Legislative Activity

Look Ahead: FY 2017 Appropriations

Lawmakers are currently debating their priorities for FY 2017, including funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and related agencies.  President Obama’s FY 2017 budget request includes a proposed $908.8 million increase in the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) fees by raising airline passenger fees by $1 per one-way trip and reinstating contributions from airlines for the cost of the agency’s security services.  While lawmakers may balk at raising fees in an election year, TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger has voiced concern that his agency’s proposed budget cannot absorb the close to billion dollar reduction.

The agency’s budget concerns come as travelers face longer wait times at airports across the United States.  DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced a series of initiatives this week aimed at decreasing wait times, including increased staffing and canine teams, streamlined use of bins, and a request that Congress approve funding changes to cover pay overtime and expand work hours over peak travel periods.  Senate appropriators have already approved the agency’s request to reallocate FY 2016 funds in support of these efforts; their House counterparts are currently assessing the request.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Monday, May 9: The House Homeland Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security will hold a field hearing titled “Life on the Border: Examining Border Security through the Eyes of Local Residents and Law Enforcement.”
  • Tuesday, May 10: The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled “Oversight and Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act: The Balance between National Security, Privacy and Civil Liberties.”
  • Thursday, May 12: The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence will hold a hearing titled “Following the Money: Examining Current Terrorist Financing Trends and the Threat to the Homeland.”
  • Thursday, May 12: The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a meeting to consider pending legislation.
  • Tuesday, May 17: The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency will hold a hearing titled “Oversight of Federal Efforts to Address Electromagnetic Risks.”