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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: January 16, 2003 (Senate)]
[Page S999-S1064]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr16ja03-14]                         



 
     MAKING FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will now 
resume consideration of H.J. Res. 2, which the clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A joint resolution (H.J. Res. 2) making further continuing 
     appropriations for the fiscal year 2003, and for other 
     purposes.

[ ... ]

[[Page S1000]]

Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, once again Senator Byrd has taken up the fight to fund adequately our homeland security needs. I supported his efforts last year, I voted with him today, and I will continue to back his efforts to sufficiently fund out security needs in the future. Last year the Senate included supplemental funding for homeland security needs but the President refused to spend those funds. The Senate Appropriations Committee wanted to spend an additional $8.3 billion, but the administration only agreed to spend $4.2 billion. The President effectively vetoed $2.5 billion in emergency funding for homeland security last August. We hear reports that our country is no more secure today than we were on September 10, 2001, but the administration refuses to spend the funds required. This administration seems to believe that wisdom can only come from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue. The $5 billion in this package goes for hiring and salaries for FBI and Customs Agents. It purchases more patrol boats for the Coast Guard and improves port security. This money will help transform the Immigration and Naturalization Service and improve security at our embassies around the world. Almost $150 million will go out to our first responders through the COPS program, one of the more effective community policing programs. There are important funds in this package to protect and secure important Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure. We need to protect our dams and water projects from potential attacks or tampering. There is also significant funding to improve our transportation infrastructure. There is $300 million for improving security at airports and hardening cockpit doors. These two issues are critical to improving safety in the air. We know these changes have to happen, and should have happened a long time ago. We can't afford to waste any more time. Two years have passed and we cannot say that our aviation network is safe from a terrorist attack. This money meets real, documented, legitimate demands. These needs have been testified to in hearings, they were exposed in the Hart- Rudman report, and the agencies themselves have asked for these funds but have been denied by the Office of Management and Budget. I understand that some on the other side of this issue are concerned that the money will not be spent correctly, that we are forcing these agencies to grow too quickly. I believe we have a duty to give the agencies an opportunity to do their job. We have a duty to give the agencies all the tools they need to protect the American people. I would rather be accused of trying to do too much, than not enough. Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, there is nothing more important than America's homeland security. I support Senator Byrd's amendment because it provides essential funds for hometown security. It will improve our ability to prevent terrorism, through stronger port security, border security, and transportation security. And it will improve our ability to respond to acts of terrorism by giving first-responders the tools they need.

[ ... ]

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I am pleased today to strongly support the amendment by the Senior Senator from West Virginia to restore funds approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee last year to enhance our homeland security. The Byrd amendment would be giving law enforcement the tools they need to do their job, focusing on both immediate and long-term threats we face at home and abroad. It aims to bolster our security against terrorists, and to improve the administration of justice throughout the country. This Federal support is desperately needed by our States, counties, cities and towns, which are now facing fiscal crisis. Since September 11, 2001, States, counties, cities and towns have become overwhelmed by increasing homeland security costs. The National Governors' Association estimated that States incurred about $7 billion in security costs in the past year alone. The National Association of Counties believes at least $5.2 billion is needed to better equip public health systems to cope with attacks and fight terrorism. The President's ill-conceived tax cut in 2001, along with the new cuts he proposes now, are likely to exacerbate these economic woes. The Byrd amendment would provide the Federal support that our States need by restoring $1 billion in homeland security cuts, restoring $2.5 billion of emergency homeland security funds, and funding the Airport Security Act, all critical needs. The Byrd amendment would also provide needed funding to protect our borders. Through the USA Patriot Act and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act, a Democratic Senate led the fight to dramatically increase authorizations for personnel and technology to guard our northern border. Unfortunately, the appropriations package before us would shortchange that pressing need. Senator Byrd's amendment includes an additional and much-needed $83 million to enforce our immigration laws and safeguard our borders, including funding to provide pay upgrades for Border Patrol agents and Immigration inspectors. We are asking more and more of our border personnel, and we must reward them for their hard work or risk losing them altogether.

[ ... ]

DIVISION --HOMELAND SECURITY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS That, in addition to the funds provided elsewhere in this joint resolution, the following sums are appropriated, out of any money in Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2003, and for other purposes, namely: CHAPTER 1 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE General Administration salaries and expenses For an additional amount for ``Salaries and Expenses'', $363,000,000, to remain available until expended, only for the Entry Exit System, to be managed by the Justice Management Division: Provided, That none of the funds appropriated in this Act, or in Public Law 107-117, for the Immigration and Naturalization Service's Entry Exit System may be obligated until the INS submits a plan for expenditure that: (1) meets the capital planning and investment control review requirements established by the Office of Management and Budget, including OMB Circular A-11; part 3; (2) complies with the acquisition rules, requirements, guidelines, and systems acquisition management practices of the Federal Government; (3) is reviewed by the General Accounting Office; and (4) has been approved by the Committees on Appropriations: Provided further, That funds provided under this heading shall only be available for obligation and expenditure in accordance with the procedures applicable to reprogramming notifications set forth in section 605 of Public Law 107-77. Immigration and Naturalization Service salaries and expenses enforcement and border affairs For an additional amount for ``Salaries and Expenses, Enforcement and Border Affairs'', $77,000,000, to remain available until expended, of which $25,000,000 shall be only for apprehending absconders, of which $25,000,000 shall be only for fleet management, and of which $6,250,000 shall be only for pay upgrades for Border Patrol agents and Immigration Inspectors.

[ ... ]

[ End ]



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