Monday, September 25, 2006
Re: Conferees Reach Agreement on $34.8 billion FY 2007 DHS Spending Bill
$388 Million Provided for EDS Installation
House and Senate negotiators met this evening and approved a final agreement on H.R. 5441, the FY 2007 spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. Among other things, the measure approved tonight by House and Senate conferees provides $388 million for EDS installation, which is $44 million above the level requested by the President and some $93 million more than was provided last year for that purpose. The $388 million figure is roughly the middle point between the $344 million that was approved by the House and the $421.5 million that was approved by the Senate for EDS installation.
The final agreement also maintains the 45,000 cap on TSA screeners. This issue was a source of debate among negotiators given the fact that the House bill included the cap and the Senate bill did not (during Senate floor debate Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) successfully inserted an amendment that sought to eliminate the cap). The measure approved tonight includes $2.618 billion for passenger and baggage screeners, an amount that is estimated to support 43,000 screeners.
The final agreement also includes:
Additionally, the final agreement rejects the Administration-backed proposal to increase the $2.50 passenger security fee. A more detailed summary of the entire bill can be viewed at:
At this point, the staff is working frantically to finalize details on the agreement with the hope of filing the conference report as soon as possible. Once the conference report is filed, both the House and Senate can debate and pass the final legislation and conference report. With the fiscal year beginning on October 1 and with Congress expected to adjourn at the end of the week until after the November elections, it is likely that both the House and Senate will approve the legislation by week’s end.
FY 2007 DOT Spending Bill -- Update
Although Congress is poised to approve the DHS funding bill, lawmakers have yet to complete final action on the majority of annual appropriations bills – including the DOT spending measure. With the new fiscal year around the corner and with Congress intending to leave at the end of this week until after the November elections, Congress will once again be forced to consider a “Continuing Resolution” to keep most of the federal government operating. At this point, it appears that Congress will likely approve a CR later this week that will run until November 17. After the elections, lawmakers will return to address pending appropriations bills with an eye on completing action by that date. Chances are, however, that the process will limp along into December. We will, of course, keep you apprised of all developments on the DOT spending bill and other items of note.