Members of Congress returning to Washington, D.C. after their summer recess were greeted today with a $1.2 billion request from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson for addressing the border surge. Johnson said that while the “worst [of the surge] is over for now, there are still bills to be paid and our border security efforts must be sustained to prevent another spike like we saw this year.”
Johnson noted a decline in apprehensions along the southwest border -- 3,141 unaccompanied alien children were captured in August, as compared to 5,501 in July, and 3,295 adults with children were apprehended, as compared to 7, 405 in July – but said the efforts to date “cost money.”
He reprogrammed $405 million away from other sources when Congress did not clear a supplemental appropriations bill prior to recess. “Without supplemental funding, I will be forced to seek additional reprogramming for FY 2015 if our efforts and progress is to be sustained,” Johnson said.
Congress is unlikely to pass a supplemental appropriations bill as DHS requested. The new federal fiscal year begins on October 1st, so additional funds, if any, would be dealt with within the context of fiscal year 2015 appropriations legislation. Since none of the regular FY 2015 spending bills have passed thus far, Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution that would fund the government through mid-December.
Read Secretary Johnson's statement for more information.
Updated: Mon, Sep 22nd 2014 @ 4:10pm EDT