Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) joined a bipartisan majority of the House Appropriations Committee in approving the Fiscal Year 2014 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill.
"As Congress continues to consider immigration reform policies, Americans have made it clear that securing our borders and mandatory employment verification are critical steps we must take," said Rep. Calvert. "The FY14 Homeland Security appropriations bill approved by the Committee today provides the resources necessary to achieve these border protection and employment verification security goals."
"The bill also provides important resources for first responders at all levels of government. As we've seen recently in Boston and Oklahoma, our first responders are the true heroes in our communities and it's our responsibility ensure they have the capabilities necessary to respond to any disaster.”
The bill fully funds E-Verify, a program originally created by Rep. Calvert in 1996 that allows companies check if their employees may legally work in the United States, at $114.2 million. Rep. Calvert is one of several leaders that have sponsored the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772) which would make E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the U.S.
Air and Marine Operations Center (March Air Reserve Base, Riverside, CA)
The Committee Report accompanying the FY14 bill once again contains language in support of the planned expansion of facilities at the Air and Marine Operations Center (AMOC) and modernizing AMOC systems. The Committee directs Customs and Border Protection to provide a briefing on its assessment of AMOC needs as well as the schedule and cost associated with any modernization plans not later than December 1, 2013.
AMOC is the nation’s only federal law enforcement center tasked to coordinate interdiction operations in the Western Hemisphere. Established in 1988, today AMOC provides detection, monitoring, sorting, tracking and coordination of law enforcement response to suspect airborne and maritime activity at, beyond and internal to our nation’s borders. The center has been used to conduct Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and airspace security operations, response to natural disasters, covert and overt electronic target tracking and general aviation aircraft threat determination.
Firefighter Assistance Grants
The FY14 bill provides level funding ($675 million) for the two programs under the Firefighter Assistance Grants:
· $337.5 million for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program
· $337.5 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program
The SAFER program provides much-needed funding for career and volunteer fire departments across America to hire new firefighters and recruit and retain volunteer firefighters. The AFG program provides vital funds for training and equipment to fire departments throughout the country. An amendment approved by the Committee during the markup expands the SAFER funding eligibility to include allowing the retention of existing firefighter personnel.