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112th Congress  }                                            {   Report
  2d Session    }             SENATE                         {  112-240
_______________________________________________________________________

                                                       Calendar No. 553
 
             SAFEGUARDING AMERICAN AGRICULTURE ACT OF 2012 

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                S. 1673

TO ESTABLISH THE OFFICE OF AGRICULTURE INSPECTION WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT 
     OF HOMELAND SECURITY, WHICH SHALL BE HEADED BY THE ASSISTANT 
    COMMISSIONER FOR AGRICULTURE INSPECTION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES


                 [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


               November 26, 2012.--Ordered to be printed

                               ----------
                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 

29-010 PDF                       WASHINGTON : 2012 

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Washington, DC 20402-0001 



        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

               JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut, Chairman
CARL LEVIN, Michigan                 SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine
DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii              TOM COBURN, Oklahoma
THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware           SCOTT P. BROWN, Massachusetts
MARK L. PRYOR, Arkansas              JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
MARY L. LANDRIEU, Louisiana          RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           ROB PORTMAN, Ohio
JON TESTER, Montana                  RAND PAUL, Kentucky
MARK BEGICH, Alaska                  JERRY MORAN, Kansas

                  Michael L. Alexander, Staff Director
       Beth M. Grossman, Deputy Staff Director and Chief Counsel
               Blas Nunez-Neto, Professional Staff Member
               Carly A. Covieo, Professional Staff Member
    Christine K. West, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Oversight of 
                               Government
    Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia
    Jessica K. Nagasako, Professional Staff Member, Subcommittee on 
                        Oversight of Government
    Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia
               Nicholas A. Rossi, Minority Staff Director
                Mark B. LeDuc, Minority General Counsel
     Ryan M. Kaldahl, Minority Director of Homeland Security Policy
             Christopher J. Burford, Minority CBP Detailee
                  Trina Driessnack Tyrer, Chief Clerk



                                                       Calendar No. 553
112th Congress  }                                            {   Report
  2d Session    }           SENATE                           {  112-240
=======================================================================

             SAFEGUARDING AMERICAN AGRICULTURE ACT OF 2012

                                _______
                                

               November 26, 2012.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Lieberman, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1673]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 1673) to establish 
the Office of Agriculture Inspection within the Department of 
Homeland Security, which shall be headed by the Assistant 
Commissioner for Agriculture Inspection, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment in the nature of a substitute and recommends 
that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................6
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill..........................7
  V. Estimated Cost of Legislation....................................8
 VI. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................9
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill.........................9

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    S. 1673, the Safeguarding American Agriculture Act of 2012, 
seeks to improve the oversight and administration of a 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program charged with 
inspecting all agricultural and biological products entering 
the United States that safeguards America against the 
accidental or deliberate introduction of harmful non-native 
pests and disease from other countries. It does so by 
strengthening the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 
agriculture specialist workforce and its capabilities, and 
authorizing interagency rotations with the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) to improve the program's efficiency and 
effectiveness.

              II. Background and Need for the Legislation

    Over the past several decades, there has been increasing 
integration of the world's economies and significant growth in 
international commerce and travel. While these changes have 
brought enormous benefits to the United States, the increased 
number of travelers and goods coming to the United States have 
also sometimes brought with them unwanted and harmful 
stowaways--in the form of non-native animals and plants as well 
as disease agents and other biological products--that can have 
the potential to wreak havoc on our existing ecosystems or 
spread disease. Failure to detect and intercept non-native 
pests and disease agents that enter the United States can 
impose serious economic and social costs on all Americans.\1\ 
USDA estimates that foreign pests and diseases cost the U.S. 
economy tens of billions of dollars annually in lower crop 
values, eradication programs, emergency payments to farmers, 
and increased costs for food and natural resources.\2\ For 
instance, invasive wood-boring pests, such as the Emerald Ash 
Borer and the Asian Longhorned Beetle, cost homeowners an 
estimated $830 million a year in lost property values and cost 
local governments an estimated $1.7 billion a year as a result 
of damaged trees and woodlands.\3\ Furthermore, the potential 
for a disease or a biological weapon to be smuggled across the 
border by a terrorist represents a serious threat to our 
homeland security. These high costs highlight the importance of 
ensuring that invasive species and other biological threats are 
detected during agricultural import and entry inspection 
operations at ports of entry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border 
Protection and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Report of the APHIS-CBP Joint Task 
Force on Improved Agriculture Inspection, at 1 (June 2007). Available 
at:  http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/downloads/
aphis_cbp_taskforce/FinalReport.pdf.
    \2\Statement of Lisa Shames, Director of Natural Resources and 
Environment, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Agricultural 
Quarantine Inspection Program: Management Problems May Increase 
Vulnerability of U.S. Agriculture to Foreign Pests and Diseases, 
Hearing to Examine the Joint Performance of APHIS, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, and CBP, U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 
Protecting U.S. Agriculture From Foreign Pests and Diseases before the 
Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture, Committee on 
Agriculture, U.S. House of Representatives, GAO-08-96T, at 1 (October 
3, 2007). Available at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0896t.pdf. 
    \3\J.E. Aukema, B. Leung, K. Kovacs, C. Chivers, K.O. Britton, et 
al. Economic Impacts of Non-Native Forest Insects in the Continental 
United States, PLoS One 6(9): e24587, at 1, 5 (September 9, 2011). 
Available at: http://www.plosone.org/article/
info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0024587.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Federal inspection of agriculture products at ports of 
entry has a long history, dating back a century to the Plant 
Quarantine Act of 1912.\4\ Currently, the Agricultural 
Quarantine Inspection (AQI) program is the primary Federal 
program aimed at preventing invasive species from entering the 
U.S., by inspecting arriving international cargo and goods 
transported by passengers. Intercepted pests and disease agents 
are quarantined, identified, and the cargo is either destroyed 
or returned to its country of origin.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\37 Stat. 315, codified at 7 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 151-164a (1912).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prior to 2002, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service (APHIS) had sole responsibility for inspecting 
agricultural goods entering the U.S. The Homeland Security Act 
of 2002, which created the Department of Homeland Security,\5\ 
transferred AQI import and entry agriculture inspection 
responsibilities to DHS, while USDA's APHIS retained 
responsibility for setting agriculture quarantine and 
inspection policies and procedures. In addition to agriculture 
inspection responsibilities, the Homeland Security Act also 
gave responsibility to DHS for customs, immigration, and border 
security functions.\6\ Previously, federal customs, immigration 
and agriculture inspections responsibilities at ports of 
entry--though they might all come into play with respect to an 
individual traveler--were distributed among three different 
departments--Treasury, Justice and Agriculture, respectively. 
The reorganization mandated by the Homeland Security Act was 
intended to enhance coordination and information sharing at our 
ports of entry by consolidating these functions and their 
associated personnel within a single new agency.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Pub. L. No. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (2002).
    \6\Id. Section 421 of the Act transferred agricultural inspection 
functions from USDA to DHS; section 403 transferred Customs functions 
from the U.S. Department of Treasury's U.S. Customs Service to DHS; and 
section 44 transferred the Border Patrol from the U.S. Department of 
Justice's Immigration and Naturalization Service to DHS.
    \7\Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate, Report of the 
Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate Together with 
Additional Views to Accompany S. 2452, To Establish the Department of 
National Homeland Security and the National Office for Combating 
Terrorism, S. Report 107-175, at 9-10 (June 24, 2002). Available at: 
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-107srpt175/pdf/CRPT-107srpt175.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nonetheless, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the consolidation 
efforts brought challenges as well as benefits, as the new 
Department sought to integrate previously separate workforces 
and cultures. In the years immediately following the creation 
of CBP, several reports identified issues with the efficiency 
and effectiveness of agricultural inspection activities that 
had been transferred from USDA. For example, in 2005, the USDA 
Office of Inspector General (OIG) concluded that APHIS could 
not effectively assess whether CBP was implementing adequate 
safeguards to protect U.S. agriculture. The OIG cited several 
challenges, including CBP's submission of inadequate risk 
assessments to APHIS, APHIS personnel being denied adequate 
access to ports, CBP failing to provide APHIS with data on the 
staffing levels and deployment of agricultural inspectors, and 
CBP and APHIS having differing viewpoints on the roles of each 
agency in the agricultural inspection process, among others.\8\ 
The USDA OIG recommended that APHIS establish better ways to 
coordinate with CBP.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG), Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service: Transition and Coordination of Inspection 
Activities between USDA and DHS, Report No. 33601-0005-Ch, at i-v 
(March 2005). Available at: http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/33601-05-
CH.pdf. 
    \9\Id. at i.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The following year, in May 2006, the Government 
Accountability Office (GAO) observed that CBP and USDA faced 
management and coordination problems that increased U.S. 
vulnerability to foreign pests and diseases. GAO found that CBP 
had not developed a risk-based staffing model to determine 
necessary staffing levels and that it had not developed 
sufficient performance measures for agricultural inspections or 
used the inspection and interception data CBP did have to 
evaluate the performance of the AQI program. GAO also concluded 
that CBP and APHIS continued to experience information sharing 
problems, including APHIS not being notified by CBP of changes 
to inspections policies and urgent inspection alerts.\10\ GAO 
made seven recommendations, including that the Secretaries of 
Homeland Security and Agriculture adopt meaningful performance 
measures, establish a process to identify and assess major 
risks, develop a staffing model to determine adequate staffing 
levels at ports, and improve information sharing between the 
departments and to the field.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\GAO, Homeland Security: Management and Coordination Problems 
Increase the Vulnerability of U.S. Agriculture to Foreign Pests and 
Disease, GAO-06-644, at 4-5 (May 19, 2006). Available at: http://
www.gao.gov/new.items/d06644.pdf. 
    \11\Id. at 38-39.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In November 2006, GAO published the results of a survey of 
CBP's agriculture specialists on their work experiences before 
and after the transfer to DHS. GAO's survey revealed that 
approximately 60 percent of agriculture specialists who 
responded said they were performing fewer inspections and 
making fewer interceptions. The same number expressed the view 
that CBP managers did not respect their work.\12\ In addition, 
the second most frequent response to the question on what is 
going well was ``nothing is going well.''\13\ GAO concluded 
that the results of the survey ``suggested morale issues among 
CBP agriculture specialists.''\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\GAO, Agriculture Specialists' Views of Their Work Experiences 
After Transfer to DHS, GAO-07-209R, at 2, 23-24 (November 14, 2006). 
Available at: http://www.gao.gov/assets/100/94532.pdf. 
    \13\Id. at 2.
    \14\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In February 2007, the DHS OIG and the USDA OIG released the 
findings of a follow-up joint review to the 2005 USDA OIG 
report. The joint review revealed that CBP still had not 
developed an agriculture specialist staffing model and that CBP 
did not have adequate performance measures.\15\ The report 
recommended that CBP develop a staffing model and comprehensive 
nationwide staffing plan, as well as comprehensive performance 
measures.\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\DHS OIG and USDA OIG, Review of Customs and Border Protection's 
Agriculture Inspection Activities, OIG-07-32, at 5-6 (February 2007). 
Available at: http://www.oig.dhs.gov/assets/Mgmt/OIG_07-32_Feb07.pdf.
    \16\Id. at 6-7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To address some of these findings and recommendations, 
APHIS and CBP established a Joint Task Force to examine the 
state of the agriculture mission and organizations. In June 
2007, a Report of the APHIS-CBP Joint Task Force on Improved 
Agriculture Inspection made several recommendations to address 
key issue areas, such as establishing a career ladder for 
agriculture specialists, developing tools to evaluate 
agriculture risk and staffing criteria, identifying and 
creating training opportunities, and ensuring that those 
staffing the agricultural mission have adequate equipment and 
supplies to do their jobs.\17\ The Joint Task Force recognized 
the importance of building and maintaining institutional 
knowledge by providing opportunities for agriculture 
specialists to advance their careers, as well as the need for 
effective joint planning efforts.\18\ The Joint Task Force 
developed implementation action plans for each key issue area 
and is overseeing the implementation of these plans.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\Supra note 1, at 3-4.
    \18\Id. at 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On October 27, 2011, the CBP Honolulu Area Port Director 
testified before this Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight of 
Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District 
of Columbia. He reported that the agency had taken steps to 
address its agriculture specialist workforce challenges and 
improve coordination with APHIS. For instance, he described CBP 
plans to improve recruitment and retention for agriculture 
specialists. Additionally, he stated that CBP was in the 
process of creating a comprehensive agriculture specialists 
career track for entry-level specialists and working to 
establish a formal interagency rotation program with APHIS.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\Safeguarding Hawaii's Ecosystem and Agriculture Against 
Invasive Species before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government 
Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (October 27, 
2011) (statement of Bruce W. Murley, Area Port Director, Honolulu, CBP, 
DHS), at 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Most recently, in September 2012, GAO released a report 
following up on the recommendations that it made in its 2006 
report.\20\ In the new report, GAO concludes that DHS fully 
implemented the 2006 recommendations to improve information 
sharing between DHS and USDA on concerns and urgent alerts.\21\ 
GAO also identified training as an area of improvement since 
2006.\22\ And, encouragingly, GAO found some improvement in the 
morale of agriculture specialists.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\GAO, Homeland Security: Agriculture Inspection Program Has Made 
Some Improvements, but Management Challenges Persist, GAO-12-885 
(September 27, 2012). Available at: http://www.gao.gov/assets/650/
648921.pdf
    \21\Id. at 8
    \22\Id. at 23-25
    \23\Id. at 22-23. In one small sign of improvement from the 2006 
survey, ``nothing is going well'' was one of the least common responses 
reported in 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the same time, GAO notes a number of remaining 
challenges. Agriculture specialists, for example, continued to 
voice concerns about CBP's management of the agricultural 
inspections process as well as the perceived lack of 
prioritization of the agriculture mission.\24\ In addition, not 
all of GAO's 2006 recommendations have been fully implemented. 
GAO found, for example, that while CBP and APHIS have expanded 
the use of existing performance measures, these measures are 
not sufficient to assess all aspects of their performance.\25\ 
Further, while efforts have been undertaken to implement a 
risk-based staffing model, the staffing model is not yet 
complete. According to GAO, this is in part due to anticipation 
that the model would call for significant staff increases, and 
resources are not available for such an increase in this fiscal 
environment. GAO recommended that DHS create a plan to address 
resource constraints.\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\Id. 26-29
    \25\Id. at 11
    \26\Id. 13-14
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee believes that these continuing concerns make 
legislative action appropriate. To address some of the 
recommendations made by these various reports, and to reinforce 
the efforts of the APHIS-CBP Joint Task Force, S. 1673 seeks to 
further develop CBP's agriculture specialist workforce, to 
ensure that needed equipment is provided, and to strengthen the 
partnership between CBP and APHIS. To maintain a highly skilled 
and motivated agriculture specialist workforce, S.1673 would 
require CBP to identify appropriate career paths for CBP 
agriculture specialists and to provide them the opportunity to 
acquire the education, training, and experience necessary to 
qualify for promotion within CBP. S. 1673 would also require 
CBP to develop plans to improve agriculture specialist 
recruitment and retention, and to ensure agriculture 
specialists have the necessary equipment and resources to 
effectively carry out their mission. Additionally, S. 1673 
directs the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Agriculture to 
establish an interagency rotation program for CBP and APHIS 
personnel in order to strengthen critical working relationships 
and to promote interagency experience. The Committee believes 
that the bill, as amended, will ensure that CBP and APHIS 
enhance their processes for ensuring that dangerous biological 
pests and agricultural products do not enter the country.
    A broad range of organizations have endorsed S. 1673. Those 
supporting the bill include the National Association of State 
Departments of Agriculture, National Treasury Employees Union, 
Dole Fresh Fruit Company, Sunkist Growers, Western Growers, 
Louisville Slugger, California Association of Nurseries and 
Garden Centers, The Nature Conservancy, National Farmers Union, 
Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, California Farm Bureau 
Federation, San Diego Farm Bureau, Coordinating Group on Alien 
Pests Species, American Forest Foundation, American Nursery and 
Landscape Association, Department of Natural Resources at 
Cornell University, The Davey Institute, Greenspace-the Cambria 
Land Trust, International Maple Syrup Institute, Massachusetts 
Association of Campground Owners, National Association of 
Exotic Pest Plant Councils, North American Maple Syrup Council, 
Inc. Oregon Invasive Species Council, Society of American 
Florists, Society of Municipal Arborists, Department of Plant 
Science and Landscape Architecture at the University of 
Maryland, Virginia Native Plant Society, and Nisei Farmers 
League.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\These letters of endorsement are on file in the offices of the 
Committee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        III. Legislative History

    Senators Akaka and Feinstein introduced S. 1673 on October 
6, 2011. The bill was referred to the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs. Senator Gillibrand joined as 
a cosponsor on March 8, 2012, and Senator Carper joined as a 
cosponsor on July 18, 2012.
    On October 27, 2011, the Subcommittee on Oversight of 
Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District 
of Columbia held a hearing on the ways that government agencies 
and stakeholders are collaborating to prevent invasive species 
from entering the United States. Witnesses at the hearing 
included the Honorable Neil Abercrombie, Governor of the State 
of Hawaii; the Honorable Clifton K. Tsuji, Chairman of the 
House Committee on Agriculture of the Hawaii State Legislature; 
the Honorable Clarence K. Nishihara, Chairman of the Senate 
Committee on Agriculture of the Hawaii State Legislature; Dr. 
Lyle Wong, Plant Industry Administrator of the Hawaii 
Department of Agriculture; Bruce W. Murley, Area Port Director 
for Honolulu in the Office of Field Operations at CBP; Vernon 
Harrington, State Plant Health Director of Plant Protection and 
Quarantine at APHIS; and George Phocas, Resident-Agent-in-
Charge of the Office of Law Enforcement, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
    On April 25, 2012, the Committee considered the measure, 
and Senator Akaka offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute and an amendment to amend the bill title. The 
substitute amendment deleted a provision in the introduced 
version of S. 1673 that would have created a new Office of 
Agricultural Inspection within CBP. The Committee concluded 
that the bill's other provisions ensured adequate emphasis on 
the importance of CBP's agricultural mission. The other 
amendment altered the bill title to reflect the fact that this 
new office was no longer included in the bill.
    The Committee adopted both amendments by voice vote on 
April 25, 2012. The Committee then adopted S. 1673, as amended, 
by voice vote, and ordered it reported favorably to the Senate 
on April 25, 2012. Members present for the vote on the 
substitute amendment were Senators Lieberman, Akaka, Carper, 
McCaskill, Begich, Collins, Coburn and Johnson. Members present 
for the vote on the amendment changing the bill title, and 
reporting S. 1673 favorably were Senators Lieberman, Levin, 
Akaka, Carper, McCaskill, Begich, Collins, Coburn, Brown, and 
Johnson.

              IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that the short title of the bill is 
the ``Safeguarding American Agriculture Act of 2012.''

Section 2. Enhanced Agricultural Inspection Functions

    Section 2 adds a new section 421a (6 U.S.C. Sec. 231a) to 
the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The following descriptions 
refer to the subsections of the new statutory section.
    Subsection (a)--Agriculture Specialist Career Track. This 
subsection requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting 
through the Commissioner of CBP, to identify appropriate career 
paths for CBP agriculture specialists, including identifying 
the education, training, experience, and assignments necessary 
for career progression within CBP. The Secretary is to publish 
information on these career paths and may establish criteria by 
which appropriately qualified CBP technicians may be promoted 
to agriculture specialists.
    Subsection (b)--Education, Training, and Experience. This 
subsection requires the Secretary, acting through the 
Commissioner, to provide agriculture specialists opportunities 
to gain education, training, and experience that are necessary 
for promotion within CBP.
    Subsection (c)--Agriculture Specialist Recruitment and 
Retention. This subsection requires the Secretary, acting 
through the Commissioner, to develop a plan to improve 
agriculture specialist recruitment and retention. The plan must 
address numerical recruitment and retention goals and the use 
of recruitment incentives.
    Subsection (d)--Equipment Support. This subsection requires 
the Secretary, acting through the Commissioner, to determine 
the minimum equipment and other resources necessary to enable 
agriculture specialists to fully and effectively carry out 
their mission; inventory the equipment and other resources 
available; identify needed equipment and other resources that 
are not available; and develop a plan to address any resource 
deficiencies.
    Subsection (e)--Interagency Rotation. This subsection 
authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary 
of Agriculture to enter into an agreement establishing 
interagency rotations between APHIS and CBP to strengthen 
working relationships and promote interagency experience.

Section 3. Report

    This section requires the Secretary, acting through the CBP 
Commissioner, within 270 days of enactment, to submit a report 
to this Committee and the Committee on Homeland Security of the 
House of Representatives that describes the implementation 
status of the action plans developed by the APHIS-CBP Joint 
Task Force; the findings and plans required under section 421a 
of the Homeland Security Act (as created by section 2 of this 
bill); and any additional legal authority the Secretary of 
Homeland Security determines is necessary to effectively carry 
out the agriculture inspection mission of DHS.

                    V. Estimated Cost of Legislation

                                                      June 1, 2012.
Hon. Joseph I. Lieberman,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1673, the 
Safeguarding American Agriculture Act of 2012.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 1673--Safeguarding American Agriculture Act of 2012

    CBO estimates that implementing S. 1673 would cost about $1 
million from appropriated funds in fiscal year 2013 and 
negligible amounts in subsequent years. Enacting the 
legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    S. 1673 would direct the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) to provide opportunities for promotion of agriculture 
specialists working for Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 
The bill also would require DHS to develop plans to better 
recruit and retain agriculture specialists and to upgrade 
equipment and other resources available to such employees. In 
addition, S. 1673 would authorize DHS and the U.S. Department 
of Agriculture (USDA) to rotate personnel in CBP and the Animal 
and Plant Health Inspection Service (in USDA) to promote 
interagency experience.
    Based on information from DHS, we estimate that it would 
cost about $1 million in 2013 to carry out the bill's 
activities. CBO anticipates that S. 1673 would not require 
implementing the plan to acquire upgraded equipment or other 
resources for agriculture specialists. If DHS sought 
appropriated funds to acquire additional equipment, the cost to 
implement this legislation would be greater.
    S. 1673 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                  VI. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill. The Committee 
concurs with the Congressional Budget Office, which states that 
S. 1673, as amended, contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments. The legislation would have no other regulatory 
impact.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the following changes in existing 
law made by the bill, as reported, are shown as follows: 
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black 
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in 
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

    HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002 (6 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 101, et seq.)

 TITLE IV--DIRECTORATE OF BORDER AND TRANSPORTATION SECURITY (6 U.S.C. 
                             201, et seq.)

                  Subtitle C--Miscellaneous Provisions

SEC. 421. TRANSFER OF CERTAIN AGRICULTURAL INSPECTION FUNCTIONS OF THE 
                    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. (6 U.S.C. 231)

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 421A. AGRICULTURE SPECIALISTS.

    (a) Agriculture Specialist Career Track.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary, acting through the 
        Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection--
                  (A) shall identify appropriate career paths 
                for customs and border protection agriculture 
                specialists, including the education, training, 
                experience, and assignments necessary for 
                career progression within U.S. Customs and 
                Border Protection;
                  (B) shall publish information on the career 
                paths identified under subparagraph (A); and
                  (C) may establish criteria by which 
                appropriately qualified customs and border 
                technicians may be promoted to customs and 
                border protection agriculture specialists.
    (b) Education, Training, and Experience.--The Secretary, 
acting through the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection, shall provide customs and border protection 
agriculture specialists the opportunity to acquire the 
education, training, and experience necessary to qualify for 
promotion within U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    (c) Agriculture Specialist Recruitment and Retention.--Not 
later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of the 
Safeguarding American Agriculture Act of 2012, the Secretary, 
acting through the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection, shall develop a plan to more effectively recruit 
and retain qualified customs and border protection agriculture 
specialists. The plan shall include--
          (1) numerical goals for recruitment and retention; 
        and
          (2) the use of recruitment incentives, as appropriate 
        and permissible under existing laws and regulations.
    (d) Equipment Support.--Not later than 270 days after the 
date of the enactment of the Safeguarding American Agriculture 
Act of 2012, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection shall--
          (1) determine the minimum equipment and other 
        resources that are necessary at U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection agriculture inspection stations and 
        facilities to enable customs and border protection 
        agriculture specialists to fully and effectively carry 
        out their mission;
          (2) complete an inventory of the equipment and other 
        resources available at each U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection agriculture inspection station and facility;
          (3) identify the necessary equipment and other 
        resources that are not currently available at 
        agriculture inspection stations and facilities; and
          (4) develop a plan to address any resource 
        deficiencies identified under paragraph (3).
    (e) Interagency Rotations.--The Secretary of Homeland 
Security and the Secretary of Agriculture are authorized to 
enter into an agreement that--
          (1) establishes an interagency rotation; and
          (2) provides for personnel of the Animal and Plant 
        Health Inspection Service of the Department of 
        Agriculture to take rotational assignments within U.S. 
        Customs and Border Protection and vice versa for the 
        purposes of strengthening working relationships between 
        agencies and promoting interagency experience.''.

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