The full House Appropriations Committee met to consider the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills for the subcommittees on Defense and Homeland Security. Committee Republicans were unable to support the bills due to the total spending level and controversial policy provisions that are in the bills.
In an effort to fight for the necessary funds for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security and protect our national security, Republicans offered several amendments during both markups. Unfortunately, all of the amendments offered by Republicans faced opposition from Democrats, and they were defeated.
Republican Amendments to the Defense Appropriations Bill:
- Reinstate longstanding provisions that prevent the closing of Guantanamo Bay and the transfer of dangerous terrorists to U.S. soil;
- Require the Department of Defense to craft a definition of extremism and a plan to protect First Amendment rights; and
- Ensure that eligible excess Department of Defense equipment is transferable to law enforcement partners.
Republican Amendments to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill:
- Ensure that our nation employs individuals permitted to work by making funding for the E-Verify program permanent;
- Strike language that requires U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) post online information related to oversight of surveillance technology;
- Slow illegal border crossings and prevent drug trafficking by prohibiting the recission of previously appropriated funds ($1.2 billion in FY21) for a physical barrier and technology along the southern border;
- Increase funds for Operation Stonegarden, which supports enhanced cooperation and coordination between CBP and state and local partners in efforts to secure the border;
- Prohibit funds for implementation of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) February 2021 interim guidance, that restricts ICE’s removal and enforcement actions to only a very few categories of migrants; and
- Prevent the transfer of border wall funds from the already-underfunded CBP to Department of Interior agencies for border mitigation work.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Ken Calvert (R-CA) said of the Defense bill, “At a time when China’s global ambitions are fueling rapid growth in its military capabilities, and aggression from Russia as well as Iran threatens the interests of America and our allies, we cannot afford to retreat in our military investments. Failing to build the ships and aircraft necessary to project our force around the world sends a signal of weakness and an invitation for chaos. Providing inadequate resources for training and readiness creates a dangerous scenario that jeopardizes the safety of our troops. At a time when President Biden has showered most federal agencies and programs with unprecedented funding, his budget shortchanges our military. While the bill considered today is an improvement from the budget request, much work remains. Far too many dollars are being allocated for progressive goals rather than national security goals. I’m hopeful as the appropriations process moves forward we can continue to improve the bill and ensure our men and women in uniform have the tools, training and resources necessary to secure our nation.”
Subcommittee Ranking Member Chuck Fleishmann (R-TN) said of the Homeland Security bill, “The federal government’s most important job is to protect the American People from foreign and domestic threats. Americans agree that we must fund Homeland Security and ensure the men and women who keep us safe and secure have the resources they need to do their job.
“While there are provisions in the bill that I wholeheartedly support, this bill does nothing to secure our southern border. Instead, it incentivizes more mass illegal migration that will exasperate the shameful and inhumane crisis at the border created by the Biden Administration.
“I hope my Democratic colleagues will come to the table in good faith to negotiate a bill that will fully fund Homeland Security, secure the border, and keep Americans safe.”