orders while a court injunction remains in place.

The bill also doesn’t provide funding for the executive action. Those orders, however, would be funded through application fees and not through the congressional appropriations process.

Following the recent murder of a young woman in San Francisco by a felon who had been deported five times, the panel adopted an amendment that would ban federal funds to cities in which local law enforcement fail to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

The panel also approved a proposal to increase funding to reduce the backlog of fugitives and execute detainers. Immigration and Customs enforcement would also be directed to implement outreach to so-called “sanctuary cities” and to urge cooperation between local and federal officials.

To “rein in” the Transportation Security Administration, the committee adopted a GOP amendment that would ban funding so that non-law enforcement TSA officials could no longer wear metal badges.

Cybersecurity programs would receive funding in the bill, as well as the Secret Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency

To find savings, the bill would cut funds for a civilian pay raise, reject a new climate change program and deny the consolidation of DHS headquarters.

The bill includes a policy rider to prohibit funds to be used to allow property confiscated by the Cuban government to enter the U.S. and keeps in a provision that prohibits funds from being used to transfer or release detainees from Guantanamo Bay.