Late June, the House Committee on Appropriations unanimously approved the FY 2017 funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The FY 2017 DHS funding bill provides $41.2 billion net discretionary funding--$246 million above the current enacted level. The bill includes $11.182 billion for Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The CBP funding level supports 23,775 CBP Officers at the ports of entry in FY 2017, but no additional funding to increase the number of agriculture inspection and trade enforcement staff to adequately address increased agriculture and commercial trade volumes as called for in CBP’s Workforce Staffing Model.
Last month, the Senate Committee on Appropriations cleared its version of the FY 2017 DHS funding bill for floor action. The major difference between the House and Senate Committee approved versions of the bill is that the House bill raises the overtime cap for CBP Officers from $35,000 to $45,000. Because of ongoing CBP Officer staffing shortages nationwide, significant overtime must be worked at many ports of entry to cover basic port operations. For example, at San Ysidro, CBP granted 475 annual overtime cap waivers in in FY 2014, 696 in FY 2015 and expect 870 annual cap waivers to be submitted for FY 2016.
Neither the House nor the Senate have scheduled floor action on their respective bills.