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                                                      Calendar No. 196
114th Congress    }                                      {      Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session      }                                      {     114-116
_______________________________________________________________________


                  BORDER JOBS FOR VETERANS ACT OF 2015

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                S. 1603

          TO ACTIVELY RECRUIT MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO
  ARE SEPARATING FROM MILITARY SERVICE TO SERVE AS CUSTOMS AND BORDER 
                          PROTECTION OFFICERS

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                 August 5, 2015.--Ordered to be printed
                 
                                   ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

49-010                         WASHINGTON : 2015                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  JON TESTER, Montana
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
JONI ERNST, Iowa                     GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
BEN SASSE, Nebraska

                    Keith B. Ashdown, Staff Director
                  Christopher R. Hixon, Chief Counsel
             David S. Luckey, Director of Homeland Security
       William H.W. McKenna, Chief Counsel for Homeland Security
     Brooke N. Ericson, Deputy Chief Counsel for Homeland Security
              Gabrielle A. Batkin, Minority Staff Director
           John P. Kilvington, Minority Deputy Staff Director
               Mary Beth Schultz, Minority Chief Counsel
     Stephen R. Vina, Minority Chief Counsel for Homeland Security
               Holly A. Idelson, Minority Senior Counsel
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                                                      Calendar No. 196
114th Congress    }                                      {      Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session      }                                      {     114-116

======================================================================



 
                  BORDER JOBS FOR VETERANS ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

                 August 5, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1603]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 1603) to actively 
recruit members of the Armed Forces who are separating from 
military service to serve as Customs and Border Protection 
Officers, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do 
pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I.  Purpose and Summary.............................................1
 II.  Background and Need for the Legislation.........................2
III.  Legislative History.............................................3
 IV.  Section-by-Section Analysis.....................................4
  V.  Evaluation of Regulatory Impact.................................5
 VI.  Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate.......................5
VII.  Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported...........6

                         I. PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of S. 1603, the Border Jobs for Veterans Act of 
2015, is to assist the U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) in filling open Customs and Border Protection Officer 
(CBPO) positions by actively recruiting members of the Armed 
Forces who are separating from military service. This bill will 
require DHS and the Department of Defense (DOD) to identify 
positions in the Armed Forces that have transferable 
requirements, qualifications, and duties to those required for 
CBPOs and to establish a program that will help inform 
separating service members of CBPO opportunities, as well as 
streamline interagency transfers of relevant background 
investigations and security clearances.

              II. BACKGROUND AND THE NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), within DHS, is 
charged with safeguarding U.S. borders to protect the public 
from terrorists and other threats while facilitating the 
Nation's global economic competitiveness by enabling lawful 
international trade and travel.\1\ CBPOs are stationed along 
our nation's ports of entry (POEs), and are responsible for 
detecting and preventing unlawful entries of people or goods 
into the U.S., while also enabling legitimate trade and 
travel.\2\ CBPOs must enforce more than 400 laws related to the 
admissibility of individuals, contraband, agricultural pests 
and diseases, and trade.\3\ In Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, CBP 
processed more than 362 million passengers in the land, sea, 
and air environments at 329 distinct ports of entry.\4\ Between 
FY2009 and FY2014, the U.S. saw a 22 percent increase in air 
travelers, and the U.S. expects air travel to grow four to five 
percent annually for the next several years.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection, About CBP, available at http://www.cbp.gov/about.
    \2\U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection, CBP Opens Announcement to Hire Additional 2,000 Officers 
(2014), available at http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-
release/2014-05-01-000000/cbp-opens-announcement-hire-additional-2000.
    \3\Id.
    \4\Budget Hearing--United States Customs and Border Protection: 
Hearing Before the House Comm. on Appropriations Subcomm. on Homeland 
Security, 113th Cong. (2014) (testimony of Gil Kerlikowske, 
Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection), available at, http://
docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP15/20140402/102009/HHRG-113-AP15-Wstate-
KerlikowskeR-20140402.pdf.
    \5\U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection Office of Field Operations, Resource Optimization Strategy 
(2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Additionally, in FY2013, CBP collected $42.5 billion in 
revenue and processed $2.38 trillion in trade.\6\ The National 
Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events 
(CREATE), a DHS Center of Excellence, has issued multiple 
reports finding that the staffing levels at U.S. POEs impacts 
wait times, which directly impact the economy.\7\ Another study 
commissioned by the Department of Commerce's International 
Trade Administration found that in 2008, delays at POEs at the 
U.S.-Mexico border cost the U.S. economy 26,000 jobs, $600 
million in lost tax revenue, and $5.8 billion in lost economic 
output.\8\ According to CBP, 2,000 additional CBPOs will lead 
to the creation of approximately 66,000 new jobs and increase 
the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the U.S. by up to $4 
billion.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Testimony of Gil Kerlikowske, supra note 4.
    \7\National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism 
Events (CREATE), The Impact on the U.S. Economy on Changes in Wait 
Times at Ports of Entry (2013), available at http://
research.create.usc.edu/cgi/
viewcontent.cgi?article=1183&context;=nonpublished_reports; see also 
National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events 
(CREATE), Analysis of Primary Inspection Wait Time at U.S. Ports of 
Entry (2014), available at http://research.create.usc.edu/cgi/
viewcontent.cgi?article=1184&context;=nonpublished_reports.
    \8\See Vivian C. Jones & Lisa Seghetti, U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection: Trade Facilitation, Enforcement, and Security, 
Congressional Research Service, 4 (2015).
    \9\Testimony of Gil Kerlikowske, supra note 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Recognizing both the economic and national security 
interests involved in fully staffing U.S. POEs, Congress 
appropriated funding for 2,000 new CBPOs in the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act of 2014, bringing the congressionally funded 
staffing target to 23,775 officers for FY2015.\10\ However, as 
of February 22, 2014, CBP maintained a workforce of only 21,891 
CBPOs.\11\ Due to attrition and the time it takes to bring on 
new officers, CBP has only realized a net gain of 818 officers 
since 2013.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Pub. L. No. 133-76.
    \11\Testimony of Gil Kerlikowske, supra note 4.
    \12\Data Provided to Committee Staff by the U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection Agency (June 2, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Based on CBP's Workload Staffing Model, newly hired CBPOs 
will be stationed in 44 ports and 18 states, including Los 
Angeles, Detroit, Buffalo, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, 
Laredo, Nogales, and New Orleans.\13\ Members of the Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs Committee have expressed 
concerns during Committee hearings about the need to fill these 
positions, particularly in remote areas like North Dakota.\14\ 
According to CBP, the POEs of Portal, North Dakota and Pembina, 
North Dakota will each receive additional staffing once CBP is 
able to bring new CBPOs on board.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection, CBP Opens Announcement to Hire Additional 2,000 Officers 
(2014), available at http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-
release/2014-05-01-000000/cbp-opens-announcement-hire-additional-2000.
    \14\See Securing the Border: Understanding Threats and Strategies 
for the Northern Border: Hearing Before the Comm. on Homeland Security 
and Governmental Affairs, 114th Cong. (2015).
    \15\Data Provided to Committee Staff by the U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection Agency (June 23, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On the other hand, the DOD anticipates that approximately 
250,000 to 300,000 service members will separate from the Armed 
Forces annually over the next four years.\16\ Moreover, 
approximately 19 percent of enlisted personnel--27 percent 
within the Army and Marines--separate from active duty from 
occupational fields that do not easily translate to the 
civilian sector, leading to high levels of unemployment among 
our veterans.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\Transition Assistance Program: Hearing Before the House Armed 
Services Comm., Subcomm. on Military Personnel, 113th Cong. (2013) 
(Testimony of Dr. Susan Kelly, Director of Transitions to Veterans 
Program Office, Department of Defense).
    \17\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To assist DHS in the hiring of CBPOs, and to assist 
veterans in finding employment, this bill seeks to actively 
recruit separating service members of the Armed Forces, who 
have similar skillsets to those serving as CBPOs. This bill 
provides for partnerships between DHS and DOD to identify 
opportunities for reciprocity related to hiring, ensures the 
streamlining of interagency transfers of relevant background 
investigations and security clearances to expedite hiring, and 
requires both agencies to take an active role in educating 
separating service members about CBPO opportunities. As noted 
in the Congressional Budget Office report for this bill, CBP is 
currently carrying out activities similar to those required by 
the bill.

                        III. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Senators Flake, Johnson, McCain, and Schumer introduced S. 
1603 on June 17, 2015, and the bill was referred to the 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The 
Committee considered S. 1603 at a business meeting on June 24, 
2015.
    Chairman Johnson offered a substitute amendment, with 
technical corrections and a sunset to the reporting 
requirement. The Committee adopted the amendment and ordered 
the bill, as amended, reported favorably, both by voice vote. 
Senators present for both votes were: Johnson, McCain, 
Lankford, Ayotte, Ernst, Sasse, Carper, Tester, Baldwin, and 
Heitkamp.

        IV. SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE ACT, AS REPORTED

Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the bill's short title, the ``Border 
Jobs for Veterans Act of 2015.''

Section 2. Findings

    This section provides findings by Congress that--
          (1) CBPOs at U.S. ports of entry carry out critical 
        law enforcement duties;
          (2) It is in the national interest for U.S. ports of 
        entry to be adequately staffed in a timely fashion and 
        for DHS to meet congressionally funded staffing 
        targets;
          (3) An estimated 250,000 to 300,000 members of the 
        Armed Forces separate from military service each year; 
        and
          (4) Recruiting efforts and expedited hiring 
        procedures should be undertaken to ensure qualified 
        separating service members are aware of and partake in 
        opportunities to fill vacant CBPO positions.

Section 3. Expedited hiring of appropriate separating service members

    This section requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, 
in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense, to identify 
positions in the Armed Forces that have transferable 
requirements, qualifications, and duties to those required for 
CBPOs and to consider hiring qualified candidates in such 
identified positions who are eligible for veterans' recruitment 
appointment.

Section 4. Establishing a program for recruiting service members 
        separating from military service for Customs and Border 
        Protection Officer vacancies

    This section requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, 
in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense, to establish a 
program within 180 days that actively recruits members of the 
Armed Forces separating from military service to serve as 
CBPOs.
    The program will, among other things, include CBPO 
opportunities as part of DOD job assistance efforts, place 
appropriate DHS officials at recruiting events and job fairs 
involving separating service members, provide partnership 
opportunities for CBP field offices and military bases in the 
same region, require DHS and DOD to identify opportunities for 
reciprocity related to steps in hiring to minimize the time 
required to hire qualified applicants, and require DHS and DOD 
to ensure streamlined interagency transfers of relevant 
background investigation and security clearances.

Section 5. Report to Congress

    This section requires the Secretary of Homeland Security 
and Secretary of Defense jointly to submit a report to Congress 
180 days after the date of the enactment of the bill, and for 
three successive years, describing the program, actions taken 
by the departments, the number of separating service members 
made aware of CBPO vacancies, and the number of CBPO positions 
filled pursuant to this program.

Section 6. Rules of construction

    This section ensures that nothing in this bill may be 
construed to affect existing Federal veterans' hiring 
preferences or Federal hiring authorities or to authorize 
appropriations to carry out the provisions of the bill.

                   V. 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 and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

                                                     July 21, 2015.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
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. 1603, the Border 
Jobs for Veterans Act of 2015.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

S. 1603--Border Jobs for Veterans Act of 2015

    S. 1603 would require the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS), with assistance from the Department of Defense (DoD), to 
establish a program to recruit members of the armed forces who 
are leaving the military to serve as Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP) officers. The program would include placing 
DHS officials at certain recruiting events and conducting 
outreach efforts to educate certain members of the armed forces 
about available jobs with CBP. The bill also would require DHS 
and DoD to report annually to the Congress about the progress 
of the program.
    Based on the cost of similar activities, CBO estimates that 
implementing S. 1603 would cost less than $500,000 annually; 
any spending would be subject to the availability of 
appropriated funds. CBP is currently carrying out activities 
similar to those required by the bill, and the agency employs a 
significant number of veterans of the armed forces. Enacting 
the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    S. 1603 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    Because this legislation would not repeal or amend any 
provision of current law, it would make no changes in existing 
law within the meaning of clauses (a) and (b) of paragraph 12 
of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate.

                                  [all]