House Appropriations Committee approves FY 2015 DHS appropriations bill

The House Appropriations Committee announced on Wednesday that it approved the fiscal year 2014 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill, which will provide $39.2 billion in discretionary funding for the department.

The bill, which was approved on a bipartisan voice vote, provides $50 million less in discretionary funding than the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, but the amount represents an increase in $887.8 million above the president's request for DHS programs. It will also provide $7 billion for FEMA to help states and communities respond to and recover from unexpected disasters.

"First and foremost, this bill prioritizes funding for frontline security operations and enforcement - to keep our nation secure, to protect against those who seek to do us harm, and to punish those who violate the laws of our land," Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said. "While tackling these serious issues, this bill actually tallies lower than last year's bill - proof of the subcommittee's commitment to weeding out excess, eliminating waste, and making responsible decisions to reduce spending."

The DHS appropriations bill provides funding to strengthen homeland security efforts, including enforcing laws, securing borders, responding to natural disasters, improving counternarcotic efforts, protecting against cyber threats and fighting terrorism.

Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, said the bill rejects President Obama's efforts to undermine current laws as they are written.

"This bill rejects the president's attempt to undermine our laws and uses our funds in a fiscally responsible manner by pushing for reforms within DHS, like reducing ineffectual offices and programs, and requires the president to enforce current laws as they are written not as he would like them to be," Carter said. "Our nation needs security, fiscal restraint, and enforcement which is what this bill offers."