Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 114-4 (03/04/2015)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on February 27, 2015. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Highlights:

The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015 provides FY2015 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Secret Service, and other DHS programs.

The Act increases total funding for the bill compared to the FY2014 funding level.

Compared to FY2014 levels, the Act increases funding for CBP, ICE, and the U.S. Secret Service.

The Act decreases funding below FY2014 levels for the TSA and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Act does not include House-passed amendments that prohibit funding from being used for several immigration policies that the Administration is implementing by executive action.

Full Summary:

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015

Provides FY2015 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

TITLE I--DEPARTMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS

Provides appropriations for: (1) the Office of the Secretary and Executive Management, (2) the Office of the Under Secretary for Management, (3) the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, (4) the Office of the Chief Information Officer, (5) Analysis and Operations, and (6) the Office of Inspector General.

Requires DHS to submit to Congress a comprehensive plan for implementation of the biometric entry and exit data system required by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

Requires DHS to submit a Comprehensive Acquisition Status Report and the Future Years Homeland Security Program with the President's FY2016 budget.

TITLE II--SECURITY, ENFORCEMENT, AND INVESTIGATIONS

Provides appropriations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for: (1) Salaries and Expenses; (2) Automation Modernization; (3) Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology; (4) Air and Marine Operations; and (5) Construction and Facilities Management.

Requires DHS to report to Congress on any changes to the five-year strategic plan for the air and marine program required by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012.

Provides appropriations to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for: (1) Salaries and Expenses, and (2) Automation Modernization.

Provides appropriations to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for: (1) Aviation Security, (2) Surface Transportation Security, (3) Intelligence and Vetting, and (4) Transportation Security Support.

Requires TSA to submit reports to Congress:

  • detailing efforts to develop more advanced passenger screening technologies and deploy the existing passenger and baggage screener workforce in the most cost effective manner,
  • updating information on a strategy to increase the number of air passengers eligible for expedited screening,
  • providing evidence demonstrating that behavioral indicators can be used to identify passengers who pose a threat to aviation security,
  • and addressing specified Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommendations regarding technology procurement practices.

Provides appropriations to the Coast Guard for: (1) Operating Expenses; (2) Environmental Compliance and Restoration; (3) Reserve Training; (4) Acquisition, Construction, and Improvements; (5) Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation; and (6) Retired Pay.

Requires the Coast Guard to submit a future-years capital investment plan to Congress.

Provides appropriations to the U.S. Secret Service for: (1) Salaries and Expenses; and (2) Acquisition, Construction, Improvements, and Related Expenses.

Requires the U.S. Secret Service to submit a report to Congress providing evidence that the Secret Service has reviewed its professional standards of conduct and issued new guidance and procedures for the conduct of employees engaged in overseas missions.

TITLE III--PROTECTION, PREPAREDNESS, RESPONSE, AND RECOVERY

Provides appropriations for the National Protection and Programs Directorate for: (1) Management and Administration, (2) Infrastructure Protection and Information Security, (3) the Federal Protective Service, and (4) the Office of Biometric Identity Management.

Provides appropriations for the Office of Health Affairs, including BioWatch operations, biosurveillance, chemical defense, medical and health planning and coordination, and workforce health protection.

Provides appropriations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for: (1) Salaries and Expenses, (2) State and Local Programs, (3) Firefighter Assistance Grants, (4) Emergency Management Performance Grants, (5) the Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program, (6) the U.S. Fire Administration, (7) the Disaster Relief Fund, (8) the Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program, (9) the National Flood Insurance Fund, (10) the National Predisaster Mitigation Fund, and (11) Emergency Food and Shelter.

Requires FEMA to submit specified reports to Congress on the Disaster Relief Fund, including the balances of appropriations, obligations for catastrophic and non-catastrophic events, and obligations and activities related to disaster relief and emergencies.

TITLE IV--RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TRAINING, AND SERVICES

Provides appropriations for: (1) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), (2) the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, (3) Science and Technology, and (4) the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office.

TITLE V--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sets forth permissible, restricted, and prohibited uses for funds provided by this and other appropriations Acts.

(Sec. 501) Prohibits appropriations provided by this Act from remaining available for obligation beyond the current fiscal year unless expressly provided.

(Sec. 502) Permits unexpended balances of prior appropriations to be transferred and merged to new accounts and used for the same purpose, subject to reprogramming guidelines.

(Sec. 503) Sets forth restrictions, guidelines, and requirements for the reprogramming and transfer of funds provided by this Act.

(Sec. 504) Prohibits DHS from using funds to make payments to the Working Capital Fund (WCF), except for activities and amounts allowed in the President's FY2015 budget. Permits funds provided to the WCF to remain available until expended and sets forth restrictions and requirements for the WCF.

(Sec. 505) Permits up to 50% of unobligated balances remaining at the end of FY2015 from appropriations for salaries and expenses to remain available through FY2016, if a request is submitted to Congress in accordance with reprogramming guidelines.

(Sec. 506) Deems funds provided by this Act for intelligence activities to be specifically authorized during FY2015 until the enactment of an Act authorizing intelligence activities for FY2015.

(Sec. 507) Requires DHS to notify Congress prior to awarding or announcing the intent to award specified grant allocations, grants, contracts, task or delivery orders, or other transaction agreements. Permits a waiver if compliance would pose a substantial risk to human life, health, or safety and DHS notifies Congress after the award is made.

(Sec. 508) Restricts the use of funds for additional law enforcement training facilities without the advance approval of Congress. Permits the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to obtain the temporary use of additional facilities for training which cannot be accommodated in existing facilities.

(Sec. 509) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this Act for a construction, repair, alteration, or acquisition project for which a prospectus has not been approved.

(Sec. 510) Applies provisions of the Department Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008 related to a contracting officer's technical representative training, disclosure of sensitive security information, and minimum federal fleet requirements to funds provided by this Act. Excludes funds provided by this Act from a requirement that DHS report to Congress on documents designated as sensitive security information.

(Sec. 511) Prohibits funds provided by this Act from being used in contravention of the Buy American Act.

(Sec. 512) Prohibits funds provided by this Act from being used to amend the oath of allegiance required by the Immigration and Nationality Act.

(Sec. 513) Requires the DHS Chief Financial Officer to submit monthly budget execution and staffing reports to Congress.

(Sec. 514) Requires funds provided to TSA for Aviation Security, Administration, and Transportation Security Support for FY2004 and FY2005 that are recovered or deobligated to be used only for the procurement or installation of explosive detection, air cargo, baggage, and checkpoint screening systems.

(Sec. 515) Prohibits funds from being used for a competition for services provided by employees of the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) for Immigration Information Officers, Contact Representatives, Investigative Assistants, or Immigration Services Officers.

(Sec. 516) Requires funds appropriated for FY2002-FY2006 for the 110-123 foot patrol boat conversion that are recovered, collected, or otherwise received as the result of negotiation, mediation, or litigation to be available until expended for the Fast Response Cutter program.

(Sec. 517) Classifies the functions of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center instructor staff as inherently governmental (rather than commercial, which would require source competition) for the purposes of the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998.

(Sec. 518) Requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit a report to the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) listing all grants and contracts awarded in FY2015 without a full and open competition. Requires the OIG to review the report for compliance with laws and regulations and submit the results to Congress.

(Sec. 519) Prohibits funds from being used for the Principal Federal Official during any Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) declared disaster or emergency unless specified exceptions apply.

(Sec. 520) Prohibits DHS from using funds provided by this Act for a reorganization.

(Sec. 521) Permits funds provided by this Act to be used to alter operations within the Coast Guard's Civil Engineering Program. Prohibits the use of the funds to reduce operations within any Civil Engineering Unit unless authorized by statute.

(Sec. 522) Prohibits USCIS from using funds provided by this Act to grant an immigration benefit to an individual unless required background checks have been completed, received by DHS, and do not preclude the granting of the benefit.

(Sec. 523) Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to extend certain DHS transactional authorities for research and development projects through FY2015.

(Sec. 524) Requires DHS contracts that provide award fees to link the fees to successful acquisition outcomes specified in terms of cost, schedule, and performance.

(Sec. 525) Prohibits funds from being used to waive navigation and vessel inspection laws for the transportation of crude oil distributed from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until DHS takes adequate measures to ensure the use of U.S. flag vessels.

(Sec. 526) Prohibits CBP from using funds provided by this Act to prevent individuals from importing personal use quantities of certain prescription drugs from Canada.

(Sec. 527) Prohibits funds provided by this Act from being used to reduce the U.S. Coast Guard's Operating Systems Center mission or its government or contract staff levels.

(Sec. 528) Requires DHS to notify Congress of proposed transfers from the Department of the Treasury Forfeiture Fund to any DHS agency, and prohibits obligation of the funds until Congress approves the transfer.

(Sec. 529) Prohibits funds provided by this Act from being used for planning, testing, piloting, or developing a national identification card.

(Sec. 530) Prohibits funds provided by this Act from being used to conduct or implement the results of a competition with respect to the Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center, pursuant to Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76.

(Sec. 531) Requires FEMA to post on its website a report summarizing damage assessment information used to determine whether to declare a major disaster. Requires the report to be posted within 30 days after the President determines whether to declare a major disaster and any appeal is completed.

(Sec. 532) Prohibits officials from delegating this Act's requirements to report or certify to Congress unless specifically authorized by this Act.

(Sec. 533) Prohibits funds from being used to transfer or release to or within the United States, its territories, or its possessions individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

(Sec. 534) Prohibits funds provided by this Act from being used for first-class travel.

(Sec. 535) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this Act to employ workers who are unauthorized aliens under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

(Sec. 536) Requires companies that collect or retain personal information from participants in TSA's Registered Traveler program to safeguard and dispose of the information in accordance with specified standards and requirements.

(Sec. 537) Prohibits funds provided by this Act from being used to pay award or incentive fees for contractor performance that is below satisfactory or fails to meet the basic requirements of a contract.

(Sec. 538) Requires DHS to ensure that new processes for screening aviation passengers and crews consider privacy and civil liberties consistent with laws, regulations, and guidance.

(Sec. 539) Permits USCIS to allocate specified funds from the Immigration Examinations Fee Account in FY2015 for an immigration integration grants program to provide services to individuals that have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.

(Sec. 540) Provides appropriations to the Office of the Under Secretary for Management to remain available until expended for consolidation of the new DHS headquarters and related mission support activities. Requires DHS to submit an expenditure plan to Congress.

(Sec. 541) Prohibits DHS from entering into contracts that do not meet requirements of specified contracting laws and regulations.

(Sec. 542) Provides appropriations to remain available through FY2016 for financial systems modernization. Permits the funds to be transferred between appropriations accounts if Congress is notified in advance.

(Sec. 543) Permits DHS to transfer specified funds to respond to an immigration emergency if Congress is notified in advance.

(Sec. 544) Permits DHS to sell ICE-owned detention facilities and use the proceeds for improvements to existing facilities, provided that Congress is notified in advance and the sale does not result in the maintenance of fewer than 34,000 detention beds.

(Sec. 545) Requires CBP and ICE to submit multiyear investment and management plans for FY2015-FY2018 to Congress.

(Sec. 546) Requires DHS to ensure enforcement of all immigration laws.

(Sec. 547) Requires specified appropriations for the Federal Network Security program to be used to deploy technology to improve the information security of certain federal agency information systems, subject to specified requirements.

(Sec. 548) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this Act for a computer network unless pornography is blocked, with the exception of law enforcement, prosecution, or adjudication activities.

(Sec. 549) Prohibits a federal law enforcement officer from using funds provided by this Act to transfer a firearm to an agent of a drug cartel unless U.S. law enforcement personnel continuously monitor or control the firearm.

(Sec. 550) Prohibits funds from being used for the National Preparedness Grant Program or successor programs unless explicitly authorized by Congress.

(Sec. 551) Prohibits funds provided by this Act from being used to fund the position of Public Advocate within ICE.

(Sec. 552) Amends provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 related to reimbursable public-private partnerships at ports of entry to: (1) include as a reimbursable expense the salaries, training, and benefits of CBP employees to support CBP officers in performing law enforcement functions at ports of entry, and (2) revise the donation authority for CBP port of entry operations.

(Sec. 553) Sets forth restrictions and reporting requirements for the use of funds provided by this Act to attend international conferences.

(Sec. 554) Prohibits funds provided by this Act from being used to reimburse any federal department or agency for participation in a National Special Security Event.

(Sec. 555) Prohibits funds provided by this Act from being used for new CBP air preclearance agreements entering into force after February 1, 2014, unless: (1) DHS certifies to Congress that air preclearance operations at the airport provide a homeland or national security benefit, (2) U.S. passenger air carriers are not precluded from operating at existing preclearance locations, and (3) a U.S. passenger air carrier is operating at all airports contemplated for establishment of new air preclearance operations. Exempts countries with preclearance facilities in service prior to 2013.

(Sec. 556) Prohibit TSA from using funds to require airport operators to provide airport-financed staffing to monitor exit points from the sterile area of any airport at which TSA provided monitoring as of December 1, 2013.

(Sec. 557) Permits DHS to waive hiring and funding requirements for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants.

(Sec. 558) Prohibits DHS from collecting new border crossing fees or conducting a study related to the imposition of a border crossing fee.

(Sec. 559) Provides for the temporary employment of administrative law judges for arbitration of disputes related to the delivery of assistance under the FEMA Public Assistance Program.

(Sec. 560) Provides that fees collected from passengers from Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island, pursuant to the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, shall be available until expended.

(Sec. 561) Prohibits the use of funds to prepare proposals for the President's budget that assume savings from certain user fee proposals without identifying additional spending reductions that should occur if the proposals are not enacted.

(Sec. 562) Requires DHS to report to Congress on its purchase and usage of weapons.

(Sec. 563) Prohibits funds provided by this Act from being used for the environmental remediation of the Coast Guard's LORAN (Long Range Aids to Navigation) support in Wildwood/ Lower Township, New Jersey.

(Sec. 564) Prohibits funds from being used for structural pay reform that affects more than 100 full-time equivalent employee positions or costs more than $5 million in a single year without notifying Congress in advance.

(Sec. 565) Requires agencies receiving funds in this Act to post reports required to be submitted to Congress on the public website of the agency if it serves the national interest. Provides exceptions for national security or proprietary information.

(Sec. 566) Repeals a provision of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 that established a port of entry technology demonstration program.

(Sec. 567) Permits FEMA to transfer specified unobligated balances to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Disaster Relief Fund account.

(Sec. 568) Deems Gerardo Ismael Hernandez, a TSA officer who died as the direct result of an injury sustained in the line of duty, to have been a public safety officer for the purposes of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (thereby making his family eligible to receive federal public safety officer death benefits).

(Sec. 569) Requires the Office of Management and Budget and DHS to include in the congressional budget justifications submitted with the President's budget estimates of the number of unaccompanied alien children anticipated to be apprehended and the number of agent or office hours needed as a result.

(Sec. 570) Permits the President to provide hazard mitigation assistance for the current fiscal year in accordance with specified provisions of the Stafford Act in areas where fire management assistance has been provided.

(Sec. 571) Permits DHS to reprogram and transfer funds into the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Salaries and Expenses and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Salaries and Expenses accounts for the care and transportation of unaccompanied alien children.

(Sec. 572) Permits certain grants awarded to states along the Southwest Border under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to be used to provide humanitarian relief to unaccompanied alien children and alien adults accompanied by an alien minor where they are encountered after entering the United States.

(Sec. 573) Rescinds specified amounts from several DHS accounts and programs.

(Sec. 574) Rescinds specified unobligated balances from the Department of the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.

(Sec. 575) Rescinds specified funds that were transferred to the DHS when it was created in 2003.

(Sec. 576) Rescinds specified unobligated balances that were appropriated to DHS by the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014.

(Sec. 577) Rescinds specified unobligated balances from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Disaster Relief Fund, excluding any amounts that were designated by Congress as an emergency requirement or for disaster relief pursuant to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

(Sec. 578) Provides that the explanatory statement regarding this Act printed in the Congressional Record shall have the same effect as a joint explanatory statement of a committee of conference.