On December 20, the FY 2020 spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security and its related agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), was enacted. The bill restores funding for key airport priorities.
For TSA, notable items include:
• $46.3 million for the LEO reimbursement program, rejecting the administration’s proposal to eliminate funding for this program and shift these costs on to airport operators;
• $83.5 million for TSA to maintain existing exit lane staffing, as required by statute, instead of shifting those costs on to airports;
• $77.8 million to hire additional Transportation Security Officers necessary to address the continued growth in passenger volumes at airports;
• $166.9 million to sustain 1,097 canine teams, including the 50 teams added in FY 2019;
• $58.8 million to sustain 31Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams, rejecting the administration’s proposal to eliminate this program;
• Sufficient funding for 320 new computed tomography machines, advancement of CT algorithms to improve detection rates, and design and development of a CT unit suitable for small and rural airports; and
• $40 million to reimburse airports that acquired partial or complete in-line baggage systems prior to August 3, 2007 and have validated project costs.
For CBP, notable items include:
• $140.4 million in direct appropriations to support 800 new positions, including 610 CBP officers. When combined with fee funding, CBP will have sufficient resources to hire a total of 1,200 new CBP officers and 240 agriculture specialists during FY 2020.
• $61 million is user fees for biometric exit efforts