CRS InsightsFY2014 Supplemental Appropriations Request
On July 8, 2014, the Administration requested $4,346,000,000 in FY2014 supplemental appropriations to address two issues: the surge in unaccompanied and escorted children illegally crossing the southwest border, and a shortfall in federal funding to pay the costs of wildfires. The appropriations were requested as emergency funding, meaning they would not count against the discretionary budget caps for FY2014.
Figure 1. FY2014 Supplemental Appropriations Request
(discretionary budget authority, designated as emergency funding)
Source: CRS analysis of the Administration's FY2014 Supplemental Appropriations Request.
Immigration and Border Security
The Administration requested $3,730,955,000 (86% of the total) for immigration and border security issues to be distributed among four departments. The request included a general provision allowing up to $250,000,000 of this amount to be transferred among applicable appropriations, which would give the Administration additional flexibility in how these funds may be used.
Department of Justice (DOJ)
$64,000,000 (1% of the total) was requested for two functions:
- $62,900,000 was requested for Administrative Review and Appeals, $45,400,000 of which would fund 40 additional immigration judges and their support teams, as well as expenditures needed to increase case processing. The remaining $17,500,000 would be split between a legal orientation program ($2,500,000) and direct legal representation services for children ($15,000,000), which the Administration indicated would speed the adjudication of cases and increase appearance rates.
- $1,100,000 was requested for salaries and expenses to hire additional immigration litigation attorneys.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
$1,103,995,000 (25%) was requested for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) salaries and expenses, including the following:
- $879,000,000 for enforcement and removal activities, expansion of the alternatives to detention program and increased prosecution capacity;
- $116,000,000 for transportation costs associated with unaccompanied children; and
- $109,000,000 for expanding U.S. immigration and customs enforcement efforts domestically and in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—the home countries of roughly 80% of those apprehended at the southwest border at this time.
$432,960,000 (10%) was requested for two Customs and Border Protection (CBP) accounts:
- $393,549,000 for salaries and expenses, including $364,000,000 for operational costs and $29,000,000 for expansion of coordinated work with ICE in border enforcement; and
- $39,411,000 for CBP's air and marine operations wing, providing 16,526 additional flight hours for border surveillance and 16 additional crews for drones.
The Administration also requested expanded transfer authority for supplemental funds appropriated to DHS, in addition to the broader transfer authority mentioned above.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
$1,830,000,000 (42%) was requested for Refugee and Entrant Assistance, specifically for care of unaccompanied children. According to the Administration, these funds would enable HHS to expand its capacity while implementing more stable, cost-effective care arrangements, and provide medical response for unaccompanied children at Border Patrol facilities. The Administration's proposal would also give the Secretary of HHS permanent authority to accept donations aimed at helping meet the needs of unaccompanied children.
Department of State (DOS)
$300,000,000 (7%) was requested for DOS:
- $5,000,000 for media campaigns in Central America to advertise the dangers facing migrants traveling to the United States and skill development programs to benefit potential migrants; and
- $295,000,000 to support repatriation and reintegration of migrants to Central America, address root causes of migration from there, and help source countries better control their borders.
For additional context on this issue see
- CRS Report R43623, Unaccompanied Alien Children—Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, by Kate M. Manuel and Michael John Garcia;
- CRS Report R43599, Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview, by Lisa Seghetti, Alison Siskin, and Ruth Ellen Wasem; and
- CRS Report R43628, Unaccompanied Alien Children: Potential Factors Contributing to Recent Immigration, coordinated by William A. Kandel.
The Administration's request included $615,000,000 (14%) to cover wildfire suppression and emergency rehabilitation activities.
It also included legislative text that would implement a proposal from the Administration's FY2015 budget request to carve out a new set-aside for wildland fire costs from the allowable adjustment for disaster relief under existing budget control laws.
For additional context on this issue, see
- CRS Report R41858, Federal Assistance for Wildfire Response and Recovery, by Kelsi Bracmort;
- CRS Report R43077, Wildfire Management: Federal Funding and Related Statistics, by Kelsi Bracmort; and
- CRS Report R42352, An Examination of Federal Disaster Relief Under the Budget Control Act, by Bruce R. Lindsay, William L. Painter, and Francis X. McCarthy.
Does this request have unrelated spending items?
Supplemental appropriations requests often deal with multiple topics. While a supplemental appropriations proposal may gain a colloquial title for ease of identification, it is not unusual for such legislation to deal with a range of needs identified by the White House and/or Congress. This particular request focuses on two issues: dealing with the situation at the southwest border through a number of mechanisms, and addressing the shortfall in wildfire suppression and emergency restoration work. This may change.
Does this supplemental appropriations bill need to be offset?
The Administration requested the supplemental funding be designated as an emergency under the budget control laws. Therefore, it would not count against the discretionary spending caps for FY2014, and an offset would not be needed to avoid violating those caps. However, some Members of Congress support offsetting supplemental appropriations to avoid increasing the deficit.
Does this take the place of the Administration's requests from late May 2014?
No. The supplemental request was for FY2014—the current fiscal year—while the May 2014 letter to appropriators pertained to FY2015.