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                                                       Calendar no. 198                                                       
116th Congress }                                               { Report
				SENATE
 1st Session   }                                               { 116-94                                          

_______________________________________________________________________


         PROTECTING AMERICA'S FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ACT OF 2019

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              TO ACCOMPANY

                                S. 2107

         TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF CBP AGRICULTURE SPECIALISTS
           AND SUPPORT STAFF IN THE OFFICE OF FIELD OPRATIONS
          OF U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, AND FOR OTHER
                                PURPOSES

                
                [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


               September 10, 2019.--Ordered to be printed
               
               
                                 ________
                       
                     U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
                
89-010                         WASHINGTON: 2019
_____________________________________________________________________________               
               
               
               
               
               
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
MITT ROMNEY, Utah                    KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
RICK SCOTT, Florida                  KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
JOSH HAWLEY, Missouri

                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Staff Director
                   Joseph C. Folio III, Chief Counsel
                     William G. Rhodes III, Fellow
               David M. Weinberg, Minority Staff Director
               Zachary I. Schram, Minority Chief Counsel
   Christopher J. Mulkins, Minority Senior Professional Staff Member
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     

                                                      Calendar No. 198
                                                      
116th Congress }                                             { Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session   }                                             { 116-94

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

 
         PROTECTING AMERICA'S FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

               September 10, 2019.--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. 2107]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 2107), to increase 
the number of CBP Agriculture Specialists and support staff in 
the Office of Field Operations of U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon without amendment 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..............................................3
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................4
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
 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. 2107, the Protecting America's Food & 
Agriculture Act of 2019, is to ensure the safe and secure trade 
of food and agriculture across our nation's borders by properly 
staffing ports of entry with trained agricultural inspection 
personnel. This bill authorizes the Commissioner of the U.S. 
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) under the Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS) to hire, train and assign 240 new 
Agricultural Specialists above attrition levels each year until 
the total number is equal to or sustains the staffing 
requirements identified in the Agriculture Resource Allocation 
Model. The bill also authorizes CBP to hire, train, and assign 
200 new Agriculture Technicians every year until the total 
number is equal to or sustains the staffing requirements 
identified in the Mission and Operational Support Resource 
Allocation Model. In addition, CBP may hire, train and assign 
20 agriculture canine teams each year for the first three 
fiscal years following the enactment of this bill.
    The bill also authorizes funding to support the hiring and 
training of the specialists, technicians and canine teams. The 
bill also requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) 
to provide a report to Congress on the coordination and 
effectiveness of inspections by CBP, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) and other Federal agencies, and the training 
and working environment of Agricultural Specialists. The 
authorities provided to CBP in this bill sunset at the end of 
fiscal year 2022.

              II. BACKGROUND AND THE NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Program (AQI), 
which is jointly administered by CBP and USDA's Animal Plant 
Health Inspection Service, helps safeguard the U.S. 
agriculture, food supply and economy from potentially harmful 
or dangerous pests, plants pathogens, invasive plants and agro-
terrorism.\1\ Working at our nation's ports of entry, AQI's 
Agricultural Specialists are the nation's first line of defense 
against such threats as they carry out inspections of millions 
of pounds per year of cut flowers, vegetables, fruit, herbs and 
other plants and produce.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\U.S. Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-08-96T, Agricultural 
Inspection Program, Management Problems May Increase Vulnerability of 
U.S. Agriculture to Foreign Pests and Diseases (2007).
    \2\U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Protecting Agriculture, 
available at https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/protecting-agriculture 
(last visited Aug. 14, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CBP processes over 1 million passengers and pedestrians and 
over 78,000 truck, rail and sea containers carrying goods worth 
$7.2 billion each day.\3\ Each year, these inspections by 
Agricultural Specialists result in the interception of tens of 
thousands of ``actionable pests''--pests determined by a 
scientific risk assessment to be dangerous to the health and 
safety of the nation's agriculture supply.\4\ In fiscal year 
2018, CBP reported that Agriculture Specialists intercepted 319 
pests, and quarantined 4,552 materials, including meat, plant, 
animal byproduct and soil.\5\ However, the AQI program is 
currently experiencing staffing shortages that, if not 
addressed, could weaken the nation's ability to safeguard the 
food and agriculture supply.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\U.S. Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-19-263R, U.S. Ports of 
Entry: Update on CBP Public-Private Partnership Programs (2019).
    \4\U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP Agriculture Specialists 
at Port Manatee Intercept Rare Pest, First In Florida Discovery, 
available at https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/cbp-
agriculture-specialists-port-manatee-intercept-rare-pest-first 
(released on July 3, 2019) (last visited on Aug. 14, 2019).
    \5\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As a result of a 2007 GAO report, the Agricultural Resource 
and Allocation Model (AgRam) was developed as a way to better 
identify the number of Agricultural Specialists, technicians 
and other administrative support staff to adequately support 
the mission of the AQI program.\6\ According to CBP, as of 
March 2019, the current number of Agricultural Specialists is 
2,543--695 below its fiscal year 2019 staffing target 
identified by AgRam.\7\ Steady increases in food and 
agricultural imports underscore the need to address these 
staffing shortages. For instance, imports from all countries 
rose from $103 billion in 2012 to $127 billion in 2018.\8\ 
Moreover, the year over year increase for 2017 to 2018 was a 
little over 7 percent, highlighting the need for sufficient 
staffing of Agricultural Specialists at ports of entry.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\U.S. Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-12-885, Agricultural 
Inspection Program Has Made Some Improvements, but Management 
Challenges Persist (2012).
    \7\Correspondence between the U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
officials and Committee staff (Apr. 15, 2019), (on file with Committee 
Staff).
    \8\Foreign Agric. Serv., U.S. Imports of *Agricultural Products* FY 
2012-2018, U.S. Dep't of Agric. https://apps.fas.usda.gov/Gats/
PrintBicoReport.aspx?&PT=C&MYT=F&EY=2019&EM=05 
&EMName=May&RT=P&PC=M1&SY=2012&IP=N&PG=BICO-HS10 (last visited Aug. 1, 
2019).
    \9\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Current and continuing threats to U.S. agriculture, 
including African swine fever (ASF) and other pests and 
diseases, further strengthen the argument for providing CBP 
with the resources necessary to sufficiently staff our ports of 
entry. Spread of ASF is on the rise around the world and some 
fear the disease could eventually affect our nation's pork 
supply.\10\ African swine fever is a very contagious and deadly 
disease that affects domestic and wild pigs and there is not 
vaccine for this disease.\11\ The disease has been found in 
sub-Saharan Africa, China, Mongolia, Vietnam and the European 
Union. Fortunately, African swine fever has never been found in 
the U.S.\12\ Proper surveillance by CBP, canine teams, and USDA 
agricultural inspectors, and restricting importation of pork 
and pork products are the necessary to keep African swine flu 
out of the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Press Release, U.S. Dep't of Agriculture, USDA Continues to 
Prevent African Swine Fever from Entering the U.S. (Mar. 19, 2019), 
https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2019/03/19/usda-continues-
prevent-african-swine-fever-entering-us;
    \11\Id.
    \12\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Appropriate staffing is necessary to ensure that proper 
inspections are conducted. S. 2107 increases staffing levels 
for inspector, technician and canine support teams that conduct 
agricultural inspections. It also requires a GAO study, 
briefing (within one year after enactment of the bill) and 
report (90 days after the briefing) that reviews interagency 
coordination and effectiveness between USDA and DHS, and 
training and working conditions of CBP agricultural staff.

                        III. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Ranking Member Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced S. 2107, the 
Protecting America's Food and Agricultural Act, on July 11, 
2019, with Senators Roberts (R-KS), Cornyn (R-TX) and Stabenow 
(D-MI). The bill was referred to the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs.
    The Committee considered S. 2107 at a business meeting on 
July 24, 2019. The bill passed by voice vote en bloc with 
Senators Johnson, Portman, Paul, Lankford, Romney, Scott, Enzi, 
Hawley, Peters, Carper, Hassan, Sinema, Rosen present.

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

Section 1. Short title

    This section establishes the short title of the bill as 
the, ``Protecting America's Food and Agriculture Act of 2019.''

Section 2. Finding

    This section describes congressional findings that it is in 
the nation's national security interest to ensure that the food 
supply is protected, and that to do so adequate resources are 
needed to conduct agricultural inspections of imports.

Section 3. Definitions

    This section provides a definition of ``Appropriate 
Congressional Committees'', which includes the Committee's on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Agriculture, 
Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate, and the Committee's on 
Homeland Security and Agriculture in the House of 
Representatives.

Section 4. Additional U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel

    Subsection (a) authorizes the Commissioner of CBP to hire, 
train and assign 240 new CBP Agriculture Specialists at levels 
above the attrition rate each year until the staffing targets 
identified by the AgRam are met.
    Subsection (b) authorizes the Commissioner of CBP to hire, 
train and assign 200 new Agriculture Technicians at levels 
above the attrition rate each year until the staffing targets 
identified by the Mission and Operational Support Resource 
Allocation Model are met.
    Subsection (c) authorizes the Commissioner of CBP to hire, 
train and assign 20 new agriculture canine teams during each of 
the first three years following the enactment of this bill.
    Subsection (d) requires CBP to ensure that the AgRam 
accounts for data regarding the number of inspections conducted 
at each port of entry, volume surges, other projected changes 
in commercial and passenger volumes, current commercial 
forecasts, and other relevant data.
    Subsection (e) authorizes funding to be appropriated to 
support the hiring activities in subsections (a) through (c) of 
this bill for three fiscal years beginning in fiscal year 2020 
and ending in fiscal year 2022.

Section 5. GAO study, briefing, and report

    This section requires GAO to conduct a review of DHS's and 
USDA's interagency coordination efforts, effectiveness of 
inspection responsibilities among Federal agencies, and the 
training provided to and working conditions of CBP Agricultural 
Specialists. GAO is also required to provide a briefing to 
appropriate congressional committees no later than one year 
following the bill's enactment, and within 90 days of the 
briefing, provide a publically available report detailing the 
findings of its review.

                   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

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, August 6, 2019.
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. 2107, the Protecting 
America's Food and Agriculture Act of 2019.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

           [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    S. 2107 would authorize the appropriation of specific 
amounts for each year over the 2020-2022 period totaling $222 
million for Customs and Border Protection. The funds would be 
used to hire agriculture specialists and other personnel to 
improve the comprehensiveness of inspections of food and 
agricultural goods entering the United States. Assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would cost $222 million over the 2020-
2024 period. Estimated outlays are based on historical spending 
patterns for this program.
    The costs of the legislation (detailed in Table 1) fall 
within budget function 750 (administration of justice).

                       TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2019      2020      2021      2022      2023      2024    2019-2024
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Authorization............................         0        50        75        97         0         0        222
Estimated Outlays........................         0        41        70        92        19         0        222
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

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

    Because S. 2107 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.