Legislative Activity

Budget and Appropriations

Action on the FY 2014 Homeland Security appropriations bill continues, with the respective funding levels varying by $200 million, closer than other appropriations bills to date. The full House has already passed its appropriations bill, while timing for Senate floor action has not yet been announced.

Immigration and Border Security

The House is not likely to vote before recess on any of the individual immigration bills being marked up in the House Judiciary Committee. The committee most recently held a hearing on a Republican-backed version of the DREAM Act, dubbed the “Kids Act,” which has been discussed by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). This bill would address the status of immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children by their parents. However, challenges remain to address issues like a pathway to legalization that can garner Republican support. House Republicans are expecting immigration to be a heated issue in their districts during the upcoming recess and timing for bills to move forward will be in the fall.


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to proceed with the controversial nomination of B. Todd Jones to serve as the next Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF has not had a permanent director for the past eight years. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination by a party-line vote, however it is expected he will be confirmed by the full Senate.

DHS Deputy Secretary

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-OK) requested a hold on the administration’s nomination for deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas. The DHS Office of Inspector General has confirmed that it is in the preliminary stage of an investigation into whether Mayorkas improperly helped a company secure an international investor visa for a Chinese executive while serving in his current position as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Wednesday, July 31: The House Homeland Security Subcommittees on Oversight and Management Efficiency and Transportation Security will hold a joint hearing titled “TSA Integrity Challenges: Examining Misconduct by Airport Security Personnel.”
  • Wednesday, July 31: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a full committee markup of 15 pending bills and consider the following nominations: John Thompson to be Director of the Census, and Katherine Archuleta to be Director of the Office of Personnel Management.
  • Wednesday, July 31: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Affairs and the District of Colombia will hold a hearing on “D.C. Emergency Preparedness.”