The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security on Sept. 24 approved a proposed fiscal year 2020 operations budget of $18.1 billion for Customs and Border Protection.
The proposed CBP budget, which is part of a $70.7 billion bill to support the Department of Homeland Security’s multiagency operations, would boost CBP’s budget for fiscal year 2020 by $3.2 billion over the previous fiscal year.
The Senate subcommittee said the funding would support the hiring of 119 new CBP officers and 200 new Border Patrol agents. The funding amount also would continue to support CBP’s efforts to increase interdictions of opioids through ports of entry, upgrade its nonintrusive inspection equipment, procure additional surveillance systems and improve its aircraft fleet, the subcommittee added.
The proposed DHS appropriations bill additionally calls for $8.4 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), $4.9 billion after crediting fees for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and $11.6 billion for the Coast Guard.
“This carefully and thoughtfully crafted bill provides the Department of Homeland Security and its nearly 250,000 employees with the resources to carry out a broad set of missions that span the entire globe and impact every American,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, in a statement.
The Senate subcommittee’s Democratic members generally support increasing CBP’s staffing and deployment of interdiction technology at the ports of entry, but warned they would oppose the budget bill proposal’s inclusion of $5 billion for President Trump’s southern border wall during the full committee markup on Sept. 26.
Ranking member Jon Tester, D-Mont., during the Subcommittee on Homeland Security’s review of the appropriations bill, called the proposed $5 billion for the border wall “ineffective” and “a gross waste of taxpayer dollars.”