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Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 17:50ET

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House Appropriations Committee to Consider DOT, DHS Funding Bills

top story photo The FY 2018 appropriations process is moving quickly on both sides of the Capitol. The House Appropriations Committee will consider separate FY 2018 funding bills for DOT/FAA and DHS/TSA/CBP next week.

The DOT/FAA funding measure includes $3.35 billion for the Airport Improvement Program and $162 million for the Contract Tower Program and Contract Tower Cost-Share Program. The bill proposes $16.6 billion overall for FAA, which is $153 million higher than the FY 2017 enacted level and $435 million more than the President's budget request.

The DHS/TSA/CBP appropriations bill proposes $7.2 billion for TSA - a decrease of $159.8 million from the FY 2017 enacted level. This includes full funding at $3.2 billion for Transportation Security Officers, privatized screening operations, and passenger and baggage screening equipment. For CBP, the bill includes $13.8 billion for the agency's discretionary programs, which is $1.6 billion higher than the FY 2017 enacted level.

The House DHS spending measure also funds several of the Trump Administration's immigration-related priorities, including construction of a wall along the southern border and the hiring of 500 new Border Patrol agents. Democrats have voiced strong opposition to those and other immigration-related provisions and are expected to offer a number of amendments at the full committee markup.

How and when exactly the House will bring the FY 2018 appropriations bills to the floor is uncertain, however. House Republican leaders are trying to determine if there are enough votes to pass an omnibus package of all 12 appropriations bills, which would cut down significantly on the time that would be required to pass each bill individually.

Across the Capitol, the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee could consider its DOT/FAA funding bill as early as next week. The panel held a hearing with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao this week to discuss the DOT budget.

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