Senate Democrats

S. 1644, the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

Summary

S.1644, the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill, would appropriate $37.6 billion in budget authority for homeland security programs for Fiscal Year 2008.  This amount represents an increase of $2.2 billion over the President’s budget request and $2.8 billion more than the amount appropriated for Fiscal Year 2007, excluding emergency supplemental appropriations.  The President asserted that his budget included an eight percent increase over Fiscal Year 2007 however it actually would provide an increase of only 1.7 percent over Fiscal Year 2007.  Appropriations recommended by the committee for S.1644 would provide an actual increase of 8 percent over last year’s funding level.

                                                                       

Major Provisions

Title I: Departmental Management and Operations

Title I funds administrative expenses of the Department of Homeland Security, including the Office of the Secretary, Executive Management offices, the Department-wide Technology Investments Account, and the Office of the Inspector General. 

The bill would provide $1.1038 billion for departmental management and operations, an increase of $84.6 million over the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $325.2 million more than the House-approved legislation.  The proposed funding includes $31.1 million for the Office of Policy, $5.1 million for the Privacy Officer, $13.7 million for the Office of Civil Rights and Liberties, $6.1 million for the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, $88 million to begin consolidation of a new headquarters for the Department at the St. Elizabeths campus in Washington, D.C., and $95.2 million for the Inspector General’s office.

Title I Funding: Departmental Management and Operations

 

$ millions

Fiscal Year 2008 ($ millions)

Program

FY 2007 Enacted

Admin. Request

H.R.2638 (House)

S.1644 (Senate)

Title I (subtotal)

1,019

1,097

 1,025

1,104

Source: Senate Appropriations Committee Report 110-84 and House Appropriations Committee Report 110-81

Title II: Security, Enforcement, and Investigations

The bill would allocate $26.914 billion for security, enforcement, and investigations.  This amount represents an increase of $1.783 billion over Fiscal Year 2007 levels, and an increase of $498.6 billion above President Bush’s request. 

United States Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator Technology (US VISIT).  The bill would provide $399.5 million to continue the development of the US VISIT system, which is designed to collect, maintain, and share appropriate information through an integrated technology system to determine the eligibility of aliens for admissions and benefits.  The US VISIT program office holds the lead responsibility for working with the FBI to continue to develop interoperability between the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) and the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System.  The total amount is $62.9 above Fiscal Year 2006 funding and $37 million more than the amount approved by the House. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  CBP is responsible for security efforts at and between ports-of-entry along U.S. borders, including inspection of people and goods and maintenance of border crossing stations.  A total of $10.2 billion (including estimated fee collections of $1.38 billion) is provided for CBP.  This amount is $924.8 million more than the amount enacted in Fiscal Year 2007 and $58.2 million more than the amount requested in President Bush’s budget. 

The bill would fully fund the President’s request for resources for improving border security and immigration enforcement, which includes the hiring of 3,000 new Border Patrol agents (for a total of 17,819 by the end of Fiscal Year 2008) and $1 billion for border fencing, infrastructure, and technology.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  ICE is responsible for enforcement of immigration and customs laws within the United States; for detaining and removing deportable or inadmissible illegal immigrants; and for providing security for federal buildings and property.  The bill would provide $4.432 billion (excluding estimated fee collections of $846.5 million) for ICE.  This amount is $474.6 million more than was enacted in Fiscal Year 2007 and $264.9 million more than President Bush’s budget request.  The bill would provide the following:

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