Text: H.R.6015 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/28/2006)


109th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6015

To enhance border security through the use of temporary support personnel, expansion of Border Patrol agent training, increased hiring authority, support for local law enforcement agencies, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 28, 2006

Mr. Rogers of Alabama (for himself, Mr. Blunt, Mr. Cantor, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Tancredo, Mr. McCaul of Texas, Mr. McCotter, Mr. Jones of North Carolina, Mr. Everett, Mr. Bachus, Mr. Aderholt, Mr. Bonner, and Mrs. Musgrave) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security


A BILL

To enhance border security through the use of temporary support personnel, expansion of Border Patrol agent training, increased hiring authority, support for local law enforcement agencies, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Secure the Border Now Act of 2006”.

SEC. 2. Strengthening border patrol recruitment and retention.

In order to address the recruitment and retention challenges faced by United States Customs and Border Protection, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish a plan, consistent with existing Federal statutes applicable to pay, recruitment, relocation, and retention of Federal law enforcement officers. Such plan shall include the following components:

(1) The establishment of a recruitment incentive for Border patrol agents.

(2) The establishment of a retention plan, including the payment of bonuses to Border Patrol agents for every year of service after the first two years of service.

(3) An increase in the pay percentage differentials to Border Patrol agents in certain high-cost areas in the San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, and Tucson sectors consistent with entry-level pay to other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies.

(4) The establishment of a mechanism whereby Border Patrol agents can transfer from one location to another after the first two years of service in their initial duty location.

SEC. 3. Cost-effective enhancements to border security.

(a) In general.—The Secretary of Homeland Security shall take such steps as may be necessary to control the costs of hiring, training, and deploying new Border Patrol agents, including—

(1) permitting individuals who are in training to become Border Patrol agents to waive certain course requirements of such training if such individuals have earlier satisfied such requirements in a similar or comparable manner as determined by the Secretary; and

(2) conducting a competitive sourcing study to compare the costs of training new Border Patrol agents at a non-profit or private training facility, including the use of private training facilities to conduct portions of such training.

(b) Limitation on per-agent cost of training.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that the fiscal year 2007 per-agent cost of hiring, training, and deploying each new Border Patrol agent does not exceed $150,000.

(2) EXCEPTION AND CERTIFICATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—If the Secretary determines that the per-agent cost referred to in paragraph (1) exceeds $150,000, the Secretary shall promptly submit to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate a certification explaining why such per-agent cost exceeds such amount.

(B) TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF TRAINING.—Until the Secretary receives from the committees specified in subparagraph (A) an approval with respect to such increased per-agent cost, the Secretary shall suspend any new hiring, training, and deploying of Border Patrol agents.

SEC. 4. Continuation of authority to appoint and maintain a cadre of Federal annuitants to support training for border security purposes.

Section 1202(a) of the 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response To Terrorist Attacks on the United States (Public Law 107–206; 42 U.S.C. 3771 note) is amended in the first sentence—

(1) by striking “enactment of this Act” and inserting “enactment of the Secure the Border Now Act of 2006”; and

(2) by striking “250” and inserting “350”.

SEC. 5. Border patrol training expansion.

(a) In general.—The Secretary of Homeland Security shall enter into agreements with law enforcement training academies operated by State and local governments, universities, nonprofit organizations, and private companies to replicate, in whole or in part, the initial training provided to new Border Patrol agents.

(b) Utilization.—The Secretary shall utilize the authority described in subsection (a) for fiscal years 2007 through 2011 or until such time as the Secretary certifies to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate that such authority is no longer necessary or cost-effective in order to train sufficient numbers of Border Patrol agents each year to secure the international land and maritime borders of the United States.

(c) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2011 such sums as may be necessary to fund such training.

SEC. 6. Authority for Customs and Border Protection to appoint and maintain a cadre of Federal annuitants for border security purposes.

(a) In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commissioner of United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may, for a period ending not later than five years after the date of the enactment of this Act, appoint and employ up to 500 Federal annuitants to any position in CBP that supports the President’s initiative to aggressively accelerate the ability of CBP to secure the international land and maritime borders of the United States—

(1) without regard to any provision of title 5, United States Code, which might otherwise require the application of competitive hiring procedures; and

(2) who shall not be subject to any reduction in pay (for annuity allocable to the period of actual employment) under the provisions of section 8344 or 8468 of such title or similar provision of any other retirement system for employees.

(b) Rule of construction.—A reemployed Federal annuitant as to whom a waiver of reduction under subsection (a)(2) applies shall not, for any period during which such waiver is in effect, be considered an employee for purposes of subchapter III of chapter 83 or chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code, or such other retirement system (referred to in such subsection) as may apply.

(c) No displacement.—No appointment under this section may be made if such appointment would result in the displacement of any employee.

(d) Counting.—The counting of Federal annuitants shall be done on a full-time equivalent basis.

(e) Definitions.—For purposes of this section:

(1) FEDERAL ANNUITANT.—The term “Federal annuitant” means an employee who has retired under the Civil Service Retirement System, the Federal Employees’ Retirement System, or any other retirement system for Federal employees.

(2) EMPLOYEE.—The term “employee” has the meaning given such term in section 2105 of title 5, United States Code.

SEC. 7. Use of temporary support personnel.

(a) In general.—The Secretary of Homeland Security shall enter into contracts with private entities for the purpose of providing necessary administrative and other support to Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection Officers deployed at United States ports of entry or along the international land and maritime borders of the United States.

(b) Requirements.—The Secretary shall—

(1) not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, publish a request for proposal to hire administrative support staff to monitor cameras, analyze intelligence, process paperwork, construct roads and vehicle barriers, and perform such other duties as determined by the Secretary; and

(2) terminate the use of the private entities referred to in subsection (a) when the Secretary submits to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate that a sufficient number of permanent Federal support staff have been hired and trained so that Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection Officers do not perform duties for which they were not specifically trained.

SEC. 8. Use of temporary security personnel for border security functions.

(a) In general.—The Secretary of Homeland Security shall enter into contracts with private entities for the purpose of providing enhanced capacity to United States Customs and Border Protection to secure the international land and maritime borders of the United States.

(b) Requirements.—The Secretary shall—

(1) not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, direct the Federal Protective Service of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hire level II security personnel drawn from the General Services Administration General Schedule, or publish a request for proposal to hire similar, highly trained, private security personnel, in accordance with the Secretary’s authority described in subsection (a);

(2) ensure that such security personnel shall number not fewer than 5,000 and not more than 8,000 individuals;

(3) in accordance with subsection (d), ensure that the Chief Security Officer of United States Customs and Border Protection specifies the requirements that such security personnel must meet or exceed; and

(4) terminate the use of such security personnel at the time that the number of full-time active-duty Border Patrol agents reaches authorized levels of personnel as provided in such section.

(c) Reduction.—The number of personnel hired under this section shall be reduced at a rate commensurate with the number of new Border Patrol agents hired in accordance with section 5202 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (Public Law 108–458).

(d) Requirements relating to security personnel.—The requirements referred to in subsection (b)(3) for security personnel shall include a background investigation consisting of criminal and financial history checks, a review of the individual’s citizenship status, a drug test, and health and psychological screening. Security personnel described in this section shall also possess prior law enforcement, military, or other similar experience.

(e) Rule of construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed as providing the Secretary with the authority to hire private citizens for the purpose stated in this section.

SEC. 9. Permitted use of Homeland Security grant funds for border security activities.

(a) Reimbursement.—The Secretary of Homeland Security may allow the recipient of amounts under a covered grant to use those amounts to reimburse itself for costs it incurs in carrying out any terrorism prevention or deterrence activity that—

(1) relates to the enforcement of Federal laws aimed at preventing the unlawful entry of persons or things into the United States, including activities such as detecting or responding to such an unlawful entry or providing support to another entity relating to preventing such an unlawful entry;

(2) is usually a Federal duty carried out by a Federal agency; and

(3) is carried out under agreement with a Federal agency.

(b) Use of Prior Year Funds.—Subsection (a) shall apply to all covered grant funds received by a State, local government, or Indian tribe at any time on or after October 1, 2001.

(c) Covered Grants.—For purposes of subsection (a), the term “covered grant” means grants provided by the Department of Homeland Security to States, local governments, or Indian tribes administered under the following programs:

(1) STATE HOMELAND SECURITY GRANT PROGRAM.—The State Homeland Security Grant Program of the Department, or any successor to such grant program.

(2) URBAN AREA SECURITY INITIATIVE.—The Urban Area Security Initiative of the Department, or any successor to such grant program.

(3) LAW ENFORCEMENT TERRORISM PREVENTION PROGRAM.—The Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program of the Department, or any successor to such grant program.