Last Wednesday, by a vote of 236 to 191, the House of Representatives passed a bill, which funds the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through fiscal year 2015 and blocks Federal money for the President’s executive amnesty. Two Democrats joined 234 Republicans to vote for the bill. Ten Republicans joined the 181 Democrats to vote against funding DHS.
Before final passage of the bill, the House approved five amendments addressing President Obama’s executive amnesty, including two defunding amendments blocking the President’s November 2014 executive amnesty and barring the expansion of the DACA program. If enacted, H.R. 240 would provide $39.7 billion in discretionary funds for DHS, an increase of $400 million from the level of funding from fiscal year 2014.
Several key agencies and programs would receive more funding under this increase. The bill provides $8.46 billion for salaries and expenses of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, (CBP), an increase of $360 million The bill provides $5.93 billion to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). (Id. at 10) It maintains the current minimum 34,000 detention beds.
• The bill provides $252 million for the Office of Biometric Identity Management, which is responsible for implementing the biometric entry-exit system, an increase of $25 million, and $124 million for the E-Verify program, an increase of about $10 million. The House did not restore language prohibiting DHS from using funds to hire individuals not verified through the program after Congress removed such language last year.
H.R. 240 moves to the Senate for consideration. However at least six Democratic Senators must join the Republican Senators to pass procedural barriers before the bill can make it through the senate. The Democrats are expected to push to fund DHS without constraints on the President’s executive amnesty programs. In all likelihood this bill is not likely to become law. The President is certain to veto it should it make it through the senate ________________________________________