DHS 10-year Anniversary
As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hits the 10-year mark, the House and Senate are reviewing the progress and remaining challenges facing the Department since its inception. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee members from both sides of the aisle have acknowledged that Congress needs to reduce the number of committees who have oversight of DHS to provide better guidance for the agency and confirm more nominees for senior positions. Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-OK) advocated setting clearer benchmarks for the agency, and noted that he and Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) will advance DHS authorizing legislation, which has not been a priority in prior years.
Immigration and Border Security
In the House draft of the short-term Continuing Resolution (H.J. Res. 59), most government spending levels would be extended in uniformity with current law. However, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) has underscored that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be given funding flexibility to maintain staffing and operations. The draft resolution text specifies that CBP would be able to maintain border security provisions such as integrating surveillance blimps in the Southwest, and ICE would be able to maintain its enforcement activities, deportations, and detention program. These provisions could head off another protracted dispute between Congress and ICE over funding for detention beds.
This Week’s Hearings:
- Monday, September 16: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a full committee business meeting on Senate Homeland Security Committee expenditures.
- Wednesday, September 18: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a full committee confirmation hearing for the following DHS nominees: (1) Stevan E. Bunnell to be General Counsel of DHS; and (2) Suzanne E. Spaulding to be Under Secretary of Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs.
- Thursday, September 19: The House Financial Services Committee will hold a full committee hearing on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA).
- Thursday, September 19: The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications will hold a hearing on “The State of Preparedness.”
- Thursday, September 19: The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency will hold a hearing titled “DHS Acquisition Practices.”