[House Hearing, 116 Congress] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] A REVIEW OF THE FISCAL YEAR 2021 BUDGET REQUEST FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ======================================================================= HEARING before the COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ONE HUNDRED SIXTEENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION __________ MARCH 3, 2020 __________ Serial No. 116-64 __________ Printed for the use of the Committee on Homeland Security [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT] Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.govinfo.gov __________ U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 41-954 PDF WASHINGTON : 2021 COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi, Chairman Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Mike Rogers, Alabama James R. Langevin, Rhode Island Peter T. King, New York Cedric L. Richmond, Louisiana Michael T. McCaul, Texas Donald M. Payne, Jr., New Jersey John Katko, New York Kathleen M. Rice, New York Mark Walker, North Carolina J. Luis Correa, California Clay Higgins, Louisiana Xochitl Torres Small, New Mexico Debbie Lesko, Arizona Max Rose, New York Mark Green, Tennessee Lauren Underwood, Illinois John Joyce, Pennsylvania Elissa Slotkin, Michigan Dan Crenshaw, Texas Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri Michael Guest, Mississippi Al Green, Texas Dan Bishop, North Carolina Yvette D. Clarke, New York Jefferson Van Drew, New Jersey Dina Titus, Nevada Bonnie Watson Coleman, New Jersey Nanette Diaz Barragan, California Val Butler Demings, Florida Hope Goins, Staff Director Chris Vieson, Minority Staff Director C O N T E N T S ---------- Page Statements The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson, a Representative in Congress From the State of Mississippi, and Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security: Oral Statement................................................. 1 Prepared Statement............................................. 3 The Honorable Mike Rogers, a Representative in Congress From the State of Alabama, and Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security: Oral Statement................................................. 4 Prepared Statement............................................. 5 Witness Honorable Chad Wolf, U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Oral Statement................................................. 6 Prepared Statement............................................. 9 For the Record The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson, a Representative in Congress From the State of Mississippi, and Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security: Statement of Anthony M. Reardon, National President, National Treasury Employees Union..................................... 66 Appendix Questions From Honorable Torres Small for Honorable Chad Wolf.... 73 Questions From Honorable Michael Guest for Honorable Chad Wolf... 74 A REVIEW OF THE FISCAL YEAR 2021 BUDGET REQUEST FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ---------- Tuesday, March 3, 2020 U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security, Washington, DC. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:01 a.m., in room 310, Cannon House Office Building, Hon. Bennie G. Thompson (Chairman of the committee) presiding. Present: Representatives Thompson, Langevin, Richmond, Rice, Correa, Torres Small, Rose, Underwood, Cleaver, Green of Texas, Clarke, Titus, Coleman, Demings; Rogers, King, McCaul, Katko, Walker, Higgins, Lesko, Green of Tennessee, Joyce, Crenshaw, Guest, Bishop, and Van Drew. Chairman Thompson. The Committee on Homeland Security will come to order. The committee is meeting today to receive testimony on the administration's budget request for the Department of Homeland Security. Without objection, the Chair is authorized to declare the committee in recess at any point. Acting Secretary Wolf, you are here today under extraordinarily troubling circumstances. Americans are rightfully concerned about the coronavirus that spreads across the globe and claimed the lives of thousands, including at least 6 here at home. They are looking to their Government for leadership and guidance. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has not been equal to the task so far. In the face of this potential pandemic, the President has downplayed this threat, overstated how close scientists are to developing a vaccine, and muzzled experts in his own administration who disagree with him. As the crisis unfolds, the President has continued to hold political rallies, including a recent one where he called the coronavirus a hoax perpetrated by Democrats. Even for a President who has a casual relationship with the truth, this is not only an outrageous lie, but also incredibly dangerous. The President must not shirk his responsibility. The country needs him to step up in a time of crisis, like Presidents of both parties have done throughout our Nation's history. That means acknowledging the threat, prioritizing the health and security of the American people above political consideration or the stock market, and allowing doctors, scientists, and other qualified experts to offer candid assessments of the situation and direct the Federal response. As for the Department of Homeland Security, I remain concerned about the lack of steady leadership and persistent vacancies, especially during this critical time. Mr. Wolf is the fifth person to sit--serve as Secretary during 3 years of Trump administration. It has been 328 days since the Department of Homeland Security has had a Senate-confirmed Secretary. It is not even certain that Mr. Wolf's appointment is valid. Moreover, a Federal court ruled in recent days that the acting deputy secretary's appointment as USCIS director was unlawful, calling into question his position at the Department. Unfortunately, the President appears to prefer chaos to order, and political expediency to good government. Make no mistake, the on-going vacancies and lack of steady leadership have consequences, especially at a time like this. For example, since 9/11 the Federal Government has invested heavily in developing doctrine to define roles and responsibility for incident response. But no one in the administration seems to be familiar with them. As Americans face a potential coronavirus pandemic, the administration appears to be caught flat-footed, scrambling to figure out who is in charge. Meanwhile, the President's proposed budget prioritizes his draconian immigration campaign promises at the expense of our core homeland security activities and responsibilities, including agencies and programs that are integral to the coronavirus response. I remain committed to ensuring the Department receives the funding it needs to carry out its mission on behalf of the American people. Similarly, Members of both parties rejected the President's recent lowball coronavirus emergency supplemental request. Apparently, the President is happy to spend an unlimited amount of U.S. taxpayers' money on a useless border wall. But faced with the prospect of a global pandemic, he would have nickel- and-dimed our response. This is unacceptable. Now is certainly not the time to leave Federal agencies engaged in the response short of resources. In the coming days we will send the President a bill providing the funding necessary to fight the coronavirus. Before I close, I want to address the challenges associated with the Department's refusal to cooperate with the committee's oversight efforts. Under the Trump administration the Department has failed to provide the documents requested by this committee as part of its Constitutionally-mandated oversight efforts. Even under subpoena, when the committee does receive documents, they are incomplete or heavily redacted so as to render them useless. The behavior of the Department gives the impression that it is seeking to evade oversight, or has something to hide. I hope that is not true. If we can't trust the Trump administration to be transparent with regular Congressional oversight, how can we trust it to be honest with the American people in a time of crisis? In the past time for the President and his administration to be the leaders the American people need and deserve. They are counting on the administration to secure the Nation, and on Congress to hold you accountable. Please know that we will uphold our responsibility, Mr. Acting Secretary. I sincerely hope the President and his administration uphold theirs. [The statement of Chairman Thompson follows:] Statement of Chairman Bennie G. Thompson March 3, 2020 Acting Secretary Wolf, you are here today under extraordinarily troubling circumstances. Americans are rightfully concerned about the coronavirus that has spread across the globe and claimed the lives of thousands, including at least 6 here at home. They are looking to their Government for leadership and guidance. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has not been equal to the task so far. In the face of this potential pandemic, the President has downplayed its threat, overstated how close scientists are to developing a vaccine, and muzzled experts in his own administration who disagree with him. As the crisis unfolds, the President has continued to hold political rallies, including a recent one where he called the coronavirus a ``hoax'' perpetrated by Democrats. Even for a President who has a casual relationship with the truth, this is not only an outrageous lie but also incredibly dangerous. The President must not shirk his responsibility. The country needs him to step up in a time of crisis, like Presidents of both parties have done throughout our Nation's history. That means acknowledging the threat; prioritizing the health and security of the American people above political considerations or the stock market; and allowing doctors, scientists, and other qualified experts to offer candid assessments of the situation and direct the Federal response. As for the Department of Homeland Security, I remain concerned about the lack of steady leadership and persistent vacancies, especially during this crucial time. Mr. Wolf is the fifth person to serve as Secretary during 3 years of Trump administration. It has been 328 days since the Department of Homeland Security has had a Senate- confirmed Secretary. It is not even certain that Mr. Wolf's appointment is valid. Moreover, a Federal court ruled in recent days that the Acting Deputy Secretary's appointment as USCIS director was unlawful, calling into question his position at the Department. Unfortunately, the President appears to prefer chaos to order and political expediency to good government. Make no mistake--the on-going vacancies and lack of steady leadership have consequences, especially at a time like this. For example, since 9/11, the Federal Government has invested heavily in developing doctrine to define roles and responsibilities for incident response. But no one in the administration seems to be familiar with them. As Americans face a potential coronavirus pandemic, the administration appears to be caught flatfooted, scrambling to figure out who is in charge. Meanwhile, the President's proposed budget prioritizes his draconian immigration campaign promises at the expense of our core homeland security activities and responsibilities, including agencies and programs that are integral to the coronavirus response. I remain committed to ensuring the Department receives the funding it needs to carry out its mission on behalf of the American people. Similarly, Members of both parties rejected the President's recent low- ball coronavirus emergency supplemental request. Apparently the President is happy to spend an unlimited amount of U.S. taxpayer money on a useless border wall, but faced with the prospect of global pandemic he would have nickeled-and-dimed our response. This is unacceptable. Now is certainly not the time to leave Federal agencies engaged in the response short of resources. In the coming days, we will send to the President a bill providing the funding necessary to fight the coronavirus. Before I close, I want to address the challenges associated with the Department's refusal to cooperate with the committee's oversight efforts. Under the Trump administration, the Department has failed to provide the documents requested by this committee as part of its Constitutionally-mandated oversight efforts, even under subpoena. When the committee does receive documents, they are incomplete or heavily redacted so as to render them useless. The behavior of the Department gives the impression that it is seeking to evade oversight and has something to hide. I hope that is not true. If we can't trust the Trump administration to be transparent with regular Congressional oversight, how can we trust it to be honest with the American people in a time of crisis? It is past time for the President and his administration to be the leaders the American people need and deserve. They are counting on the administration to secure the Nation and on Congress to hold you accountable. Please know that we will uphold our responsibility, Mr. Acting Secretary, and I sincerely hope the President and his administration uphold theirs. Chairman Thompson. The Chair now recognizes the Ranking Member of the full committee, the gentleman from Alabama, Mr. Rogers, for an opening statement. Mr. Rogers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing today. Thank you, Mr. Acting Secretary, for being here. We look forward to hearing from you. This past year has been a challenging one for DHS. Last year this country saw a record number of migrants crossing our Southern Border, over a million men, women, and children swamped our immigration system in a matter of months. It strained the resources of the Department. But the men and women of DHS responded to the crisis with dedication and professionalism. Congress was slow to act, but we finally provided supplemental resources to address the crisis, and it was a crisis. Yet 1 year ago last week, my Democrat colleagues tweeted, ``There is no National emergency at the border, plain and simple.'' Because of this administration's bold actions, we are no longer seeing the record-breaking levels of migration at our Southern Border so far this year. I am deeply disappointed that, for political reasons, folks can't and won't acknowledge this simple fact: President Trump's policies are succeeding, where other administrations have failed. The President's budget fully funds his successful border strategy, and rightly doubles down on the wall. However, the Department faces more challenges in the year ahead. Election security, cybersecurity, and the coronavirus response will test DHS's resources and management. I am concerned about cuts to CISA, slashing critical FEMA grant programs, and the termination of the CFATS program, and removal of the Secret Service from DHS. I know the Chairman and I agree on this. Those cuts directly impede important efforts to secure our country. While I disagree with parts of the 2021 budget request, I believe Congress also has failed DHS. We owe it to Department to provide direction in a regular, comprehensive reauthorization. We cannot expect the Department to function with haphazard direction and funding authorizations from 2002. I understand that the Majority intends to mark up a bill to reform part of DHS headquarters next month. Mr. Chairman, you and I have both called for a full, robust DHS authorization. I hope that is what this committee considers in April. We may have different approaches and proposals, but we want the same thing. We want this Department to function correctly. I look forward to discussing this legislation, Mr. Chairman. I also wanted to address the evolving coronavirus outbreak. Our hearts go out to those who have lost their loved ones, and those who are currently undergoing treatment. This pandemic is a global event, and I am concerned not only with our preparedness, but the global response. I remain concerned that the Chinese officials knowingly withheld essential information from both public and international health communities in the most critical stages of this outbreak. I am sure that the early days of this outbreak will be under intense scrutiny once the crisis is over. My deepest concern for the moment is the level of preparedness at the State and local level. I hope to hear from the Secretary today, and from witnesses over the next week, about our efforts to prepare communities. Last week I urged the House to act in a swift and nonpartisan fashion to approve an emergency supplemental for this public health emergency. Hopefully, the House can live up to this moment and act quickly. Thank you again, Mr. Secretary, for joining us. [The statement of Ranking Member Rogers follows:] Statement of Ranking Member Mike Rogers Mar. 3, 2020 Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing today. Thank you, Mr. Acting Secretary for being here today with us. We look forward to hearing for you The past year has been a challenging one for DHS. Last year, this country saw record migrants crossing our Southern Border. Over a million men, women, and children swamped our immigration system in a matter of months. It strained the resources of the Department. But, the men and women of DHS responded to this crisis with dedication and professionalism. Congress was slow to act but we finally provided supplemental resources to address the crisis. It was a crisis. Yet, 1 year ago last week, my Democrat colleagues tweeted: ``There's no national emergency at the border, plain and simple.'' Because of this administration`s bold actions, we are no longer seeing the record-breaking levels of migration at our Southern Border so far this year. I'm deeply disappointed that, for political reasons, folks can't and won't acknowledge this simple fact: President Trump's policies are succeeding where other administrations have failed. The President's budget fully funds his successful border strategy and rightly doubles down on the wall. However, the Department faces more challenges in the year ahead. Election security, cybersecurity, and the coronavirus response will test DHS resources and management. I'm concerned about cuts to CISA, slashing critical FEMA grant programs, the termination of the CFATS program, and removal of the Secret Service from DHS. I know the Chairman and I agree on these points. Those cuts directly impede important efforts to secure our country. While I disagree with parts of the 2021 budget request, I believe that Congress has also failed DHS. We owe it to this Department to provide direction in a regular, comprehensive reauthorization. We cannot expect the Department to function with haphazard direction and funding authorizations from 2002. I understand that the Majority intendeds to mark-up a bill to reform part of DHS headquarters next month. Mr. Chairman, you and I have both called for a full and robust DHS authorization. I hope that is what this committee considers in April. We may have different approaches and proposals, but we want the same thing. We want this Department to function. I look forward to discussing this legislation with you Mr. Chairman. I also wanted to address the evolving coronavirus outbreak. Our hearts go out to those who have lost their loved ones and those who are currently undergoing treatment. This pandemic is a global event and I'm concerned not only with our preparedness but the global response. I remain concerned that Chinese officials knowingly withheld essential information from both the public and the international health community in the most critical stages of this outbreak. I'm sure that the early days of this outbreak will be under intense scrutiny once the crisis is over. My deepest concern for the moment is the level of preparedness at the State and local level. I hope to hear from the Secretary today and from other witnesses over the next week about our efforts to prepare communities. Last week, I urged the House to act in a swift and non-partisan fashion to approve an emergency supplemental for this public health emergency. Hopefully the House can live up to this moment and act quickly. Thank you again Mr. Secretary for joining us. Mr. Rogers. I yield back, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. Other Members of the committee are reminded that, under the committee rules, opening statements may be submitted for the record. I want to welcome our witness, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf. Mr. Wolf has been acting secretary since November 2019. He is the confirmed under secretary of the department of--Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans. Previously, he served as the acting under secretary and chief of staff to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. Without objection, the witness's full statement will be inserted in the record. I now recognize Acting Secretary Wolf to summarize his statement. STATEMENT OF HONORABLE CHAD WOLF, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Mr. Wolf. Thank you, Chairman and Members of the committee. Before I share with you my oral testimony, I wanted to address an issue this morning and share some additional information regarding the evolving situation in Washington State. Late last night, the Department was made aware of a situation involving a DHS employee. Out of an abundance of caution, and following recommended procedure, I ordered a DHS facility in King County, Washington State, to close beginning today, and directed those employees to telework, if possible, in order to reduce the threat of community spread of the coronavirus. At this time, the affected offices will remain closed for 14 days, and all employees have been directed to self-quarantine for 14 days. We made this decision to close the offices because an employee had visited a family member at the Life Care facility in Kirkland, Washington, before it was known that that facility was impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Though the employee did not report to work when they felt ill, we are taking these steps, again, out of an abundance of caution. I am pleased to report that this employee embodied what it means to lead by example. The employee and their family took every precaution, and followed the guidance of public health officials. They stayed home from work when they felt ill, and the family self-quarantined and reported the exposure and their condition to their employers and other officials. As this unfolds, I know many at the Department of Homeland Security--myself included--will be thinking about and praying for our employees, their families, and all Americans affected by the coronavirus. Again, I think I speak for everyone when I thank the employee and their family for taking the advice and direction of health care professionals. As an employer, it is our utmost responsibility to protect our work force. In addition to the travel restrictions and enhanced medical screens that we put in place, which I will talk about a little bit later, DHS continually engages our work force with guidance on protective and preventative measures. Again, from the headquarters level, we will begin--we began sending all employee messages on January 22 regarding coronavirus, regarding procedures they need to take as this continues to unfold. We will continue to do so. At this time a rapid response team back at DHS headquarters is working with the CDC and State and local officials on further guidance regarding this particular incident, and I will be sure to keep the committee updated as this unfolds. So thank you for allowing me to do that. Let me jump into my prepared oral testimony. Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Rogers, and distinguished Members of the committee, it is certainly a privilege to appear before you today to discuss the Department of Homeland Security's mission to keep the Nation safe, and to present the President's fiscal year 2021 budget for the Department. As Acting Secretary, my priorities are guided by determination to assure that the Department is robust, resilient, and forward-leaning, prepared to address today's threats, as well as those of tomorrow. The fiscal year 2021 President's budget is not only a reflection of those priorities, but a path to achieving them. As this subcommittee knows, the Department of Homeland Security's missions span air, land, sea, and cyber domains, and our work force, 240,000 strong, stands watch for the Nation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They serve a unique dual imperative: Keeping our Nation safe and secure, while keeping it prosperous, and by facilitating lawful trade and travel. As I often say, economic security is homeland security, and the Department plays a critical role in this mission. The President's budget ensures that our work force has the resources needed to execute these critical responsibilities. It includes $49.8 billion in net discretionary funding, and $5.1 billion for the disaster relief fund. Consistent with years past, our budget priorities remain securing our borders, enforcing our immigration laws, securing cyber space and critical infrastructure, transportation security, and American preparedness. Recognizing that threats to the homeland are more dynamic than ever before, the budget positions us to respond to emerging threats, including those emanating from nation-states. The Department also continues to help manage the U.S. Government's response to the coronavirus. To be clear, the lead Federal agency of this response is and remains the Department of Health and Human Services. DHS remains focused on assisting travelers arriving at our land--at our air, land, and maritime ports of entry. The administration took early action to prohibit foreign nationals with travel to China from entering the United States. That--those same restrictions now apply to foreign nationals traveling from Iran. Every day the men and women of DHS are making sure that these travel restrictions are properly enforced. They are also ensuring all American citizens with recent travel to China or Iran are funneled through 11 airports, where the Department has stood up and continues to do enhanced medical screening on behalf of the CDC and others. The Department is also closely monitoring cases of the virus that have appeared here in our hemisphere. On Friday, the first--last Friday the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Mexico, with 5 additional cases reported since. That same day, unfortunately, a misguided court in California suspended the migrant protection protocols. Hours later, private attorneys and NGO's demanded entrance of over 2,000 illegal aliens, causing CBP and Mexican officials to temporarily close a handful of ports of entry for several hours. Thankfully, the court entered a temporary stay. But I will say that MPP has an uncertain future. We know from experience that the journey to the U.S. border puts migrants in very poor conditions, and they often arrive with no passports, no medical histories, and no travel manifest. This administration will continue to closely monitor the virus globally, as well as in our hemisphere, and we will adjust our proactive measures as necessary. Let me highlight a few specific priorities also included in the budget. The Department must continue to grow our digital--defense cyber threats grow in scope and severity. Election security remains a top priority to preserve our electoral process, and to secure our systems against interference. The President's budget invests $1.7 billion in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to strengthen our cyber and infrastructure security mission. Security of our Nation's border also remains a primary focus for the Department. Most notably, the budget includes $2 billion for the construction of approximately 82 miles of new border wall system, as well as funding for advanced technology and staffing. While securing our borders is vital, the integrity of our immigration system requires that we enforce the law, as written. It remains the priority of the Department to protect our citizens by identifying, detaining, and removing criminal aliens from our country. The budget includes over $3 billion to ensure that our law enforcement officers have the resources they need to faithfully execute the law. As true today as it was in the wake of 9/11, counterterrorism is our Department's core mission. Importantly, the President has increased funding for targeted violence and terrorism prevention programs by 500 percent, for a total of $96 million in the fiscal year 2021 budget. This funding is critical to identifying at-risk individuals and preventing their radicalization to violence. The budget also invests in modernizing the fleet for the United States Coast Guard. It provides $555 million to fund the construction of the second polar security cutter, which supports our National interest in the polar region. While physical capabilities and technologies are important, the Department's greatest asset remains our work force. In the budget--the President's budget provides funding for 500 new cybersecurity employees across the Department--at CBP, 750 new Border Patrol agents and 126 new support staff, as well as funding to sustain the 300 Border Patrol processing coordinators that Congress provided in fiscal year 2020. At ICE the budget calls for 2,800 new law enforcement officers, approximately 420 new ICE attorneys, and nearly 1,400 support staff. At TSA the funding sustains over 47,000 transportation security officers, ensuring that we continue to match pace with the passenger volume growth. These priorities are only a few included in the budget. I would say that DHS, as the committee knows, has one of the most diverse and complex mission sets in all of Government. I am constantly amazed by the dedication of our professionals. Therefore, I ask your support in providing them the resources they need to keep this--Homeland Security--the President's fiscal year 2021 budget request. Again, I thank you for the opportunity to address you today. [The prepared statement of Hon. Wolf follows:] Prepared Statement of Honorable Chad Wolf March 3, 2020 Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Rogers, and distinguished Members of the committee: It is a privilege to appear before you today to discuss the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) critical mission functions that keep this Nation safe and to present the President's fiscal year 2021 budget for the Department. This budget will serve as a catalyst to assist DHS in maintaining pace with adversaries attempting to circumvent our laws and threaten our citizens and our way life. My priorities are guided by a determination to ensure the Department is 3 things: Robust, resilient, and forward-leaning. The fiscal year 2021 President's budget is not only a reflection of those priorities but a path to achieving them. DHS is comprised of 8 major components and many support components and employs more than 240,000 men and women who stand ready to respond to a wide variety of threats in some of the most extreme and austere environments. These harsh conditions include Border Patrol agents patrolling the U.S. border in southern Arizona where temperatures reach upwards of 120 degrees, to the crew of the United States Coast Guard Cutter POLAR STAR, breaking ice as thick as 21 feet in the Antarctic Region where temperatures fluctuate between 40 to 90 degrees to conduct National security missions. These men and women continue to make significant contributions to the larger homeland security apparatus as they stand watch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, (or 366 days this year given it is a leap year). Our mission is to protect Americans and the homeland from threats by land, air, sea, and cyber space while promoting the Nation's economic prosperity through the facilitation of legitimate travel and commerce. This balance to ensure security without impeding the freedom of movement is a very delicate one and the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security continue to execute it with tenacity and compassion. The Department's key budget priorities remain consistent with recent years; Securing Our Borders, Enforcing Our Immigration Laws, Securing Cyber Space and Critical Infrastructure, Transportation Security and American Preparedness. However, there are emerging threats that underscore the importance of the Department's global reach. This budget recognizes that fact and positions the Department to respond. Though the United States has long faced isolated threats from China, Iran, and Russia, we are at a critical time in our Nation's history as it relates to threats emanating from these nation-states. While the administration works trade negotiations with China toward the goal of achieving a fair and balanced trade deal that both countries can call successful, we must increase pressure on the Chinese government for the on-going violations of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws. These violations continue to reduce market opportunities and undermine the profitability of United States businesses as sales of products and technologies are undercut by competition from illegal lower-cost imitations. Additionally, there are increasing concerns with the Chinese government's continued investment into U.S. interests and their impact to National and economic security. Specifically, as the United States builds out capacity within the 5G network, we must maintain a proactive posture in addressing a multitude of cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. The increased tension with Iran forced the Department to assume an enhanced security posture, particularly in the cybersecurity domain to prevent threats aimed at revenge for the recent death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. The Department's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) continues to monitor an uptick in malicious activity by pro-Iranian hackers and social media users as Iran possesses the capability and tendency to launch destructive cyber attacks. The 2016 election is a stark reminder that Russia remains a significant threat to our democratic process. And with a Presidential Election this November, it has never been more important to increase our digital defense to prevent cybersecurity threats from influencing electoral outcomes. To emphasize the variation in threats facing the Department, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) which originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, continues to spread to other parts of the world at a pace that has the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DHS at the ready. On January 31, 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services declared COVID-19 a public health emergency in the United States, and the President signed a Presidential Proclamation (Proclamation 9984) using his authority pursuant to Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to suspend the entry into the United States of foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting COVID-19. As of 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on February 2, 2020, foreign nationals, other than immediate family members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents and other individuals falling within narrow exceptions to the Proclamation, who were physically present in the People's Republic of China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau, within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States. On February 29, 2020, President Trump expanded Proclamation 9984 to also include most foreign nationals who have been to Iran within the last 14 days. DHS, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), continues to work very closely with our CDC partners to route all admissible persons who have been in mainland China or Iran in the last 14 days to one of 11 designated ports of entry where the Federal Government has focused public health resources. As the DHS lead for coordinating with interagency partners, the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) is currently supporting these enhanced health screenings through contracts with local EMS, public health, and/or first responders. Based on current information, the risk from COVID-19 to the American public remains low and we are taking measures to keep the threat low and prevent the virus from spreading. Sadly, 6 deaths in the United States from COVID-19 were reported over the past several days. As we have said from the beginning, we expect to see additional cases in the United States and as such DHS is responding with proactive safeguards and is prepared to increase these measures should it become necessary. The fiscal year 2021 President's budget for DHS includes $49.8 billion in net discretionary funding and an additional $5.1 billion for the disaster relief fund (DRF) to support response to and recovery from major disasters in the homeland. By providing the men and women of DHS the necessary resources to execute their important and extremely complex missions, the President's budget ensures we continue our current trajectory of reinforcing the security of our Nation through enhanced border security, immigration enforcement, transportation security, resilience to disasters, and cybersecurity. To help frame the rising threat, I would like to highlight some of last year's operational achievements. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processed and cared for an unprecedented number of migrant families and children. Encounters and apprehensions totaled more than 851,000 along the U.S. Southwest Border (SWB) alone. This total included more than 76,000 unaccompanied children and approximately 474,000 family units. This was a 110 percent increase over fiscal year 2019 apprehension totals (404,142). They inspected over 410 million travelers, arrested almost 13,000 wanted individuals and prevented nearly 299,000 inadmissible travelers from entering the United States. Additionally, their combined efforts with CBP's National Targeting Center (NTC), the Immigration Advisory Program and the Regional Carrier Liaison Group prevented the boarding of almost 19,000 high-risk travelers from boarding flights inbound to the United States. AMO executed nearly 93,000 flight hours and more than 33,000 float hours in balancing law enforcement and humanitarian operations. This effort included 300 flight hours during a 2-week period to provide relief to Bahamian citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and 3,600 flight hours dedicated to the migrant caravan surge along the SWB. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) worked tirelessly alongside Federal, State, and local election officials leading up to the 2018 mid-term elections and in preparation for the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election. Over 500 CISA employees supported election security preparedness Nation-wide, including providing technical cybersecurity assistance, information sharing and expertise to election offices, campaigns and technology vendors, this included staffing a Nation-wide virtual watch floor. As part of Active Shooter Preparedness, CISA also provided information to the critical infrastructure community and general public to help prepare emergency action plans and education on steps to increase incident survivability. Specifically, 39 in-person workshops with over 3,600 participants were conducted; nearly 87,000 people successfully completed an on-line course and a website focusing on active-shooter training was viewed more than 937,000 times by the public. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalized 833,000 new citizens, an 11-year high in new oaths of citizenship. The number of refugee applicants interviewed nearly doubled from fiscal year 2018 to 44,300 (from 26,000). These interviews supported the admission of 33,000 refugees to the United States which was a 32 percent increase over last year. USCIS also completed 78,580 affirmative asylum applications, and experienced a 6 percent rise in credible fear cases processed to 103,235. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) deployed over 12,300 FEMA personnel and 519 FEMA Corps personnel in support of 99 major disaster declarations including Hurricane Dorian, 22 emergency declarations and one Fire Management Assistance Grant declaration across 45 States, Tribes, and territories. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed nearly 268,000 individuals from the United States and arrested over 143,000 individuals. Homeland Security Investigations made nearly 50,000 arrests, approximately 80 percent of which were criminal arrests, including over 4,300 gang leaders, members, and associates. These gang arrests included 452 Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang members. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened approximately 839 million passengers, 1.9 billion carry-on items and 510 million checked bags in fiscal year 2019. This was a 4.3 percent increase in checkpoint volume which equates to an average increase of over 95,000 passengers per day. They enrolled over 2.1 million new individuals in TSA's PreCheck Application Program which is designed to increase security throughput by expediting trusted travelers and reducing security screening times. The United States Coast Guard (USCG), through their search-and- rescue efforts, saved 4,335 lives and prevented over $41 million in property loss. Over 400 of those lives saved were during Hurricane Dorian response efforts. Simultaneously, while executing their law enforcement responsibility, they removed over 458,000 pounds of cocaine and 63,000 pounds of marijuana with estimated wholesale value of $6.2 billion. The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office completed 155 surge deployments of the Mobile Detection Deployment (MDD) Program, enhancing interdiction efforts and expanding law enforcement partners' ability to protect the Nation from a Weapon of Mass Destruction threat. This was an increase of over 115 percent from fiscal year 2018 (72 deployments). Additionally, CWMD conducted more than 100 training exercises, training events, and informational briefings with partners and stakeholders to develop doctrine, create training curriculum, and validate readiness. The United States Secret Service conducted protective advances for nearly 6,500 visits and traveled overseas with protection details on 395 foreign visits. The Secret Service seized $369 million in counterfeit U.S. currency, an 81 percent increase over the previous year. Finally, the Secret Service closed 1,718 Cyber Financial Crime cases, an increase of 160 percent over fiscal year 2018 and experienced an 18 percent rise in Cyber Financial Crime cases opened, while the Cyber Financial Potential Losses Prevented increased by 36 percent ($5.2 billion to $7.1 billion) during the same year. Last year's operational achievements serve as a baseline from which to determine the incremental growth of threats to the homeland in the coming years. Analyzing the previous year's statistical achievements also allows DHS to plan for future threats accordingly. The fiscal year 2021 President's budget for DHS is an opportunity for Congress to provide the men and women charged with executing complex missions with the necessary prevention, response, and recovery resources. The security of our Nation's borders remains a primary focus area for the administration and this Department. Border security is National security as any nation's sovereignty begins with its ability to secure its physical borders. Securing the border is extremely complex and requires a multifaceted approach. The Department has long executed a defense-in-depth model when it comes to border security. There are 5,000 miles of border between the United States and Canada and over 1,900 miles shared with Mexico. The President's budget is a step toward enhancing border security through investments in staffing, infrastructure, and technology. Without a strategy that involves these key investments, border security would be unattainable. The President's budget includes $2.0 billion for the construction of approximately 82 miles of new border wall system. This funding supports real estate and environmental planning, land acquisition, wall system design, construction, and oversight. While a physical barrier alone does not solve all border security concerns, it remains foundational to a strategy for achieving operational control of the SWB. A physical barrier is a proven deterrent as well as a mechanism for channeling activity to predetermined points along the border which allows DHS to allocate response resources with much more precision. Domain awareness is a vital component to border security and complements a physical barrier by providing increased opportunities for actionable intelligence, especially in remote areas with little infrastructure. To complement the physical barrier, the budget includes $28 million to increase domain awareness through the deployment of 30 Autonomous Surveillance Towers (formerly Innovative Towers) across the Southwest Border. The towers are designed to provide persistent electronic surveillance in remote areas of the border without the need for a permanent Border Patrol agent presence. The data derived from these sensors will be relayed in real-time to the Air and Marine Operations Center and local Border Patrol Stations and/or Sectors for processing, threat determination, and response execution. The President's budget seeks funding for a number of CBP's airframe and sensor modifications, conversions, and/or upgrades. These platform improvements are multi-purposed as they provide increased levels of domain awareness and are instrumental in interdiction and humanitarian operations. They include $15.5 million to convert an Army HH-60L to CBP's versatile UH-60 Medium-Lift Helicopter configuration. UH-60's are the only assets in CBP's fleet that have medium-lift capability and are rugged enough to support interdiction and life-saving operations in extreme or hostile environments (desert, extreme cold, or open water). The budget includes $14.3 million to upgrade a DHC-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft. These aircraft operate under broad operational spectrums, including coastal/maritime boundaries in the Caribbean and Latin America. The budget also requests $13.0 million for the replacement of obsolete, out-of-production aircraft sensor integrated mission systems. Systems requiring replacement include non-High Definition (HD) Electro Optic/Infrared (EO/IR) sensors, outdated mapping systems, video displays, recorders, and data links that facilitate real-time data exploitation. While technology plays an important role in the Department's day- to-day missions, our most critical resource remains our personnel. As the Department remains focused on threats from those attempting to circumvent existing laws, we cannot lose sight of the year-over-year increase in the volume of legitimate trade and travel. This volume increase, can limit the time CBP has to conduct necessary threat analysis down to minutes or seconds without impacting the legitimate movement of people and goods. The President's budget seeks funding for additional personnel within several Departmental components including; $161 million for 750 Border Patrol agents and 126 support personnel, with an additional $54 million to sustain 250 agents hired in fiscal year 2019 and fiscal year 2020; $544 million for ICE to add an additional 2,844 law enforcement officers and 1,792 support personnel; and, $3.5 billion to fund 47,596 Transportation Security Officers, which supports the projected 4 percent increase in volume. The fiscal year 2021 budget also accounts for a 3 percent pay increase for the uniformed men and women of the Coast Guard, a 1 percent civilian pay increase, and an additional 1 percent increase in award spending, along with annualizing the 3.1 percent civilian pay raise in 2020. The majority of these personnel increases are targeted for front- line agents and officers. However, across the Department there will be staffing increases in various support positions. U.S. Border Patrol, for example, will use Processing Coordinators to perform non-border security, non-law enforcement officer activities such as support activities related to processing or providing humanitarian support. This additional increase will allow front-line agents and officers currently assigned to perform administrative duties out of necessity, to focus more time on operational responsibilities. DHS is committed to enforcing immigration laws across the Nation, including the interior of the United States. Our priority is to identify, detain, and remove criminals from the United States that are here illegally with particular attention focused on those individuals posing a threat to public safety. The Department does not intend on stopping there; those employers who knowingly break the law for the self-serving purpose of cheap labor will be identified and brought to justice. Fiscal year 2019 apprehensions between the ports of entry along the Southwest Border increased 115 percent when compared to fiscal year 2018. This unprecedented spike in illegal crossings drove a corresponding increase in the ICE average daily population (ADP). The resulting effect was an increase in historical occupancy levels within DHS detention facilities. Forecasting models reinforce the need for an increase in ICE's detention beds to 60,000 (55,000 adult and 5,000 family). The budget includes $3.1 billion for this capacity increase and ensures ICE is able to maintain pace with projected migration flows and enhance enforcement activity within the interior of the United States. We must continue to increase our digital defense as cybersecurity threats grow in scope and severity. The fiscal year 2021 President's budget is poised to continue investments in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to assess evolving cybersecurity risks and protect Federal Government information systems and critical infrastructure. CISA continues to work tirelessly to ensure cyber attacks are unable to compromise or disrupt Federal networks. With the November Presidential Election fast approaching, CISA is also working with State and local organizations in all 50 States to ensure American elections are decided by Americans without outside interference. Accordingly, the President's budget seeks $1.1 billion in CISA cybersecurity operational costs and investments for programs to include the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program and the National Cybersecurity Protection System in order to strengthen the security posture for government networks and systems. The budget also includes $157.6 million for the Emergency Communications program which enables improved public safety communications services throughout the Nation. This program also manages funding, sustainment, and grant programs to support communications interoperability and builds capacity with Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial stakeholders. The Coast Guard is a unique component given it is the only branch of the U.S. Armed Forces within DHS. As a military service and a law enforcement organization with a regulatory responsibility, they possess broad jurisdictional authorities and flexible operational capabilities. This combination necessitates an inherent need to ensure they are postured for rapid response to a variety of missions with a modernized fleet that supports these requirements. The President's budget includes $555 million to support the Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program management and to fund the construction of PSC 2. This acquisition recapitalizes the Coast Guard's heavy polar icebreaker fleet to support national interest in the Polar Regions and provide assured surface presence in ice-impacted waters. The budget also includes an additional $153 million for existing airframe modernization (combines $88 million for Fixed-Wing Aircraft and $65 million for Rotary-Wing Aircraft). These improvements will help ensure the Coast Guard fleet is appropriately equipped for the complex missions they are charged with executing. This modernization effort aligns the Coast Guard's recapitalization of airframes with the Department of Defense Future Vertical Lift acquisitions to create additional acquisition efficiencies. Finally, $564 million is included for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC). This funding supports the production of OPC No. 3 and Long Lead Time Materials for OPC No. 4 along with technical and program management costs. The fiscal year 2021 President's budget includes $96 million in additional resources, distributed across several components to fund the Targeting Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) program. This program is designed to support early detection and prevention of radicalization of individuals prone to violence by interrupting those efforts with appropriate action by leveraging civic organizations, law enforcement and community organizations. The Department's investment includes components vested in research and development, early detection, and response. What makes the United States great is its resiliency in the face of adversity and hardship. Throughout our storied history, there are dozens if not hundreds of examples of that resiliency displayed. And though the people of this country are resilient by nature, it is important that we as a Department appropriately plan ahead for things we know are coming including hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires. One of FEMA's strategic goals is to Ready the Nation for Catastrophic Disasters. The fiscal year 2021 President's budget helps FEMA achieve this goal by funding numerous initiatives aimed at preparedness and disaster recovery. FEMA continues to invest in State and local governments to increase preparedness and resiliency. The budget includes $2.5 billion to support State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments in the form of non-disaster grants and training. These funds are key in sustaining and building new capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate high- consequence disasters and emergencies in our Nation's high-risk transit systems, ports, and along our borders. In addition, the Nation's transportation systems are inherently open environments. Part of TSA's mission is to protect these systems to ensure the free and secure movement of people and commerce. U.S. transportation systems accommodate approximately 965 million domestic and international aviation passengers annually, that number is in the billions when you factor in, over-the-road buses and mass transit systems. Ensuring effective screening of air passengers remains a top priority for TSA. In an effort to balance the need for increased security without impeding freedom of movement for legitimate travelers, the President's budget includes $28.9 million to expand TSA's Computed Tomography (CT) Screening capability. CT Screening is the most impactful property screening tool available today. Not only is it more effective against non-conventional concealment methods but it eliminates the need for passenger to remove electronic items from carry-on bags. This combination improves security and expedites the screening process to increase passenger throughput efficiency. To offset TSA operations, a $1.00 increase is proposed in the Aviation Passenger Security Fee. This minimal increase would generate approximately $618 million in additional revenue and help defray the increasing cost of aviation security. Finally, the fiscal year 2021 President's budget proposes to transfer the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) functions, personnel, assets, and obligations along with the functions and responsibilities of the Secretary of Homeland Security related to the Secret Service over to the Department of the Treasury. I have only touched on a handful of priorities included in the fiscal year 2021 President's budget for DHS. This is not intended to convey a message of less importance for those components, resources, or initiatives not highlighted. DHS executes its vast mission responsibility using a defense-in-depth strategy and much of DHS's success is predicated on this approach to execution. Components within the Department have individual mission responsibilities however, they cannot disassociate themselves from one another as their daily activities are intertwined to close gaps in security, resiliency, and economic prosperity. Accordingly, those components, resources, or initiatives not listed remain just as important. I continue to be amazed by the professionalism, dedication, and tenacity displayed daily by the men and women of this Department. Their resolve and genuine commitment to the complex homeland security mission is above reproach and we should all sleep better at night knowing they are on duty. Despite their continued commitment, they cannot safely nor effectively execute their mission without the proper resources. Therefore, I ask for your support in providing them the resources needed to keep our families safe through the fiscal year 2021 President's budget. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you and discuss the Department's fiscal year 2021 budget submission and I look forward to taking your questions. Chairman Thompson. I thank the Acting Secretary for his testimony. I will remind each Member that he or she will have 5 minutes to question the panel. I will now recognize myself for questions. One of the responsibilities, Mr. Secretary, we have is the oversight of the Department. For the 14 months the committee has been trying to get information from the Department about the death of 2 children in CBP custody, as well as the separation of children from their parents, among other topics. On January 4, 2019 I sent a letter to the Department requesting, ``any document related to the care of children in CBP custody,'' including documents relating to the death of Jakelin Caal Maquin and Felipe Gomez. The Department produced some documents, including lots of publicly-available documents, but clearly did not comply with the request. On November 20 the committee issued a narrowly-tailored subpoena by voice vote for documents relating to the kids who died, and the kids who were separated from their parents, among other topics. Last week, more than a year after the first requests, the Department produced Felipe's medical records. Clearly, Felipe's medical records were responsive to my first letter, as well as the committee's subpoena. Why were there--why were Felipe's medical records produced to the committee just last week, 1 year after the request? Mr. Wolf. So thank you, Chairman. I would say that I fully respect Congress's role in oversight. I think we talked about this when we first met in November, and you have my commitment, you continue to have my commitment in providing the committee any and all documents. I will say, regarding those 2 children, obviously, our inspector general has had an open investigation, which has concluded recently, regarding those deaths, as well as others. So we wanted to make sure that that independent investigation had all the information that they have. I will say that we have responded a number of times, not only to the original January request, but also, as you mentioned, the subpoena. So we have produced over 11 document productions, thousands of pages. I believe it is over 6,000. Specifically, I think we have addressed 3 out of the 4 major concerns of the subpoena. We are working on the fourth issue, which is an additional production. As we continue, we will continue to produce that, continue to provide the committee documents. I believe we have also provided in-camera review of over 70 hours of tape, which the committee requested, and continue to make ourselves available to provide that information. Chairman Thompson. Well, I thank you. But the point is, after a year, when we get them, I want to put on the screen 2 pages of information that we got.* --------------------------------------------------------------------------- * Information has been retained in committee files. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chairman Thompson. I think, just from the redaction, that is--there is--of no use to us, even when we get it. Can you explain why those 2 pages are redacted like that? Mr. Wolf. Well, I don't have the--I don't know the exact 2 pages that you are referring to, although I see them on the screen. I will say that, obviously, we go through a review process of all the information that we turn over, because there are certain Executive branch's interests that not only this administration, but previous administrations adhere to, so we do redact certain information. But again, we provide any and all information to the Congress that we can. Again, we will continue to do that, continue to provide the video, which I know the committee is very interested in, as well. We have done that, and we will continue to provide that. Chairman Thompson. So who would know what privilege is being claimed with redactions like this? Mr. Wolf. I am sorry, what was the question? Chairman Thompson. Yes, you provided us these redacted documents. Who is responsible---- Mr. Wolf. So that goes through a lengthy review process at the Department--obviously, through our general counsel's office, but there are several other offices within the Department that looks at it. Depending on the subject matter-- again, I am not sure what that document is. If it comes from CBP, obviously, CBP attorneys---- Chairman Thompson. That is just a sample. But I think my point is we need to know what privilege is being claimed when we ask for the documents. They are just redacted, so we don't know. Mr. Wolf. OK, I am happy to--we can take that back, and share that information. Chairman Thompson. So you don't know what person is responsible for the final push-out on this? Mr. Wolf. That would be responsible--again, it probably--it would go through our OGC, our Office of General Counsel. So our acting general counsel would be the individual ultimately responsible. Obviously, they coordinate with the administration on Executive branch interests there. So it is a coordinated effort. But, yes, our general counsel at the Department would ultimately approve those redactions. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. We will follow up with it. We will probably have a second round of questions. I want to talk to you a little bit about the committee's interests in this potential pandemic we are addressing. You addressed some of it in your opening statement. But in order for us to do our job, we will have to have access to certain information. So are you prepared to provide the committee that information that is in your jurisdiction? Mr. Wolf. Yes. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. I yield to the Ranking Member. Mr. Rogers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I share your concerns. I think those examples were unacceptable, and we can't do oversight unless we have more cooperation. This is not something that is limited just to the DHS. As you know, I serve on Armed Services Committee. We have the same broad with DOD. This just broad over-classification is just unacceptable. Secretary Wolf, talk to me about how you arrived at these budget priorities, and what drove your priorities. Mr. Wolf. So Ranking Member, I would say that the budget process is in--a laborious process. It gets built many, many months in advance. I was actually in a different position at the Department when some of the 2021 budget priorities were being formulated, and then transitioned over, and then transitioned back. So I would say, again, our priorities remain. I outlined them at the beginning of the oral--continue to be border security, enforcing our immigration laws, cybersecurity, American preparedness, transportation security. So we have some high-level priorities. Then, obviously, we had to look at the resources that we have, and prioritize specific programs under each of the--our overall strategic goals, and our funding goals, as well. So it is a give-and-take. We have to look at programs that perhaps have been funded in the past to see if they continue to be useful, and we base that against the threat. We will continue to evaluate that, and work with Congress to set those priorities. Mr. Rogers. Well, you rightly cited cybersecurity in that list of priorities. I don't understand, then, why you would cut CISA's budget. That is something the Chairman and I have both expressed dismay about. Mr. Wolf. So I will say that, when you compare it to the President's fiscal year 2020 budget request, the funding in the fiscal year 2021 budget request is an increase. I do understand that it is a decrease from what was enacted last year by Congress. I will say that it fully funds all of DHS mission sets, including election security as we look to fiscal year 2021. Obviously, we are in the middle of a Presidential election year in fiscal year 2020, and I thank Congress for the funding that it provided. Obviously, CISA is doing a lot of important work now on the election security front, but it does fully fund their mission and their requirements as we look at 2021. Some of the funding that they have received over the past fiscal years will continue to be made available to them as they look at 2021, as well. Mr. Rogers. As you know, today is Super Tuesday in Alabama, like about 12 other States that are having a big election. Tell me about the state of our election security today, and as we go toward November. Mr. Wolf. Sure. I would say that what we saw in 2018 was one of the most secure elections, I believe, that we have had, and we are continuing to build on that progress as we go into 2020. I will say that CISA, under the leadership of Director Krebs, has been very forward-leaning. I would say that the relationships that we have now in all 50 States, over 2,300 jurisdictions, it is really night and day to what we saw in 2016, where we had very few relationships, very few contact information, and weren't talking to them. So we share a number of information. We push intelligence as we can to these State and local election officials. We also provide them any number of no-cost tools that they can utilize: Penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, and a variety of others. So we continue to work with the State and local election officials. Those are the individuals that run elections. The Federal Government does not. So we want to make sure that they have all the resources and tools that they need to do that. Of course, I would say a vital component of this is also the voter, so making sure that the voter has information, continuing to push information to the voter to recognize what perhaps might be disinformation, or not reliable information, continuing to educate the voter that, if you have questions about your particular election, go to a trusted source, go to your State or local election officials and get information directly from there. Don't rely on information that you are seeing on social media, on your Facebook or your Twitter account. So making sure that they continue to go to the trusted source is also very important. So there is a number of things that we are doing, and I think we are better-positioned today than, like I said, where we were 4 years ago. Mr. Rogers. Great. I recognize that Health and Human Services, as well as the Center for Disease Control, are the lead agencies when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus. But what role, if any, does DHS have? Mr. Wolf. So, obviously, we are a partner. So we take our lead from the medical professionals at both HHS and CDC. Again, primarily responsible for screening passengers as they come into our airports of entry, our land ports of entry, and our maritime ports of entry. So, as of today, at airports of entry, CBP and our medical staff that we have set up have screened over 50,000 passengers. TSA also works with the CDC to make sure that the individuals on the ``do not board list'' run by CDC are appropriately not allowed to travel. We have seen a number of folks from the cruise line that was quarantined outside of Japan perhaps not be repatriated back into the United States, wanted to stay there or go elsewhere, and then try to travel to the United States. So again, our primary mission is making sure that sick individuals are not traveling to the United States that we have identified in certain areas of the country--of the world. So we will continue to do that, again, not only at airports of entry, but also land ports of entry on our Northern Border and our Southern Border. Then the Coast Guard has a very prominent role in our maritime ports of entry. I will also say that S&T, our science and technology directorate, in their NBACC facility, is also working to characterize the virus, and they are doing that at the direction of CDC. Mr. Rogers. Thank you for your service, and I yield back. Chairman Thompson. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Rhode Island, Mr. Langevin, for 5 minutes. Mr. Langevin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Acting Secretary Wolf, I want to welcome you before the committee today. Thank you for your testimony and the job you are doing at Homeland. Acting Secretary, I understand that you served as chief of staff under former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Is that correct? Mr. Wolf. That is. Mr. Langevin. So, as Secretary, she warned about the threat of cyber attacks exceeding the risk of physical attacks. In fact, in March 2019 she described the cyber domain as, ``a target, a weapon, a threat vector all at the same time.'' She warned that, ``the nation''--that nation states, criminal syndicates, hacktivists, and terrorists were preparing to, ``weaponize the Web.'' So do you agree with your former boss's assessment regarding the nature of the cyber threats to the United States? Mr. Wolf. I do. Mr. Langevin. So the DNI's January 2019 world-wide threat assessment identified cyber threats among the top threats facing the United States. Yet, as I understand it, the President's fiscal year 2021 budget request would cut the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is the Nation's premier cybersecurity agency, by nearly $250 million, including a $150 billion cut to its cybersecurity division. Additionally, the budget would cut funding for the Science and Technology Directorate, CyberSecurity and Information Analysis Network. Is that correct? Mr. Wolf. Yes, sir. Those are the reductions, I believe, that---- Mr. Langevin. OK. Mr. Wolf. Are in the budget. Mr. Langevin. So, obviously, over the past year it has become clear that the Russian Government is going to continue its election-meddling efforts, as well as its efforts to gain access to critical infrastructure networks. In addition, the Chinese government has continued to push for the integration of Huawei technology and 5G networks. China continues to engage in cyber espionage and intellectual property theft enabled by cyber intrusions. Under these circumstances, how would the cuts that you proposed to DHS cybersecurities activities make Americans safer? Mr. Wolf. Again, as I indicated, as you look at the President's fiscal year 2020 budget request, what we see in the fiscal year 2021 budget request is an increase for CISA's overall budget. Again, as I mentioned earlier, I do recognize it is a decrease, or a reduction in funding, from what was enacted in fiscal year 2020. What I can tell you is that I have talked to Director Krebs very specifically about the budget, and he is fully confident, I am confident to--that for CISA to do their full mission in fiscal year 2020, that the 2021 budget requests fully funds all of their mission sets where they need it to be. Mr. Langevin. But the cuts that are being proposed here clearly, even on its face, don't meet the threats that the country is facing. I am deeply troubled knowing that, not only is the--is there greater demands for protecting the country with respect to election security, but it is--CISA is not just the election security agency, which is a important part of its mission, but it is a--it is the cybersecurity agency, and also responsible for protecting and working with private sector on protecting critical infrastructure. So you are asked--being asked to do much more. The threats to the country have gone up proportionately and exponentially. Yet this--these types of deep cuts are not helping your--that agency do its job for the country. I don't understand the deep threat--the deep cuts that are being proposed. Just shuffling the deck chairs around doesn't make the agency have the resources that it needs to do its job. Mr. Wolf. Again, I would--what I would say--and thank you for highlighting, yes, obviously, CISA does much more than election security: Soft target supply chain security, looking at 5G in a number of areas that they are focused on. Again, I will say some of the funding that CISA has gotten over the last several years--again, thank you for Congress for providing that--is carrying over, and they are able to fund some of their mission sets as we look at 2021, as well. So we continue to look at the totality of what CISA is funding at. Again, as we look at 2021--2020 is, obviously, a Presidential election year. There is a lot of election security focus. The election security funding in the fiscal year 2021 budget sustains that work, continues that work, as well as in their other mission sets. Mr. Langevin. Well, I--Mr. Chairman, I know my time is expiring, but I just want to make it clear that I--for the record, I firmly disagree with the Acting Secretary's assessment. For the past year I have served on the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, alongside members of--from DHS, including Administrator Pekoske, Director Krebs. They have made it clear to me that we need to strengthen CISA, and our report would clearly call for that. I, for the record, I am just deeply disappointed that administrator's budget--the administration's budget continues to de-prioritize these desperately needed investments, as I see it. I yield back. Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. I think there is very little disagreement that cyber--CISA's budget should not have been cut. As you know, we just approved a bill authored by Mr. Richmond that provides additional monies just for that purpose because of some shortcomings. The Chair now recognizes the gentleman from New York, Mr. King. Mr. King. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary, I want to thank you for your appearance here today, and thank you for doing a good job under very tough circumstances. Listen, I am the first to acknowledge that coronavirus, immigration, cybersecurity are major issues, major problems, crises facing the Department. But I also go back to the reason this committee was formed in the first place. Without taking anything away from the other issues, the fact is terrorism is still a major issue, and I--when I see the cuts that are in this budget, 25 percent, I guess, of almost $240 million from-- the fact that local governments are being asked to kick in 25 percent of the cost, I mean, I can tell you in New York and others--I am sure other cities and regions have their own expenses, their own programs they have to fund. We have more than 1,000 police officers working entirely on counterterrorism in New York City. In addition to that, we have police officers in Nassau, Suffolk, State police all working on counterterrorism. This is extremely expensive. We also--again, just in where--the areas I represent, Ms. Clarke, Ms. Rice, Mr. Payne, we have millions of people every day on the trains, subway system, commuter lines. We have the New York City subway system. We have Amtrak. We have Long Island Rail Road. We have Metro North. Then we have the Ports of New York in New Jersey. We are the major terrorist target in the country. I am not trying to diminish anyone else's concerns, but I have to be very concerned this--you know, this is where the major attack was. When I see these types of major cuts, I don't see how the law enforcement and fire department personnel can handle them. It is me--again, we always focus on the issue of the day, and I understand that. But the underlying issue is still there, and we can be doing everything we can on coronavirus, and we have to, everything in immigration we have to, everything in cybersecurity that we have to. But if we lose 3,000 or 4,000 people on an attack in New York or Chicago or Boston or Los Angeles, that will be the front page. It will be, again, tremendous casualties and losses, both human loss, economic loss. So, again, I know every year--and both administrations have done this, they submit a budget with drastic cuts to homeland security, and then Congress puts it back in. But I am afraid, with all these other things going on, that somehow maybe this year--I hope not this year--but that game is not going to work, and we are going to end up short-changed. Then the attack will come, and people say, ``Why did it happen?'' Even when we see coronavirus, it brings back the issue of germ warfare, chemical warfare, and how easy it would be to have terrorists in a major metropolitan area cause enormous casualties by that. The only way that can be done--stopped, is really through detection. We are not talking--listen, we are not talking about rapes or robberies or kidnappings, which are local issues. We are talking about an attack, which, if it comes, is going to be a responsibility of the Federal Government. But the local governments are being asked to pay for it to defend themselves. Now we are being cut back. And to me, I can't accept that. I would ask what the rationale and justification for that is. Mr. Wolf. So, Congressman, what I would say is, over the life of the Department, I believe we have provided over $53 billion in grant funding. As you know, the New York City Metropolitan Area is our top recipient year over year. So we continue to provide the capabilities. I think, over time, what we try to do is build up capabilities of certain jurisdictions, and not have that be a sustaining part of their budget. So, again, building up capabilities across the country, across the Nation, making sure that those communities are more resilient. But we need to make sure that we have the right cost share, and we have the right share responsibility between the Federal Government and the State and locals, and making sure that that grant funding, again, doesn't become baseline in their budget. It is there to build up their capabilities, build up their capacity. That is what you see reflected in the 2021 budget request. Mr. King. Yes, but again, when you talk about building up defenses, we are not just talking about building a wall, or building a structure. The fact--this is on-going, it requires on-going surveillance, on-going monitoring, on-going cooperation, dealing with other States and cities--in some cases, deal with other countries. The expenses remain. It is not like you could just build something and it is over. The threat goes on. The threats change. In many ways, I would say the terror threat--I know it is not on the front pages, and I understand that. But the terror threat is as serious today as it was on September 10, 2001. The enemy has adapted, and we have to continue adapting with them. If we say that--again, there has to be cost sharing. In effect, you are asking the local governments to pay for what the Federal Government should be doing. Second, as far as the cost share, it is not as if the threat has ended, or it is not as if they have stopped. The fact is they are changing their tactics and methods every day and every month and every year. We have to stay up with it. So I understand the position you are in. I am just saying I think this is very dangerous. It could involve the loss of life. Again, major metropolitan areas--and it is--a Democrat or Republican, a blue or red--the fact is these are Americans whose lives are going to be at risk. I yield back. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The gentleman yields back. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Louisiana, Mr. Richmond, for 5 minutes. Mr. Richmond. Mr. Wolf, representing New Orleans, that has been home to many natural disasters. I read this morning the tornadoes in Tennessee. Have you, FEMA director reached out to the people in Tennessee to offer assistance? Will you all be on the ground there? Mr. Wolf. Yes, we have. We are monitoring that, not only at FEMA, but also our officials at CISA. Obviously, it is a primary State. So primary voting is there, as well. So we are not only looking at it from a FEMA perspective, but also from an election and election security perspective. Mr. Richmond. OK. Now, look, I am going to ask you some very direct questions, and not aimed to get you in trouble, but I just need to know, because it would lead my other questioning. Is the budget document just a statement of principles, and we needed to cut money, so we listed a whole bunch of cuts in there? I mean, do you believe in those cuts in your budget you presented? Mr. Wolf. I support the administration's fiscal year 2021 budget request for the Department. There are trade-offs. It is a big budget. But we have a big mission---- Mr. Richmond. Well, let me ask you this, then, very pointedly. If we enacted that budget, as presented to us, would Americans be more or less safe? Mr. Wolf. I would--I strongly believe they would be more safe. Mr. Richmond. So you think they would be more safe if we eliminated the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards Program? Because your budget proposes eliminating CFATS. Mr. Wolf. It proposes transferring that to a voluntary program, just like CISA operates in a number of other sectors. CFATS is the only mandated program that CISA operates. So it would transition that from a mandatory program that reaches about 3,300 facilities to a voluntary program that we could reach up to 40,000 chemical facilities. Mr. Richmond. Right. But the 3,000 are the ones that you all deemed to be the highest risk in the country. That is why we have them follow certain standards. In fact, the program was implemented under Secretary Chertoff, based on the conclusion from the intelligence community that chemical facilities could be weaponized by terrorists. And on January 15 of this year, DHS issued an alert warning about heightened threats from Iran, specifically for the chemical sector. Those chemical facilities are located smack dab in people's neighborhoods. My district is the home to probably the largest petrochemical footprint in the country. Mr. Higgins has petrochemical facilities in his. Now there is an increased, heightened risk, but we are going to move it from mandatory to voluntary, and assume that we are protecting those facilities and the people who live around them. Mr. Wolf. So, again, the budget request, I wouldn't look at it--and I certainly don't view it--as a lessening of an interest or a priority of the Department on chemical security. Again, the idea here is to move it to a voluntary program, so that we can reach more individuals. Right now we have a budget of about $75 million dedicated to this, so that is $75 million looking at 3,300 facilities. What we would like to do is to be able to reach more facilities, again, in that voluntary manner, just like CISA does with critical infrastructure, election security, and a number of other--their other missions sets, to transition it to that type of program, moving forward. Mr. Richmond. Look, you are a great soldier for the administration, but I think if you hear what is--people up here are kind-of talking about, is there some areas where we can keep the mantra ``We need to do more with less.'' But there are some areas where that just does not work. When we talk about terrorism, you are talking about officers on the ground in New York, you are talking about protecting chemical facilities, you are talking about response to coronavirus. The answer is not ``We can do more with less.'' Sometimes you have to have the resources to protect the American people. I don't want to put you--my goal is not to put you in an adversarial position with the administration. But my goal is to make sure that we understand that we are talking about protecting American lives, whether it is a virus, whether it is a terrorist threat. That is real., So let me just switch for a quick second to coronavirus. In your written testimony you said the risk to the American public remains low, and we are taking measures to keep the threat low and prevent viruses from spreading. That is not consistent with what the CDC is saying. I would just hope that the administration, through HHS, DHS, everybody, can get together and give the American people some reassurance that we know this is serious, and speak with one message, and that we are going to invest the resources to make sure we protect the American people. There are people that are terrified to send their children to school, or their spouses off to work. I just believe that we owe it to them. I am not trying to score points, but we owe it to them for you all to get one message, one plan, and start to implement it. With that I yield back, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas, Mr. McCaul. Mr. McCaul. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, thank you so much for your service in difficult times. Let me--I want to echo my colleagues across the aisle. I stood up and authorized into law the Cyber Infrastructure Security Agency. With the threats that I see all over the world from--in cyber, I don't think this is the right time to be cutting that agency, and I will join the Chairman and Ranking Member in their efforts with the appropriators on that issue. On coronavirus, let's not forget where this came from. I mean, we can do a lot of political finger-pointing here, but it came out of China, and it was a very irresponsible move on the part of the Chinese Communist Party trying to cover it up, detaining 8 prisoners, having them retract statements and give apologies for reporting the truth. It just got worse. I would put the sole blame on China and the way they handled this crisis now that is becoming almost not an epidemic, but pandemic. When we chaired the Ebola hearings, Chairman Thompson and I authorized under the law the chief medical officer within DHS to coordinate with HHS. Can you tell me how that is working in this crisis? Mr. Wolf. So--absolutely. So our chief medical officer is doing just that. So they are in daily contact, I believe it is twice daily, certain meetings, but obviously in telephonic contact with HHS and CDC. Specifically as I mentioned at the top of the hearing with DHS facilities, they were on the phone last night with CDC professionals addressing that. So I would disagree a little bit from a comment made earlier. I believe that the administration is talking with one voice on this issue. As Secretary Azar has said, and the Vice President has said, the threat continues to remain low, and we continue to--to Americans. But that is because some of the measures that we have put in place early on will continue to put in proactive measures, will continue to lean forward, will continue to do things, as I mentioned at the top, closing facilities if we need to do that, at least from a Departmental perspective. So I think the administration has been very clear on that. Vice President Pence is holding almost daily press conferences and news conferences, and pushing information to the public. I know that we brief Congress weekly, if not biweekly. So we are pushing as much information, being as transparent as possible, sharing what we know and what we don't know. Then, of course, from the Department's perspective, making sure that we work at our land ports of entry, air ports of entry, sea ports of entry. Our chief medical officer is, obviously, involved with HHS and CDC on trying to make some of these medical calls, not only for our work force, but also in the mission that we do. S&T and their NBACC facility is also involved---- Mr. McCaul. I am glad to see it is working the way we envisioned that. I think we saw this coming back then. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. McCaul. I know that a Governor's task force actually recommended the idea that the--a Vice President be put in charge of an epidemic or pandemic, which is what is happening now. In addition, I think the appointment of the Ambassador to PEPFAR, which is HIV infectious diseases, was a very wise choice, as well. Can you tell me about the specific travel bans and screening, as it relates to affected areas like China, South Korea, and Italy? Mr. Wolf. Sure. So we have 2 specific what we call 212(f) orders from the President, specifically regarding China and Iran. So that is any individual that has been in those affected areas in China or Iran in the last 14 days, or have traveled to those places. So in some cases, as you know, we see individuals coming to the United States with broken travel. So it is not necessarily they come directly from China or Iran, but they could have had 3 stops in between. Again, through the CBP National Targeting Center, working with the airlines and others, as we are identifying those individuals that may have not come directly from China or Iran, but perhaps have that broken travel. So when--again, when they arrive at 1 of the 11 funneled airports, the first individual they see is a CBP officer. That is a normal immigration officer that is going to do that immigration work. They are then referred to medical contract staff that our CWMD office stood up. So, again, all those individuals then go and take--and get a screening by that medical staff, and then they are referred to CDC, if needed, for additional evaluation. Then a number of quarantine decisions are made by CDC professionals. So we are doing that at airports of entry. We are also doing similar-- although we see lesser numbers at, obviously, our land ports of entry and our maritime ports of entry---- Mr. McCaul. Now, I think the threat unseen--that it does cause a panic and terrifies people, but they want to have assurances our Government is protecting them from people-- threats coming into the United States. Last question. Border Security Trust Fund. We proposed this idea in a bill last Congress that failed. Acting Secretary McAleenan supported it last Congress. This would take the fees collected at the border and return a greater percentage to the border for infrastructure and technology and needs at the border. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. McCaul. Travel, trade. Do you agree with this idea? Mr. Wolf. I certainly do agree with that concept. I think a lot of our ports of entry, the infrastructure down there, not only from a security perspective, but just that trade and facilitation, is outdated, and certainly needs some additional resources. Mr. McCaul. Thank you, sir. I yield back. Chairman Thompson. The Chair recognizes the gentlelady from New York, Miss Rice, for 5 minutes. Miss Rice. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Acting Secretary Wolf, just a few days ago, a district court judge ruled that Ken Cuccinelli was not lawfully appointed to serve as the Acting Secretary of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In light of that ruling, is Mr. Cuccinelli still the senior officer performing duties of the director at USCIS, as stated on the Department's website yesterday? Mr. Wolf. He is. Well, I think that he is the first assistant. I will say that that case is currently in litigation, so I am going to limit what I say. But I would--I will say that DOJ and DHS currently looks at--is looking at that decision, obviously, to make sure that we fulfill our obligations there, but also looking at appealing that decision. Now, that decision had to do with certain decisions that he made in that position. So we are taking a look at that, as well. Miss Rice. Is he still the senior official performing the duties of the deputy secretary of the Department? Mr. Wolf. He is. Miss Rice. Which was stated on the Department's website yesterday? Mr. Wolf. He is. Miss Rice. So how--I understand that this is in litigation, and you are prophylactically saying you are not really going to be able to say anything about this, but how is it that you are keeping him in a position that a court found violated--his appointment to which violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act? Mr. Wolf. Again, I will limit my comments, but I will say that that court decision is on specific decisions that he signed out at USCIS, and that is what that litigation is about. So we are addressing that. Miss Rice. So are you internally reviewing--looking to set aside the reduced time to consult, and the prohibition on extension directives that Mr. Cuccinelli introduced? Mr. Wolf. Yes. So that is what we are taking a look at, determining what to do with those limited decisions that he had signed out. Miss Rice. I would like to turn now to your own--so are you precluding him from making any such determinations about any other issues, and enacting any kind---- Mr. Wolf. We will certainly do that with the advice and counsel of our attorneys. Miss Rice. So have you been advised to stop Mr. Cuccinelli from implementing anything like he did with the reduced time to consult and the prohibition on extensive---- Mr. Wolf. Again, he is not making those specific calls at USCIS. Like I said at the beginning, we are taking a look, not only at our obligations, but our ability to appeal that decision. So, yes, we are doing---- Miss Rice. Given that, are you kind-of putting a halt on his decision making? Mr. Wolf. Again, at the advice of our counsel, which is--it is a very specific focus of that case on specific decisions that he made at USCIS--it does not affect his current position that he fulfills at the Department. Miss Rice. Well, you can't kind-of say he is really not doing that stuff when he is actually implementing rules that are having an effect on people, real people. I would like to turn now to your own appointment, Mr. Acting Secretary. On November 8, 2019 you were appointed Acting Secretary of Homeland Security after Kevin McAleenan, which made you the fifth person to lead the Department of Homeland Security in less than 3 years of the Trump administration. I want to understand whether that appointment was within the law, because at the time you were named Acting Secretary, Mr. McAleenan, who was himself Acting Secretary of Homeland Security--which, in and of itself, is just a persistent problem, there has never been anyone that was confirmed to run an agency of such importance--but he, himself, was Acting Secretary of Homeland Security at the time. He had to sign an order amending the order of succession to name you to the position. Now, as I am sure you are aware, Mr. McAleenan changed the order of succession, despite his testimony before this committee just days earlier, sitting in the same chair you are in, in response to my question that he had no plans to do so. Now it appears as if this change to the order of succession may not have been valid, given that Mr. McAleenan issued the amendment after his own appointment as Acting Secretary appears to have expired. So I think it begs the question: Are you legally the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security? Mr. Wolf. I am. Miss Rice. Is that your own determination? Mr. Wolf. No, that is the determination by not only DHS attorneys, but other attorneys in the administration. Miss Rice. So how can you be the Acting Secretary if Mr. McAleenan was no longer Acting Secretary when he changed his order of succession? Mr. Wolf. Again, I don't believe that that was the case. I believe that he altered the order of succession before he left that position. Miss Rice. If it turns out your appointment is, in fact, invalid, what will that mean for all of the actions that you have taken as Acting Secretary? Mr. Wolf. Well, we will certainly defer to not only DHS attorneys, but the Department of Justice to determine what actions that we need to take. Miss Rice. Last month intelligence officials warned Members of Congress that Russia is again interfering in the 2020 Presidential election. Do you condemn these attacks from the Russian Government to interfere in American elections? Mr. Wolf. Absolutely. We---- Miss Rice. Have you---- Mr. Wolf. Sorry. Miss Rice. Sorry? Mr. Wolf. We see an on-going influence campaign by Russia. We would not be surprised if other adversaries are not also looking at what they are doing. So, you know, their ultimate design is to sow discourse, distress, you know, the American democracy and our institutions of Government. So, yes, we continue to see that. From a system perspective, making sure that we secure election infrastructure, we continue to take a number of actions to address that. Miss Rice. Have you spoken to the President about these recent attacks? Mr. Wolf. Yes, we have spoken to him about election security on a number of cases. Miss Rice. What was his response, specifically to your telling--your informing him that the Russian government is interfering in---- Mr. Wolf. Again, I am not going to get into discussions I have had with the President, but I will say that he is informed of all of the threats, the same information that I see--of course, he sees more. But he is aware of the threats to our elections, specifically as it relates to foreign interference. Miss Rice. So Director Krebs has been wonderful, I think, in terms of what he has done regarding election security, I just want to be assured that you are doing proactive outreach-- at least now, because the only primary we are having is a Democratic primary, 2 Democratic Presidential candidates--to share what you know, which is something that Director Krebs said was going to happen. Mr. Wolf. Absolutely. So, obviously, we are not only sharing that information with State and local election officials, but, as you indicated, both political parties, but also every campaign that asks for it, as well. So I know CISA Director Krebs has been in touch with all of the campaigns, sharing that information, and sharing the no-cost services that I have indicated---- Chairman Thompson. The gentlelady's time has expired. Miss Rice. Thank you. Chairman Thompson. Secretary Wolf, will you provide us the letters that the attorney certified that you were legitimately put in the position? Mr. Wolf. I--yes, Chairman, I will take that back and provide that information. Chairman Thompson. By March? Mr. Wolf. Let me take that back. I will get you an exact date on when we can--we are able to---- Chairman Thompson. Well, we would like to have it by the 15th of March. Mr. Wolf. OK. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr Walker. Mr. Walker. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Wolf, thank you for testifying today. I appreciate your work over the last 4 months to help protect American safety. While the turnover in the Department has been frustrating, that has no bearing on you. We should be pulling for you, and hope you do the very best job. The evidence that we have seen so far is certainly to be commended. So thank you very much. Mr. Wolf. Thank you. Mr. Walker. We have heard a lot about the resources being allocated to screen for overseas travelers traveling through designated airports. However, there are still 700,000, approximate, travelers who arrive daily through land ports, and tens of thousands of others on passenger vessels. How is DHS, including CBP and the U.S. Coast Guard, working with the CDC to detect individuals entering the United States through land ports and waterways who may be carrying either this virus or something else? Mr. Wolf. So it is very similar to the procedures that we have at the 11 airports. So again, as you come into a land port of entry, or even a maritime port of entry, and you are coming into the United States, you are going to see a CBP officer from an immigration perspective, and then you are going to go through this enhanced medical screening that we do at the 11 airports. We do a similar procedure at the land ports of entry, and then will, again, be referred to the CDC if needed. But again, our CBP officers do this on an every-day basis. So, outside of coronavirus, you know, going back 2 years, a year ago, they look at every individual, not only for immigration purposes, but to determine whether or not they may or may not be sick, and then, of course, refer them to secondary. So, again, to answer your question, though, specifically, the measures that we have in place at the 11 airports that are screening--as I mentioned earlier, over 50,000 passengers--we continue to refuse entry to passengers that are on that 212(f) order. We have the same procedures in place at our land ports of entry. Of course, the Coast Guard is doing that at our maritime. Mr. Walker. Well, thank you for that. There are strong accusations that Iran, certainly China, and maybe other countries are covering up the full extent of the coronavirus outbreak in their country. The numbers--as well as the numbers infected and death tolls are significantly higher than reported by their government and health officials. In what ways is DHS combating disinformation and cover-ups from other countries to ensure both a--U.S. agency officials to make sure they have the necessary information to take the necessary reactive and proactive measures to ensure the outbreak does not occur? I guess the second part is to warn U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to these locations. Mr. Wolf. Sure. So I will take the second part first. There is a number of travel advisories that the administration has put in place to a number of countries. So those are just advisories at the moment. So those are voluntary, or individuals can still travel to those locations, but they are being advised not to. Central travel only in some cases, and then no travel in other cases. We continue to work with CDC and HHS, making sure that the medical professionals there understand what is occurring in China. So I know CDC--my understanding from the CDC is they have several individuals on the ground in China as part of a WTO team looking at that. I think there is always a question of whether the deaths, the number of deaths, are being under- reported by China, and the information coming from China is as transparent as we would like. So, again, I would refer you to the CDC. They are the ones that are in constant contact with the medical professionals in China, trying to ascertain that information. Again, what we try to do is to make sure we support HHS and CDC. If we need to change--if they need to change their medical strategy, we change as a result of that. Mr. Walker. CISA has stated that their team is closely monitoring the coronavirus, and is working with critical infrastructure partners to prepare for possible disruptions that may stem from wide-spread illnesses. In 2017 DHS designated systems and networks used to administer elections as critical infrastructure, and has since been one of CISA's highest priorities. With the elections today, and many more in the coming weeks, do you have any plans to prevent any type of disruption? Mr. Wolf. Well, I think that is currently what we are doing. So we are not only doing that through CISA, they continue to look at the supply chain, they continue to look at the critical infrastructure to see about any slowdowns in that supply chain and how it affects. We will continue to look at that. I would say, as we do across the board, not only with CISA, but with CBP, we continue to have all options on the table. So we are continuing to look at what we can do, and we will, again, proactively take measures where needed. Mr. Walker. Last question. Does the fact that areas of the United States have seen outbreaks--where those outbreaks have occurred changed your strategy in preventing the spread to other patients? Mr. Wolf. So, again, we converse daily with CDC and HHS. Right now we continue with the strategy that is in place. Obviously, we have a number of community spread and person-to- person transmission, as well. So the CDC is on-site, monitoring those. Again, from a DHS perspective, we are, obviously, very concerned about what is coming into the country. Then, of course, at TSA, you know, people are going to continue to travel inside the air transportation system. So what I will say is there is nothing that we are doing today that I am announcing, but I will say that we continue to plan-- the Department continues to plan on all fronts for worst-case scenarios. So we continue to look at different procedures that we may have to put in place across our transportation system, across DHS facilities should this continue to worsen. Mr. Walker. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. One question in light of that one. You talked about those people who are traveling by air. What about our land ports? Do we have that same robust capacity at our land ports of entry? Mr. Wolf. We do. So I mentioned we have the same screening procedures that we have at the 11 airports of entry. We are-- those same procedures are occurring at our land ports of entry. Obviously, we have more land POEs than we do the 11 airports. So we continue to, I would say, transition that type of care. CDC is not on-site at every land port of entry. We have phone calls with them, so that is sort-of a telemedicine/ teleconsult that we have with CDC. But we do have medical professionals at our largest land ports of entry looking at individuals as they come into the country. Chairman Thompson. So it might not be as robust as we need. I mean, that is--I mean I think that is what I am hearing. Mr. Wolf. From DHS's perspective, it is very robust, and we will continue to keep it that way. We stood up contracts, again, not only in the air ports of entry, but we also have medical professionals that we surge from Coast Guard and other parts of the Department at our land ports of entry. So we feel very confident in the procedures that we have there. Chairman Thompson. OK, the gentlemen from California, Mr. Correa, for---- Mr. Correa. Thank you, Chairman Thompson, for holding this most important hearing. I want to welcome Acting Secretary Wolf. Thank you for being here today. I am going to shift a little bit, and, actually, I am going to follow up on your question and Mr. Walker's question on border security, prevention of coronavirus, and state of the state, so to speak. You mentioned that--low-level threat right now, Nationally. Is that where we are at? Mr. Wolf. That is what the CDC continues to communicate with the public. Mr. Correa. Sunday I was at Mass. The priest said, ``All those that are coughing, sneezing, please leave. Go home. Don't come until you are better.'' There is concern out there that we are talking out of a lot of--messages are being, essentially, put out there. We are talking right now about border security, checking people that are coming into the country. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Correa. The last time I went to San Ysidro 2 weeks ago, we had a lot of folks coming through that border. Mr. Wolf. Yes. Mr. Correa. Trying to put your finger--trying to stop international travel is probably going to be very difficult, at best. Are you coordinating internationally with big trading partners, Canada and Mexico, to make sure that their agencies are prepared, and they are watching, monitoring? Mr. Wolf. Yes. Mr. Correa. Holding immigrants at the border and turning them back is probably not going to stop this virus, because we still don't know how it is spread. Can you give me a little bit of information here, so I can take back to my constituents? Mr. Wolf. Absolutely, and I would agree with you. Some of our busiest land ports of entry, it is going to be a very difficult assignment. So, again, we will continue to screen those individuals. Mr. Correa. So do we have lessons learned? I don't have much time, sorry to cut you off. Lessons learned, are we coordinating right now actively with other countries---- Mr. Wolf. Absolutely. Mr. Correa [continuing]. To make sure that our border security isn't the border, but extends to working with other international health care agencies? Mr. Wolf. We reached out over a month ago, I would say well over a month ago, with not only Canada, but with also Mexico to understand the procedures that they were doing, not only on their border, but just generally writ large. So, yes, we continue to communicate with them. Canada--both Canada and Mexico have been a partner trying to understand the virus. Obviously, we are also looking at flights in--but--into Canada and Mexico from those affected areas, as well. We are encouraging similar restrictions. So, yes, we have a robust---- Mr. Correa. Lessons learned---- Mr. Wolf [continuing]. Communication plan with them. Mr. Correa. Next year, the year after, we will come up with another virus. Are we putting together implementing a system where we can react a whole lot faster and more coordinated than we did this time around? Mr. Wolf. Yes. I will say since 2013 the Department has had a pandemic response plan that we executed, that we will continue to execute. Obviously, not every pandemic is the same, and they all affect the Department and the---- Mr. Correa. They are not the same. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. Country differently. Mr. Correa. You have a program in place to react. Yet the early messages were a little bit confusing, discerning, and not clear to a lot of folks that panicked. Mr. Wolf. Well, I would say that the Department was on the forefront, along with the President, of instituting travel restrictions earlier than any other country out there. So we continue to that, and we had to enforce that, and we had to make that a reality. We had to change our targeting rules. We had to do a number of things from a CBP perspective to make sure---- Mr. Correa. If I can I want to interrupt you again. I would like to see if we could work with your agency to see what your plan is, who you have contacted, who you are working with internationally, in terms of coordinating an international response to this. I think the---- Mr. Wolf. OK. Mr. Correa. Not only do our constituents--but I think the world is looking to us for leadership and coordination. We have the best pharmaceutical industry in the world. We have the best research and development, and our health care system is really good, as well. I just want to see us continue to be the leaders when these kinds of pandemics break out. Mr. Wolf. I agree, and we will continue to do that. Mr. Correa. Thank you. Mr. Chairman I yield the---- Mr. Green of Tennessee. Mr. Chairman, a point of order, if I could. Mr. Chairman, a point of order. Chairman Thompson. The gentleman is recognized. Mr. Green of Tennessee. I will be brief, and it is about the virus. Speaking as a physician, I just want to make sure we are all speaking the same language. You mentioned, sir, that we didn't know how it spread. That is a very specific term, terminology. We do know how it is spread. It is respiratory droplets. Now they have confirmed that it is fecal-oral spread, as well. So we just want to make sure that we are saying correct things. We do know how the virus spreads, and I just wanted to make that point of order. Mr. Correa. Mr. Chairman, my reference was that we have a lot of people that are actually infected who we don't--we haven't mapped out how they were actually--we have that contact, which is still not clear. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Correa. So, physically, they do spread in the way described, but we don't know how these people were infected in our communities. People that have not been out internationally, have not touched international travelers who are now infected. So to say that somebody is safe because you cut off the border travel, or because you have quarantined yourself, and that community is essentially now, you know, not in danger, I think---- Mr. Green of Tennessee. Your point is well-taken. But the language has got to be clear. Chairman Thompson. The gentleman is---- Mr. Correa. Thank you, Mr. Green, for clarifying that position. Chairman Thompson [continuing]. Recognized. Mr. Correa. OK. Mr. Green of Tennessee. That is all I wanted to do. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Correa. OK. Chairman Thompson. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Louisiana for 5 minutes, Mr. Higgins. Mr. Higgins. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Wolf, are you here voluntarily today, or under subpoena? Mr. Wolf. Voluntarily. Mr. Higgins. I commend you for being here voluntarily today, sir. I am going to help America understand the title of today's hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. in this room, Tuesday, March 3, ``A Review of the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request for the Department of Homeland Security.'' Is that the hearing you intended to participate in today? Mr. Wolf. Yes, sir. Mr. Higgins. My colleagues have used this hearing to launch partisan attack after partisan attack against our President and the administration across every imaginable spectrum that has anything to do with the Department of Homeland Security. Earlier the Chairman posted a couple of heavily-redacted pages, do you recall that, Mr. Secretary? Mr. Wolf. I do. Mr. Higgins. The redacting procedures of Federal documents that have some level of classifications before you send them to Congress, these procedures are common across DHS and under your supervision? Mr. Wolf. I would say they are not only common across the Department, it is across the Government. Mr. Higgins. Well, you are quite a gentleman, sir, as you responded to those pages, because why do you think those 2 pages were selected of the over 1,600 pages that was the batch of documents that you provided to this committee? Why were those 2 pages selected? Because they were more redacted or less redacted? What do you think, Mr. Secretary? Mr. Wolf. I don't know. I would say---- Mr. Higgins. The answer is because they were more redacted. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. They were probably more redacted. Mr. Higgins. I hope America is watching, because this is exactly the kind of theater that this town has produced. Now, my colleague just said we can't cut the budget. I disagree. Are you mission-focused, Mr. Secretary? Mr. Wolf. Absolutely. Mr. Higgins. This town, under Republican and Democratic leadership, the establishment of this realm has accumulated the $22 trillion debt to burden our Nation for generations yet unborn. If this body were to run a $1 billion surplus--which it will not, America, unless forced--this body will never decrease deficit spending, will never balance the budget, unless forced. If this body were to run a $1 billion surplus, meaning we spent $1 billion less in Federal expenditures than we took in in revenue, it would require 22,000 years of a $1 billion surplus to address a $22 trillion debt. So may I say that, on behalf of many Americans, yes, good sir, not only should we decrease our budget, but we must, for the future prosperity and sustainability of our republic. Mr. Secretary, you advised you are mission-focused. You--do you stand by that statement? Mr. Wolf. I do. Mr. Higgins. If you had a mission that called for 100 agents, and you had 97, would you take the hill? Mr. Wolf. We need those agents. Mr. Higgins. Damn straight. The President's budget, as submitted, is 2.8 percent less than last year's fiscal outlay, 2.8 percent. American families and businesses from sea to shining sea have to know what it is to deal with a 2.8 percent decrease in budget, if they have deficit spending that they know is unsustainable. So I thank you, Mr. Secretary, for, first of all, being courageous enough to appear before this body without a subpoena. You are a better man than me. We have a duty to secure our border and the sovereignty of our Nation. Mr. Wolf, regarding the budget, your budget, do you feel confident, as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, that the budget, which includes a 2.8 percent decrease in fiscal spending, do you feel confident, as the Secretary, that you can perform your mission and secure our homeland? Mr. Wolf. With the President's fiscal year 2021 budget request, the Department, across our many missions, can fully not only support, but we can excel in our mission space in fiscal year 2020 with the budget request, as requested. Mr. Higgins. You tell me that, cop to cop, man. You can perform your mission? Mr. Wolf. Absolutely, because it is not just my opinion, or my statement, it is the statement of the entire Department leadership. I have had discussions with all of our component heads, our operation component heads, as well as our support component heads about their budget and their ability to do their mission. They all agree that they can do their mission, support their mission, and, in some cases, grow their mission with the fiscal year 2021 budget request. Mr. Higgins. Thank you for your answers. Mr. Chairman, I yield. Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. Just for the record, those documents that were redacted were not Classified documents. You are aware of that, right? Mr. Wolf. I am aware that some were not, yes. Chairman Thompson. So this notion that they are redacted because they were Classified for the sake of my request, we did not request Classified documents. Mr. Wolf. I understand. Chairman Thompson. So we are clear. The other issue is for the last 3 years we have had budgets way out of balance by this administration. It is not--I don't understand the Ranking Member's concern about a balanced budget, when we were way out of balance, and those of us who came from other units of government, we were mandated to have balanced budgets annually. It was the law. So--but the last three budgets---- Mr. Higgins. Will the gentleman yield? Chairman Thompson. I will not. Mr. Higgins. Since I was named, Chairman---- Chairman Thompson. I will not. Mr. Higgins [continuing]. I ask that you yield. Chairman Thompson. I will not yield to the gentleman. So the notion is---- Mr. Higgins. That is very clear. Chairman Thompson. Is that we have not had balanced budgets. So beyond that, the--I want to be sure that we invited you to come to present your budget, which is the normal course of action, and you accepted. Am I correct? Mr. Wolf. I did. Chairman Thompson. Were you threatened with a subpoena or anything to come? Mr. Wolf. I was not. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The Chair recognizes the gentlelady from New Mexico, Ms.-- well, Mrs. Watson Coleman from New Jersey. Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Acting Secretary--sorry. I would like to talk about the Trump administration's policy that resulted in the intentional separation of thousands of young children from their parents in the summer 2018. I am concerned that many of those children have not been reunited with their families a year-and-a-half later. Appallingly, the Department still cannot even accurately account for the total number of children separated from their parents. Of the 3,014 children DHS was able to identify in response to a court order, only 2,155 children have been reunited with their parents, according to a November 2019 DHS inspector general report. That means 859 children are still separated from their parents, or were at that time. Have all the remaining 859 children now been reunited with their parents? Mr. Wolf. So this is an area that we report to the court periodically, through the Department of Justice, on where the statuses on each of the individual---- Mrs. Watson Coleman. I am asking you to be--I am asking you the question. Mr. Wolf. There is a number of children---- Mrs. Watson Coleman. Specifically---- Mr. Wolf [continuing]. And a number of parents who have refused reunification. There is a number of reasons why not all of those children have been reunited. Some are for the health and safety of the child. I would say, for the vast majority of them, over 2,000 have been reunited. Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thanks. Do you have a number beyond that, beyond that 2,155? Do you have a number as to how many of the 859 children I am asking about? How many of those have been reunited? How many of those are still not reunited? Mr. Wolf. I can get you---- Mrs. Watson Coleman. We can talk about the reason for that---- Mr. Wolf. Again, we report through the court to the judge on specifically where those individuals in those---- Mrs. Watson Coleman. OK, when did you last report this---- Mr. Wolf. I am happy to provide that---- Mrs. Watson Coleman. When did you last report this to the court? Mr. Wolf. It would be periodically. I would get you the exact date. I don't have the exact date on the last report, or the reporting---- Mrs. Watson Coleman. OK, thank you. I would like to have the exact number. Mr. Wolf. It is through the Department of Justice that we do that. Mrs. Watson Coleman. OK, but you have the numbers, and I would like to see them. Mr. Wolf. Sure, absolutely. Mrs. Watson Coleman. If there are children who are not reunited for health and safety reasons, I specifically want to know how many are in that category. Mr. Wolf. We outline where those remaining ones---- Mrs. Watson Coleman. I want to know. The inspector general has also found an additional 1,369 children that the DHS separated from their parents, and failed to accurately record and report to the court. How is it that the Department apparently lost track of the fact that it took those 1,369 children from their parents? Mr. Wolf. Well, we continue--the Department continues, in some cases, again, for the health and safety of the child. In a number of instances we do separate a child from a parent, again, from the health and safety---- Mrs. Watson Coleman. Yes, this is an issue that really---- Mr. Wolf. We have done that not only---- Mrs. Watson Coleman [continuing]. Isn't necessarily drilling down into whether or not you are separating children for their safety. This is the fact that you all apparently lost--either lost track or failed to report to Congress or to somebody else 1,369 children who were separated from their parents. So my question is, how do we lose that many children in the system? Mr. Wolf. The Department has not lost any children. Mrs. Watson Coleman. So then, if you didn't lose them, you just--you failed to report them. Mr. Wolf. We have not failed to report. We have not lost any children. As you know---- Mrs. Watson Coleman. Well, if you haven't reported any---- Mr. Wolf [continuing]. No children remain in DHS custody, they are all referred and transferred---- Mrs. Watson Coleman. All right. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. To HHS custody. Mrs. Watson Coleman. Are you familiar with that number, 1,369 children? Mr. Wolf. I am familiar with a number of numbers. Mrs. Watson Coleman. Then I would like to know the status, on behalf of this committee, of those 1,369 children who were separated from their families, and the information was not reported by your Department when asked. I would also like to know when do you think these children will be reunited, and when will their status be cleared, clarified, verified if for some reason they cannot be reunited? Then, what will you be doing with them? Mr. Wolf. We will get you the status of those 1,369 that you referred to. I need to look and see if it is part of that court case. Obviously, they expanded the scope of that. So we will continue to report to the Congress--or, sorry, to the court. But we will provide you an update, as well. Mrs. Watson Coleman. So thank you so much. I appreciate that. Of particular interest to me is that the President's budget does increase as it relates to dealing with those things that happen on the border. So I would like for us to be able to respond in a very timely manner, because then we have to respond in a very timely manner in what we think that the budget should look like. Mr. Wolf. OK. Mrs. Watson Coleman. I want to thank you for clarifying that the issue with regard to redactions is not just this--what this Department does, it is what this administration does to every request from this Congress. Thank you. With that I yield back. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. Can you get that information Congresswoman Watson Coleman wanted by the 15th, also? Mr. Wolf. We will do our very best. I believe we can. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Joyce. Mr. Joyce. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Thompson. For 5 minutes. Mr. Joyce. Thank you, Secretary Wolf, for appearing here today, and for your testimony and the work that you and your Department do for us at securing our border and enforcing our immigration laws. Every day the brave men and women of ICE, CBP, and USCIS go to work to defend this Nation from grave threats, and are too often criticized or disparaged for doing the job that simply keeps us safe. The President's budget request again contains a strong commitment to border security. While I know that border security has not been in the news as much recently, it is still so critical that we secure our border, and this remains a primary focus area. Specifically, the President's budget makes investment in staffing levels by hiring an additional 750 Border Patrol agents, 300 Border Patrol processing coordinators, and over 2,800 new law enforcement officers at ICE. Also extremely important is the request for nearly $2 billion for 82 miles of a border wall system. Secretary Wolf, can you please speak to how these new resources will be deployed? Mr. Wolf. Sure. Well, when we talk about securing the border, I talk about it in a number of different ways. It is not only the physical infrastructure that we need, and the capabilities that we have with a new border wall system that we are constructing, but it is also additional technology, it is also the resources and the people and the staff there to do that job. So it is--what we talk about is a three-legged stool there. So making sure that we have enough border wall system, we have that impedance and denial on the Southwest Border. We have completed over 130 miles of wall. We have another--over 200 under construction, and another 400 in the pre-construction phase. What that is designed to do is to make areas of that border that are difficult for Border Patrol to patrol--put that infrastructure up, funnel the illegal flow to areas that Border Patrol can better patrol, and use their resources accordingly. So there is that piece. Obviously, we have a number of technologies outside of the border wall system that Border Patrol and CBP uses to secure the border that we continue to ask for in the 2021 budget request, not only in between ports of entry, but at ports of entry with our non-intrusive inspection technology. So we continue to do that. Of course, we need the resources. So we need the resources not only to interdict the number of illegal individuals coming into the country, but the illegal narcotics, the contraband, and the like. But I think what I would emphasize is you not only need those individuals to apprehend that information, you need the investigators and the other law enforcement officers to actually look into if we seize a car at the border with drugs, now we need to investigate that. So it is not enough just to seize it. We need the additional staff at ICE, Homeland Security investigations, and other places that can investigate that, that can follow leads, and continue to go down that road. Mr. Joyce. Secretary Wolf, with this increased funding, do you see a positive effect on the drug crisis that is affecting so many counties, States throughout the United States right now? Mr. Wolf. Absolutely. I would say that that is a whole-of- Government approach. So certainly DHS is involved in that, and there are many others, as well. So, when I talk to local law enforcement along the Southwest Border, they talk to me about not only the illegal flow, but what that means for their communities. Certainly narcotics, opioids, and the range of narcotics is a major concern for them. Human trafficking is a major concern for them. So there is a number of issues that they deal with because of that illegal flow on our Southwest Border that we are certainly concerned about. The--again, the President's budget request continues to get at that, not only with the border wall system, with--but the additional resources and staffing that we are asking for, as well. Mr. Joyce. Thank you, Secretary Wolf, for your testimony, for your hard work, and for your leadership. Mr. Chair, I would like to yield back my remaining time to Mr. Higgins from Louisiana. Mr. Higgins. I thank the gentleman. Chairman Thompson. The Chair recognizes Mr. Higgins. Mr. Higgins. I thank the Chairman. I thank the gentleman, since my Chairman was unable to yield to my request earlier doing our fiscal discussion. He expressed some wonderment that I might be concerned about a $22 trillion debt. My voting record has clearly expressed my concern when we were in the Majority, or when my colleagues were in the Majority. Deficit spending is out of control. But, since my Chairman has expressed his own concern, I ask you, good sir, do you support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution? I yield. Chairman Thompson. The Chair recognizes the gentlelady from New York, Ms. Clarke. Ms. Clarke. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate this hearing today. Acting Secretary Wolf, I did want to do a follow-up, because you mentioned earlier that there were DHS employees at a Washington office that had to close, and self-quarantine. You said that they would telework. Mr. Wolf. Right. Ms. Clarke. What happens to those who don't have the wherewithal to telework? Mr. Wolf. So they won't. I mean they will be self- quarantined. We ask those that are able to work, that perhaps aren't showing symptoms, aren't sick, if they are able to telework, please do so. But if those that don't have the ability--and, of course, you have to go through a certification process---- Ms. Clarke. Yes, I was going to ask. What--how do you account for their time? Mr. Wolf. Again, if you are self-quarantined, you are going to do that. Again, if you don't have the ability to work, or you haven't gone through that certification process through the Department, then you are not going to telework. We are not going to force you to telework in those cases. But again, we would ask those individuals who aren't sick, aren't---- Ms. Clarke. Are they on sick leave? Do they get paid? How does that work? Mr. Wolf. They would be--they would get paid, but I can get back to you specifically on what type of leave---- Ms. Clarke. Very well. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. They would be on. Ms. Clarke. You recently announced a massive expansion of the Muslim ban, this time banning nearly all Nigerian, Eritrean, Kyrgyzstani, Burmese from obtaining permanent visas, and ending diversity visa eligibility for Sudanese and Tanzanian nationals. Last month I led a letter, along with my colleagues, Congresswomen Jayapal, Chu, Velazquez demanding a Congressional briefing on this new policy by no later than February 28. Today is March 3, and I haven't heard a word from you. Sixty Members of Congress signed my letter. More importantly, approximately 300 million people are banned from the United States under this latest ban, including the Rohingya flying--fleeing genocide and countless Africans simply seeking to connect with family members already here in the United States. Have you ignored this letter? Have you received this letter? When will we be getting this briefing? Mr. Wolf. I am happy to take that back. I am happy to provide a briefing. I am not aware, specifically, of that letter and that request, but I am happy to talk to you. I think the Department has a very good new story about what we did to institute these measures, and---- Ms. Clarke. All I need is a response and a date for the briefing. Mr. Wolf. Sure. We are happy to provide that. Ms. Clarke. Very well, thank you. This committee, along with the Oversight Committee, wrote to you requesting documentation by February 20 regarding the Department's justification for barring residents of New York State from the Trusted Traveler Program, including Global Entry. Along with Representative Rice I also co-led a letter to you demanding answers. By what date will all of the documents requested by the committees, as well as by Representative Rice and myself be produced to us? Mr. Wolf. I know that production is under way. I can get you an exact date. We are happy to provide---- Ms. Clarke. It seemed like you guys were very quick at making this determination, but very slow in giving your rationale. There had to be a rationale behind it, right? Mr. Wolf. I--absolutely. Ms. Clarke. OK, so I just---- Mr. Wolf. I would disagree, we have been---- Ms. Clarke [continuing]. Like to get the response. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. Up front and very public about why we took certain actions. Ms. Clarke. I would like to get a response. Mr. Wolf. I am happy to do that. Ms. Clarke. Very well, I appreciate that. In a letter the committees provided an interim response to our document request, Secretary Cuccinelli states that the-- excuse me, Secretary Ciccone states that the decision to bar residents of New York from the Trusted Travelers Program, ``involves the Department's primary objective of ensuring that our homeland and all of those within it are kept safe and secure.'' Can you please explain how it makes the United States safer to allow residents of several foreign countries to enroll in the Global Entry program, but to bar residents of New York? Mr. Wolf. The specific law that New York enacted prohibits information-sharing specifically with ICE and CBP. In this case, for our Trusted Traveler Program, when an individual applies for the Trusted Traveler or Global Entry, as you indicated, we have---- Ms. Clarke. Those same standards are being given to foreign nationals that are on our Global Entry---- Mr. Wolf. We have a number of agreements with foreign nationals---- Ms. Clarke. Right? Mr. Wolf [continuing]. Providing reciprocity. Ms. Clarke. We would like to see those documents, as well. Mr. Wolf. But what I would say is that the information that we require to vet a Trusted Traveler from New York---- Ms. Clarke. From New York State. Mr. Wolf. From New York State, we do not have all of that information---- Ms. Clarke. Right, very well. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. Because of information is restricted. Ms. Clarke. Yes, we understand. Mr. Wolf. So I---- Ms. Clarke. So I would like to just do a comparative analysis with all of your foreign folks who are coming in. You can provide us with that information, right? Mr. Wolf. I am happy to provide---- Ms. Clarke. Absolutely. Thank you. A driver's license is not needed to participate in the Trusted Traveler Program. Addresses can also be verified through other means, such as passport information, fingerprints, background checks, interviews Trusted Traveler applicants are required to go through in order to participate in the program. Prior to your February 5 letter to New York State, what outreach efforts did the Department or any of its affected components undertake to inform New Yorkers about its perceived security concerns? Mr. Wolf. Well, obviously, New York passed their law, they were very specific--it is a very prescriptive law, so they clearly knew what they were doing. Ms. Clarke. Yes, what were your efforts? Mr. Wolf. We reached out to them. We sent them a letter. We indicated that we had concerns, and that we were shutting down the program. What I had to take into account was making sure that the whole Global Entry system was not compromised, but we continued to vet and enroll individuals---- Ms. Clarke. There was no other way of doing that, other than banning all New Yorkers? Mr. Wolf. Without the information that we have to vet---- Ms. Clarke. There is no other way of doing it? Mr. Wolf. There is not. There is information that---- Ms. Clarke. OK, very well, I just wanted to have that on the record. Mr. Wolf. There is information in the DMV database---- Ms. Clarke. I want to urge you to reverse this decision, and to avoid using your authority as the Acting Secretary of DHS for other retaliatory actions against States with different viewpoints, moving forward. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back. Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. Pursuant to the gentlelady's request, can you provide us with whatever information you used to cancel the Trusted Traveler Program? I think there was a letter sent that you referenced. If there is any other documents, please provide those documents, along with the letter. Mr. Wolf. May I respond? Chairman Thompson. Sure. Mr. Wolf. I would just say, again, New York law specifically prohibits CBP from going into that DMV database. They need information contained there that they can only get there to vet trusted travelers. They have done that above and beyond any other State. There is no other State that prohibits that information. So that is specifically why we took that action with New York, and for that action alone. Chairman Thompson. So I think the question was, when you found that out, what kind of engagement did you do with New York. Did you call? Did you send emails? Did you text? What did you do, once you found that out? I think that is what the gentlelady was trying to get. The Chair now recognizes the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Bishop. Mr. Bishop. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You know, Secretary Wolf, I am new to Congress. It is an extraordinary thing, I think, for someone who is new here to watch what you are going through, and the questioning from this panel. We are all, presumably, interested in the same objectives, particularly at this time, when we face the crisis that we face with coronavirus. I would think DHS, in particular, the mission of DHS, would warrant all of us striking a more cooperative tone. Further, the comments of Mr. Higgins, my friend from Louisiana, about the overall fiscal picture, I was struck that--so we got that $22 trillion indebtedness that amounts to $176,000 per American household, just 2 Federal programs over the next 30 years are anticipated to run a deficit of $103 trillion at this point, which is $824,000 per American household. So I would say, with respect to the budget submittal that we are having this meeting to discuss, I am appreciative of the efforts of the administration to identify ways to accomplish efficiencies. The gentleman, Mr. Richmond, commented when he was still in the hearing that there is--sort-of disparaging the idea of efficiencies. But, you know what? We expect American-- the American private sector to accomplish improvements in productivity every year. That is key to our private sector's growth, so that the public sector can be fed by the revenues that come from the private sector. So, as a general proposition, do you believe that there is--that achieving new efficiencies is a necessary part of effective governing of the Department? Mr. Wolf. Absolutely. I mean, we have to make sure that we are stewards of the taxpayer money, and we are using that funding provided by Congress effectively. So we continue to look at the threat, we continue to look at our programs to see how they evolve, make sure that the resources are lined up with that threat, make sure--a variety of different considerations going into that budget. There are trade-offs. We don't have unlimited resources. So we do have to make tough decisions, and we will continue to work with Congress. Obviously, Congress has the final say on the Department's budget, so we will continue to have those discussions, and continue to talk about those trade-offs. Mr. Bishop. I wonder if you could speak to the ways in which robust border control, which this Congress seems sometimes, by some portions of this Congress, to oppose, how robust border control contributes to the United States' preparedness and capacity to mitigate the harm from the coronavirus virus, COVID-19? Mr. Wolf. Sure. I think, specifically, probably what you are referring to is not only the measures that we have put in place at airports of entry, but also at land ports of entry. So, when I look specifically at the Southwest Border, and I look at today we are seeing anywhere from 1,200 to 1,300 individuals coming across that border illegally, so as the virus continues to grow, that is of concern. Because again, those individuals usually are not showing up with medical history, or not providing--in most cases, but not all, but in most cases--truthful answers to our Border Patrol when they are asking them questions. So, whether they are trying to hide a particular health history, that is a concern as this continues to grow. Now, we will continue to talk, regarding another question I received with Mexico, to increase their capacity and to determine what they are doing to control cases that they have in Mexico and--being reported of what they have. So we will continue to do that. But I would say the nature of the Southwest Border, and the fact that we continue to see over 1,000 individuals a day cross that border illegally, is certainly concerning to me. Mr. Bishop. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. I want to yield my remaining time to Mrs. Lesko. Mrs. Lesko. Thank you, Mr. Bishop, for yielding time, and thank you, Mr. Wolf, for your work---- Chairman Thompson. The gentlelady from Arizona is recognized. Mrs. Lesko. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Sorry about that. I have to go back to Rules, so I am going to ask a quick question. There is a decrease--I am the Ranking Member on the Transportation and Maritime Security Subcommittee, which deals with TSA. There is a decrease in funding of $58 million from this year's budget to TSA, and there is reduced funding for CT scanners and check-baggage screening. That kind-of concerns me. Can you tell me why the--you did that? Mr. Wolf. So when we talk about the CT scanners in--I believe in previous years, but including the fiscal year 2021 budget request, we will have about 521 new CT systems deployed. So we are continuing to look at how do we continue to up that number. Obviously, we want to see more CT scanners at our Nation's airports. They are detecting the right type of threat material that we need them to do. So we will continue to push on that front. I will say TSA has received a lot of money in 2019 and 2020 for those systems. So just getting those units out in fiscal year 2021 will be a challenge. We will likely see, in future budgets, to come back with further funding requests for additional CT systems. But what we are very cognizant of is making sure that we spend the amount of money that Congress has appropriated in a timely manner, and pushing those systems out before we come back and ask for, again, very large pots of money. Chairman Thompson. The gentlelady's time---- Mrs. Lesko. Thank you very much. Chairman Thompson [continuing]. Has expired. The Chair recognizes the gentlelady from Florida, Mrs. Demings, for 5 minutes. Mrs. Demings. Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman and Secretary Wolf. Thank you for being with us again, and thank you for what you do every day to keep our Nation safe. I know you know who you are and where you are. I have to be reminded that we are the Committee on Homeland Security, and that you are the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Yes, we should all share a common goal and a common purpose, and that is to keep the Nation safe. I believe you said that was your mission. Mr. Wolf. Absolutely. Mrs. Demings. But I am completely disappointed at some of the conversation I am hearing today, because it is so laced with politics. Secretary Wolf, true leaders don't need to be praised every day. They don't need Members of Congress to, every time they open their mouths, say what a great job the administration is doing. I think true leaders are much more interested in results that directly benefit the American people. I just want to--before I get into what I really want to talk about, UASI, I just want to make one thing clear. With the coronavirus, I thought we would dominate the time talking about your budget and how we can better respond to the coronavirus. But doggone it, I have heard quite a bit of talk about the wall, and how the wall--and that just simply amazes me. You started off your comments earlier, you were talking about your employees, and how you had to close an office, and particularly looking at travel from China or Iran. Then you talked about illegal aliens. That just kind-of took me by surprise, because I want to make sure, Secretary Wolf, you were not certainly surely suggesting that the problem that we are seeing in this country with the coronavirus is the result--or it was caused by undocumented immigrants coming across the South Border. Is that what you are saying? Mr. Wolf. No, I did not say that. Mrs. Demings. OK, what did you say? Just for the record. Please clear that up for me, because if we stay on that track, and what I am hearing from some of my colleagues, we are not going to do this correctly. We are going to be--have a screwed- up response, and we got to get it right. Please tell me what your words--why you put the two together. What were you saying? Mr. Wolf. My point that I made in the opening comments, and specifically to the question I just got, was the concerns that we continue to see. So we continue to see a number of concerns specifically at the Southwest Border in our land ports of entry, not only the Southwest Border, but the Northern Border. How do we control the illegal immigration that is coming in? Oftentimes we--they don't travel with medical history. Right? So that is of concern, because the individuals that are coming in at our 11 airports that are being funneled, we have very good information of their travel history, of their medical history. We are not going to have that same set of fidelity for the individuals if this continues to grow at the Southwest---- Mrs. Demings. Did anyone give you any instructions to tie the coronavirus to undocumented immigrants coming across the Southern Border? Mr. Wolf. No. Mrs. Demings. No one told you to say that? Mr. Wolf. Again, no---- Mrs. Demings. Let me ask you this. Do you believe that the President's obsession with his campaign promise to build a wall jeopardizes critical programs to DHS? Mr. Wolf. Do I believe that---- Mrs. Demings. The President's obsession with his campaign promise to build a wall---- Mr. Wolf. No. Mrs. Demings. Jeopardizes critical programs at DHS? Mr. Wolf. No, it does not. Mrs. Demings. OK, let's talk about you UASI because, you know, we all represent districts. Doggone it, our first concern should not be praising the administration during a crisis, but making sure that the men and women that we represent are safe and secure, because that is your mission to keep our---- Mr. Wolf. Right. Mrs. Demings. Nation safe. We have seen significant--we have seen an increase in public threats, which--that is what keeps me up every night, not--but anyway, but I have also noticed that funding for UASI has been cut. We know how critical it is to local communities. We know how critical it is to airports, for example. But I know that some of the funding responsibility has been shifted to local and State jurisdictions. Could you talk a little bit about that, please? Mr. Wolf. Sure, and it is the same discussion I had with with Congressman King. So we---- Mrs. Demings. I am sorry I missed it. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. Look at--not, that is--we continue to look at all of the security grants the Department provides. Since the Department's inception, I believe it is about 53 billion that we provided to State and locals to build up their capacity. So what we are concerned about is making sure that State and locals can build their capacity, but they don't build those grants into their baseline budget. So we want to make sure that we continue to build capacity, not only in the New York Metropolitan Area and others, but for new recipients, as well. Mrs. Demings. Do you build capacity by cutting the budget? Mr. Wolf. Specifically with the grant program? Mrs. Demings. For the UASI funding, yes, for the grant funding. Mr. Wolf. Well, again, part of that budget proposal is cost-sharing, again, between the Federal Government, State and locals, and having that shared responsibility. So, yes, that is--part of the budget proposal is not only reducing that, but it also is that cost sharing part of it. Mrs. Demings. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Mr. Chair, I am out of time. I yield back. Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Van Drew. Mr. Van Drew. Good morning, Secretary Wolf, it is good to have you here. I am sure you are having a lot of fun. I just want to say, from my viewpoint, we maybe shouldn't be just saying what a great job the administration or the people that work in all the various functions do, but I would also like to say we just shouldn't say what a bad job everything is, and how wrong everything is, and how terrible everything is, because there was a lot of good that was done, whether it is at the border--I was there relatively recently. Things have improved a lot, but they still need to get better. We do need the rule of law, whether it is--and I would like to associate my viewpoint with Mr. Joyce, the calm that we need to correct during this coronavirus, the fact that we were the first to have travel restrictions up, that we were sure to work--and we are working with the drug companies to see if there are any new vaccines that can be created, and that we have isolated folks very immediately that had it. If it wasn't for America, if it wasn't for the United States of America, this world and this globe in this crisis would be in much worse shape. That is largely due to you and your people, and the work that you have done. So let's really talk about what America does, and what you have done. Now, I digressed for a second, because I thought this was going to be about the budget, and some of the budget issues. I am really interested in the Coast Guard, and I am just going to make a statement, and then maybe hopefully have time to ask you a few questions. You know that Air Station Atlantic City is the largest air station in the Coast Guard's fifth district. We also know that the Training Center Cape May is the Coast Guard's exclusive intake and training facility for folks. The Coast Guard is important to my community. It is important to the Nation. It is important to everyone, and we need to make sure they have the resources that they need. While testifying before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, you stated that the readiness of the Coast Guard continues to be an issue and a concern, and that, with the limited budget, you have to focus resources. One of the questions, if you can remember them, because I just want to go through the whole thing, is the Coast Guard adequately funded to perform its missions, which are so important? Does it have the resources? The second thing is I have been told the Coast Guard has a large infrastructure gap. What vulnerabilities does the gap create, do you think? Are they serious? What is the Coast Guard's strategy for addressing this gap with a limited budget? Again, I thought this was about the budget, so I am sorry, but that is what I am focusing my issues on. Next, I wanted to commend the Trump administration, because something we didn't talk--they included an additional $386 million in the 2021 budget for requests the Coast Guard operations and support made. So authorizing the funding request will help the Coast Guard address the urgent problems of infrastructure gap, which is serious. Finally, the Training Center Cape May is, unfortunately, falling victim also to the infrastructure gap. There is need to authorize and appropriate funds for the renovation of the barracks facilities. This project aims to recapitalize the barracks to meet the modern standards, and accommodate both male and female Coast Guard trainees. It is the most valuable part of the organization that make people work. I would like to advocate for the project's funding inclusion and authorization in this budget so that our Coast Guard men and women can start their careers with the facilities and the resources they need. As you know, and you deal--these are great men and women-- -- Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Van Drew [continuing]. Who serve this country and sacrifice for this country. I think that is the conversation we should be having. Mr. Wolf. Well, I would say I would agree with all of those points. I would say that the Coast Guard is, obviously, really some of the unsung heroes of the---- Mr. Van Drew. They are. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. Department. They often don't get the limelight or the attention that they rightfully deserve. When we look at the fiscal year 2021 President's budget request, there is a couple of priorities in there for the Coast Guard, specifically, that the commandant is very forward leaning on. One is the second polar security cutter, so there is funding in there for that, but also for their offshore patrol cutter program. I believe there is funding in there for 3 to 4 of their offshore patrol cutters, which will, again, sort-of--there is really a push forward. So those are two capital assets that they are pushing. The third one, as you mentioned, is readiness, making sure that not only their aging infrastructure, but also their budget that supports all of their capital expenditures--so their operations and support budget--continues to match pace. What we see with the Coast Guard, because they are in the Department of Homeland Security and they are not in DOD, is that some of the plus-ups that we continue to see on the DOD side, which--rightfully so--we don't often see that---- Mr. Van Drew. Exactly. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. On the Coast Guard side. So, you know, over time--and again, not pointing any fingers, but over time that that starts to add up. So when I talk about readiness, when the commandant talks about readiness, we need to make sure that we address that in the long term. We start at that in the fiscal year 2021 budget request, so there is some assistance and some help that we are requesting there, but it is not going to be solved in one fiscal year, so we need---- Mr. Van Drew. I know, but I would like to get on the road. I would love to talk, speak with the commandant, and even have the President take a look at this, because it is important, as well. They are the best men and women that just sacrifice for us. As you said, because they are not in DOD, they get the short end of the stick. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Van Drew. So thank you for your service. Mr. Wolf. Thank you. Chairman Thompson. The gentleman's time has expired. The Chair recognizes Ms. Torres Small. Ms. Torres Small. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Secretary Wolf, for being here today. Let's talk about drug seizures at our ports of entry. As you know, transnational criminal organizations continue to smuggle lethal drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl, the primary driver of the opioid crisis, through our land ports of entry. However, only about 15 to 16 percent of commercial vehicles, and less than 2 percent of passenger vehicles that enter the United States through land ports of entry are currently scanned with non-intrusive inspection technology to detect contraband. Now, you know this is a problem. I really appreciate your comments about how we need--how our infrastructure at ports of entry is outdated, and that we need to invest in them. It is a bipartisan issue, and we can--that we would all like CBP to prioritize. So when does the DHS intend to reach 100 percent deployment of non-intrusive inspection technology at our ports of entry? Mr. Wolf. Well, what I can tell you is the funding that Congress provided in fiscal year 2019, which was about $570 million, and then additional funding in fiscal year 2020, will give us about 660 NII, so that is the large, small, and medium. That---- Ms. Torres Small. My question is about when we are planning to get to 100 percent. Mr. Wolf. So I am getting there. So by--I hope to have that deployed by 2022. Ms. Torres Small. 2022? That is great news. Mr. Wolf. So that will get, you know---- Ms. Torres Small. You have a comprehensive plan? Mr. Wolf [continuing]. Screening from---- Ms. Torres Small. I am sorry, that is 2020. That was my--I appreciate it. Just--do you have a comprehensive plan for how you will get to 100 percent deployment by 2022? Mr. Wolf. So we won't--we will not be at 100 percent of deployment of those--of that infrastructure, yes, we have a deployment plan. When we get deployed by 2023--you mentioned passenger vehicles being screened. We hope to go from 1 to 2 percent up to 40 percent by 2023. On the commercial side, 15 percent, up to 72 percent, again, utilizing the funding that Congress provided for, again, the large, the small, and medium NII systems at our ports of entry. Ms. Torres Small. That is great. So I am pleased to hear that there is a clear plan for getting to 70 percent of commercial trucks and 43 percent of passenger vehicles. Do you have a longer-term plan for getting to 100 percent deployment? Mr. Wolf. We do. Obviously, that depends on appropriations and support. So we are happy to share that, too. Ms. Torres Small. That is fantastic. I would love to get a copy of that, and we will add that to--if you can supply it, in addition to your testimony later on. Great. Thank you so much. I think the reason why it is so important that we have 100 percent deployment is that, when we get to 73 percent, cartels wise up, they shift their routes to less--under-staffed or under-utilized ports of entry, where the infrastructure is less secure. So I look forward to getting that report for the full 100 percent. So next, just shifting to Border Patrol processing coordinators, last year I worked closely with CBP and other Members of this committee to draft legislation to authorize the hiring of Border Patrol processing coordinators. I am pleased that DHS has started the process to hire the first class of processing coordinators. Mr. Wolf. Right. Ms. Torres Small. This position will be particularly important. The fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill directed the Department to brief Congress on the training requirements for processing coordinators. Mr. Wolf. Yes. Ms. Torres Small. When do you plan to brief us? Mr. Wolf. Any time that you would like. Ms. Torres Small. OK. Well, wonderful. Do you have the information now on what the training is going to look like? Mr. Wolf. I don't have the specific training. What I can tell you is those--I believe it is 300 processing officers---- Ms. Torres Small. Two hundred, I believe. Mr. Wolf. Two hundred will be on board between May and September of this year. Ms. Torres Small. So I--we have--I know we have gone through a few Secretaries and multiple points of juncture where, you know, the--first I requested information about the training plans from former Secretary McAleenan and others. We all recognize this is a need. We need the information on how folks are going to be trained. Mr. Wolf. OK. Ms. Torres Small. So if you can also supplement your testimony with that, I deeply appreciate it. Last year's bill appropriations also directs CBP to provide humanitarian training to processing coordinators, such as emergency medical care and child abuse and neglect. How have you ensured that processing coordinators will get that type of training? Mr. Wolf. Again, I am happy to provide the training that they will receive. Obviously, they--we build that training with CBP's training program. So I am happy to get that for you. Ms. Torres Small. Great. Thank you so much. Continuing on the training and the important work that we need for them to do, one of the key reasons we needed them is to help transport migrants, especially on long rural routes. The transportation duties can take Border Patrol agents off the field. But I have recently learned that coordinators will contact transportation tasks with an agent escort. Can you please confirm that that is the current plan? Mr. Wolf. I can't, but I will take that back and let you know. Ms. Torres Small. OK. That is something I am concerned about. Because, as we know, if--part of the reason we authorized this money was so that we could keep Border Patrol agents on the line. So then continuing to use a Border Patrol agent---- Mr. Wolf. Sure. Ms. Torres Small [continuing]. To help escort really undermines the efficiency of that work. Mr. Wolf. Let me discuss with CBP, and we will get you those answers. Ms. Torres Small. Thank you, Secretary Wolf. Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Green. Mr. Green of Tennessee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman---- Chairman Thompson. Thank you. You probably need to punch your mike on. Mr. Green of Tennessee. How is that, sir? Better? Thanks. I just want to make everybody aware that TEMA has announced 19 dead now in Tennessee. So if you could keep Tennesseans in your prayers, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for being here. You are doing a great job. Thank you. When we cobbled DHS together at 9/11, we took 22 agencies and kind-of put it all together. Unfortunately, we didn't change the requirements for reporting mechanisms to Congress. So you report to, like, over 100 committees and subcommittees. Could you tell me how much of your budget is wasted reporting to so many committees? Mr. Wolf. I think that is a tough question to answer. There is a lot of time that goes into responding to all the different requests from the committees and, obviously, different letters. Again, it is part of the oversight process. We are happy to do that, but it is exponential at the Department---- Mr. Green of Tennessee. It is arduous, I am sure. Mr. Wolf. At headquarters, just alone, we receive anywhere between 40 and 50 letters a month. That is just at headquarters. Obviously, our individual components receive similar amounts. So having to respond to research, it does take individuals off the front line of their primary security responsibility to produce documents, to go back and make sure that that is presentable---- Mr. Green of Tennessee. Is it---- Mr. Wolf [continuing]. To various Members of Congress. So it is a very, very heavy lift. We are happy to provide that oversight, but yes, I would---- Mr. Green of Tennessee. If you---- Mr. Wolf. I would certainly encourage trying to shrink down the amount of oversight that the Department has. Mr. Green of Tennessee. Well, it is not that we want to minimize oversight, we want to streamline it. You know, if you look at DOD, they report to, like, 40 committees, and they are 3 or 4 times--probably 4 times the size of DHS. So I just want us to try to provide some efficiencies for you. Also, it is the same with your task organization. It looks in the task organization as if you have 22 different agencies all reporting to you. Is there some kind of streamlining that you could do that would save money, save--make your Department more efficient, in terms of your task organization? Mr. Wolf. Well, we do. We have a number of operational components. They, obviously, report to the front office, so they do that not only with the Secretary, but also with the Deputy Secretary at DHS. As of right now, I would say that the organization of the Department is solid. Mr. Green of Tennessee. OK. Mr. Wolf. I have looked at it. I know previous Secretaries have looked at it, have made changes over the years. But where it is at now, we can always fine tune, we can always do a little bit better. But I don't see any wholesale reorganization of the Department, in my view. Mr. Green of Tennessee. OK. On those redactions, I assume that migrants are eligible for the protections of HIPAA. I know there are other medical personnel on the committee, and maybe they can comment on this. But I would suggest that that may be the reason why--the Health Information Portability Protect Act is why there is so much redactions on those medical forms. But that is, I am guessing, what your legal counsel is doing. Let me go on to something else, too. The Chairman mentioned increasing screenings of COVID-19 patients at the border, yet others on the committee have beaten you up for mentioning that the Southern Border is a risk for COVID. I just want to assert that I think that is a little bit hypocritical. I agree with the Chairman. I think those screenings need to be increased. Could you clarify, too, that--does this budget increase CBP positions? Mr. Wolf. It does. Mr. Green of Tennessee. OK. Do you have CBP vacancies right now? Mr. Wolf. I am sure we do. What I can tell you is, over the last 2 fiscal years, we have been able to hire more Border Patrol agents than we have lost. Mr. Green of Tennessee. Oh, good. Mr. Wolf. So it wasn't---- Mr. Green of Tennessee. So you are on a net positive for the---- Mr. Wolf. We are. So that wasn't always the case. We have historically had a difficult job hiring and bringing those individuals on board. So I would say we are on a good trajectory over the last---- Mr. Green of Tennessee. So you are a net positive, and that is to be commended, by the way, because I think that is a relatively new thing at CBP. So my question, then, may not be necessary. My question was what are you going to do to ramp up recruiting efforts. It sounds like you have done so, and you have got a positive response. Now, if you want to elaborate---- Mr. Wolf. So we do. We have a fairly expansive recruiting effort, retention bonuses, we have a whole plan to not only bring in new Border Patrol agents, but to make sure that we keep those that are there. We do that through change of where they operate. Obviously, sitting--you know, being on the border year over year, some individuals in the Border Patrol want to go to different duty locations. Mr. Green of Tennessee. Sure. Mr. Wolf. So we provide that. We also provide retention bonuses, and the like. So we have an aggressive campaign to make sure that we hold our best and brightest, but also bring in new Border Patrol agents. I would just say that I was in Artesia, New Mexico probably 3 weeks ago, and had the opportunity to preside over a graduating class of the Border Patrol. There were 25 or 30 folks there, just really excited to be part of the Department, to be part of Homeland Security, and to be part of securing our Nation. Mr. Green of Tennessee. Thanks. Good job. I yield. Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. Just for the record, HIPAA doesn't apply to Congress. So---- Mr. Green of Tennessee. Oh, it doesn't? Chairman Thompson. No, it doesn't. Let me recognize the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Cleaver. Mr. Cleaver. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. If I can, I would take 30 seconds to say--because I think sometimes we create problems not because we are just mean-spirited or something, but maybe we don't know. I have been here a while. In fact, if I had not had to leave this committee, I would be the third person in seniority on this committee. So people--when we have Secretaries, no matter what department, Congress Members, Republicans, Democrats, San Francisco 49ers, any--I mean everybody asks questions about that Department. If they have specific questions about the budget, they will ask those questions. So I--this may be a fight we don't even need to have. This has been going on long before any of us came to Congress, or maybe even were born. So you know, we have a lot of this little chirp-chirp-chirping today, and any other committee you go to, people are going to ask questions that they want to ask the Secretary. Mr. Secretary, thank you for being here. Mr. Wolf. Thank you. Mr. Cleaver. From whom do you need approval to make a statement, issue a press release, or do whatever about coercive monopoly, coercive price gouging, also known as coercive monopoly? There are reports that hand sanitizers and other products that now--that Americans are using are--the price is being raised all over the country. I don't know what--it is unimaginable to me that a walking, talking, breathing human being can do something so nasty at a time like this for money. Can--is there a short answer you can give me about what we can do? Mr. Wolf. I wouldn't--you know, again, from my position, I wouldn't specifically--you asked if I could issue a press release or a statement. I wouldn't specifically do that. I make sure that, when I issue statements or press releases or anything else from the Department, it is specifically to our mission, to our authorities, and to our budget, making sure that we do that. So I would work with, obviously, the larger task force. I believe you are referring to the coronavirus and---- Mr. Cleaver. Yes. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. Some of the medical issues there, and hand sanitizer, and the like. So, obviously, we would work with the task force to make sure that we address. Mr. Cleaver. All right, thank you. It--we don't have a Federal law. There has been an attempt to do it a number of times. But a number of States do have those laws, because of-- like Florida, you know, a hurricane hits, and prices go up, which I think is just morally obscene. The other thing--and I will do this quickly and, if you can, answer it quickly--my Congressional district includes Kansas City, Missouri. What we find is UASI funding has been cut. If you look at the list of the cities that get UASI funding, they are, generally, the largest in the State, and-- except when you come to Missouri. I don't know if somebody just failed to look--Kansas City is significantly larger than any other city in the State of Missouri. We have 116 communities, 3,800 square miles. We are the second-largest rail hub in the country. So our UASI funding is zero, and I don't understand it. Maybe you could check, or have somebody on your staff to check to find--yes, sir? Mr. Wolf. Well, what I would offer is to have the individuals at FEMA--so there is sort of a complex decision- making matrices that they go through to identify those jurisdictions and those areas that are available for that funding. So I am happy to have them come up and walk you through, and they will talk to you about different categories, and how your specific area, Kansas City, ranks against others, and what they are looking for to make that list. So I think that is probably going to be the best thing I can do. Mr. Cleaver. Thank you. That would be helpful, because I can give them--I can answer questions---- Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Cleaver [continuing]. From the business community and others. There are a number of reports that have detailed racist and sexist comments posted by CBP personnel on Facebook. I think it is called ``I'm 10-15,'' something like that. Then an article in the Washington Examiner quoted, you know, some of the Border Patrol leaders as making some very nasty statements. One of the gentlemen--I mean, the--actually, the Washington Examiner named an individual. So did CBP or DHS investigate this issue surrounding Facebook and 10-15? Mr. Wolf. Yes, I believe that would--occurred last year. So the investigation has been completed, a number of individuals have been removed from office. I would say that, obviously, what I saw of that, from my position in the Department, is not representative of 99.9 percent of Border Patrol agents. So I want to say that at the outset. The vast majority of those were not involved in there. So I want to make sure that--we always have a few bad apples, and we will deal with that, and we will address that, we will investigate that, and we will take appropriate personnel action against that. But it is not--it certainly doesn't reflect on the entire Border Patrol. Mr. Cleaver. Yes, I didn't suggest that I--I am interested about--in this situation. It looks like it has been handled. If I could get information on that, that would be helpful. Mr. Wolf. OK. There will be some privacy issues, but we will share everything that we are able to. Mr. Cleaver. OK---- Mr. Wolf. About specific individuals, obviously. Mr. Cleaver. Yes. I mean, that's why I didn't call the name of the person. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Cleaver. I was down on the border 2 weeks--3 weeks ago, and I didn't tell them I was a Member of Congress, I didn't wear my pin. I went--and they thought I was an attorney. I have to say that the security personnel down there were 100 percent respectable. I--you know, and I shared that--my thoughts with them when I was leaving, because somebody walked in and saw me, and said, ``Congressman Cleaver,'' and blew my cover. But I think I needed to say---- Mr. Wolf. Which port of entry were you at? Mr. Cleaver. We were in Brownsville. Mr. Wolf. OK, I will pass that along to them. Thank you. Chairman Thompson. The gentleman from Missouri's time has expired. Mr. Cleaver. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. Check with your lawyers, Mr. Secretary. I think they will tell you the privacy law doesn't apply to Congress, either. So try not to get an answer back with a bunch of redactions. I am trying to get Mr. Cleaver his information. Mr. Wolf. Sure. Chairman Thompson. So, Mr. Cleaver, I am sure you will get it. Can he get it by the 15th? Mr. Wolf. I will check. Yes, Chairman. My intention will be to get it to you by---- Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The Chair recognizes the gentlelady from Illinois, Ms. Underwood, for 5 minutes. Ms. Underwood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to start by following up on something that Secretary Wolf just disclosed in his opening statement. Last night you closed a DHS facility in Washington State in response to the coronavirus, sir, and ordered its employees to self-quarantine for the next 2 weeks. Then, this morning, the Washington Post reported that a DHS employee in Newark reported to work on his--on her boss's orders, in violation of a coronavirus quarantine. DHS personnel have been on the front lines of responding to the coronavirus at airports, at the border, in helping to prepare, and risk management over at FEMA, and coordinating outbreak response with other agencies. In these front-line roles, they have also had an elevated risk of exposure. As of today, do you expect further closings of DHS facilities or facility-wide DHS staff quarantines due to the coronavirus? Mr. Wolf. We will take that on a case-by-case basis. What I can tell you is that we continue to provide our CBP officers, our TSA officers all of the information, training---- Ms. Underwood. Sure. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. Their protective equipment that is required, as well---- Ms. Underwood. But certainly you have a scope that exceeds ours right now, sir. So I am looking for a yes or no. Do you expect to need to make additional closings---- Mr. Wolf. I am not going to contemplate on what could be potential closings. We will take that on a case-by-case basis. Ms. Underwood. As a nurse, a public health expert, and a former senior advisor at HHS's ASPR, I know that a whole-of- Government approach is necessary to respond to the coronavirus. Last week you were asked about a coordination with CDC. Can you please provide a detailed update on exactly how DHS is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and State and local public health departments to respond to the coronavirus? Mr. Wolf. Sure. So we are working with them every day. So every single day we have task force meetings, not only at the senior level of the task force, but also individually. We talked about--earlier about our chief medical officer talking with and collaborating not only with HHS, but with CDC. We have other individuals collaborating with ASPR, as well. So we are fully linked up with both HHS, CDC, and others on making sure that, if we need to change our operational tempo, our operational requirements, and the decisions that we have taken, which I have outlined here, that we do so from making sure that the medical strategy, once it changes, as it evolves, that we change our operations at our air ports of entry, our land ports of entry, maritime, we continue to support in a supporting role HHS. So, as I talked earlier, our science and technology directorate, our NBACC facility is also characterizing the virus on behalf of the CDC. So we are providing support to them, and will continue to do that. They tell us to change direction, we will change direction. Ms. Underwood. Great. This weekend, when I was back home in Illinois, I heard concerns from families whose kids had been studying abroad in countries like Italy and in Korea, with active outbreaks. What is your Department's role in coordinating with CDC, the Education Department, and other Federal entities to bring these kids home safely? Mr. Wolf. So we will continue, again, through the task force. There has been a number of travel advisories---- Ms. Underwood. Sure. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. That we have put out, and so we are part of that process, and that collaborative process to inform the administration. Then, certainly, the administration, State Department, issues those travel warnings. CDC issues travel warnings separately---- Ms. Underwood. Right. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. As well---- Ms. Underwood. I was speaking about the experience of these Americans that are being repatriated. So I just want to see if there is anything specifically that you are doing with these young people. Mr. Wolf. Again, you are talking about specific students that are overseas studying, that are then coming back? We will continue--as we saw in China, when we repatriated individuals from China, specifically, that was mainly through the State Department. DHS will, obviously, play a role in that, as we process those individuals coming back into the country. But that is mainly a State Department role if they--as they repatriated a number of individuals from China on specific flights. Ms. Underwood. OK. So let's return to the DHS employees on the front lines of the coronavirus response. Their job is to keep us safe. To require them to violate CDC's best practices for keeping themselves safe from the coronavirus, not only do they interact with thousands of overseas travelers each day, but they are conducting screenings and pat-downs in extremely close quarters. Mr. Wolf. Right. Ms. Underwood. So what measures have you put in place to minimize the risk to the DHS employees from the coronavirus? Mr. Wolf. So I am not sure that I would agree with the-- characterizing that they are not following CDC procedures, because that is specifically what we have provided them, that is what we provided specifically to CBP, as well as TSA officers. We are providing them, again, not only the literature from CDC, the training, but also that protective-wear. So when we specifically talk about protective wear, we are talking about gloves and masks and the like, and we are doing that optional. So we don't require them to do that. They can do that if they choose to do so. We have several unions at the Department that we are working with on that, as well. It is a union issue, as well. So we continue to work with them, provide them all the materials and all the protective gear that they--if they choose to use it, they certainly have it there at hand to do so. Ms. Underwood. OK. Well, the information that we are receiving doesn't suggest that it is in complete alignment. So if you would be willing to provide us with a copy of the guidance documents that you have offered to your employees, that would be really helpful for us to do our oversight work. Mr. Wolf. So we can do that through our CWMD office, as well as specifically with CBP and TSA. Ms. Underwood. Great. I yield back, Mr. Chairman, thank you. Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Mississippi, Mr. Guest, for 5 minutes. Mr. Guest. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, first I want to thank you for being here. I want to thank the men and women that serve under you for their service to our country. Over the last year you and your Department has--have faced a growing and continued crisis of illegal immigration along our Southwest Border. Now your Department is providing some of the front-line response activities as we are battling the coronavirus. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Guest. So I know that you spoke earlier that the chief medical examiner for the Department of Human Services has been coordinating with CDC, that you have also been coordinating with other partners. What do you see his role continue to be, as we move forward, in making sure that we are properly screening individuals that enter the country? Mr. Wolf. So we use our chief medical officer in a variety of different ways, but he is, as his title suggests, our chief advisor when it comes to any medical issues, not only with our work force, but also how we protect the American public. So he is the primary interface with a number of CDC specialists, HHS specialists in looking at how this virus spreads, the impact on the work force, how to protect the work force. So not only this individual, but his staff is intimately involved in all of those discussions. He is advising senior leadership about that, and is also in tune with what the task force is advising, as well. Mr. Guest. Could you talk just a little bit about DHS's role in coronavirus screening at ports of entry? Mr. Wolf. Sure. So, as I mentioned earlier, specifically where we see the largest number are at the 11 airports that we are funneling passengers to. So CBP, thus far, has referred over 50,000 passengers to our medical professionals to screen. They have cleared over 21,000 passengers. They have referred another 30,000 for self-monitoring. We have refused entry to 14 passengers at U.S. airports, and refused entry for another 102 passengers at PreClearance airports. Those are airports overseas that we do clearance procedures at. So the Department has an everyday role of making sure that we keep sick individuals from coming into the country that are on these travel restrictions. Those that do come here, Americans that do come here, they get the right medical screening and they get the right treatment to making sure that they--obviously, make sure that they, themselves, are safe, but also their communities are safe. So that is just--that is our operators. Then we have a whole support mechanism that supports them through our science and technology directorate. As you mentioned, our chief medical officer, as well as others that support what they do every day. Mr. Guest. Well, and Mr. Secretary, you mentioned earlier that you and your agency are taking all the steps possible to mitigate any risk to any of our health care providers, any of our front-line officers who are involved in the screening process. My question to you is, do you believe that the use of technologies such as telehealth could be helpful as we are going to see these screenings increase at ports of entry? Mr. Wolf. I do. I think so. I would, obviously, defer on the efficacy of that to CDC and HHS. But I think any and all options should be on the table. As we continue to see--as I mentioned at the outset, we have a facility in King County, Washington State, that has shut down. We are--we could see more of that, depending on how this situation unfolds. So any ability that we are able to not only telework, but do the telemedicine, as well, I think would be helpful. Mr. Guest. Mr. Secretary, would you agree that, just from a public health perspective, this--it is important for the United States to adequately screen those entering the country, and that, if we are screening, whether it be for coronavirus or some other contagious health care issue, that we are only able to screen those individuals that come through ports of entry. So, if you have individuals who are crossing into the country illegally, assuming that those individuals are not apprehended by Border Patrol or law enforcement after they enter the country, that it is at that point impossible for us to screen those individuals. Those individuals could then enter the country, and they could either intentionally or--in most cases--unknowingly impact hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals with the coronavirus before they became ill and started showing symptoms and were later hospitalized. Mr. Wolf. Sure, that is, obviously, a very real concern, and one I--we talked about earlier. Obviously, at maritime ports of entry and air ports of entry it is much easier to corral individuals and funnel individuals into the appropriate places. So when we look at our land ports of entry, yes, ports of entry is where we would like to do that screening. They have the infrastructure, they have the staff available. As I mentioned earlier, today we are seeing anywhere from 1,200 to 1,300 individuals continue to cross the border illegally. So that is not at a port of entry. Those are individuals that Border Patrol is picking up, have to process. So, yes, as this expands, the ability for those individuals to be screened and screened appropriately is a concern. Mr. Guest. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas for 5 minutes, Mr. Crenshaw. Mr. Crenshaw. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for being here. I really commend the work of DHS to combat human trafficking, and I was pleased to attend your human trafficking strategy roundtable in January, and the implementation of the Blue Campaign training at FLETC, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. I look forward to consideration and passage of my DHS Blue Campaign Enhancement Act, H.R. 5804, and I want to thank my friend, Representative Val Demings, Ranking Member Rogers, and Representative Sylvia Garcia in joining me on that important legislation. Secretary Wolf, can you just briefly discuss some of DHS's effort to combat human trafficking? Mr. Wolf. Yes. So we issued a strategy in the middle of January, which was the first time the Department has ever done that. It is a strategy--all human trafficking and forced labor, or goods produced with forced labor. We continue to be very forward-leaning on that. And the reason I thought that was important to produce that strategy was to send a signal to the rest of the Department that, as they continue to prioritize and build their budgets, they need to do that with human trafficking in mind, devoting the appropriate resources to that. So again, the first time the Department has ever done that, and made human trafficking a priority, and will continue to do that. Inside that strategy there is about 40 different action items that we are continuing to put into an implementation plan, anything and everything from having to do a full threat assessment on human trafficking to continuing to hire victim assistance specialists, making sure that we have a victim- centered approach with our work and with our law enforcement officers. Science and technology is looking at what they can do, so there is a number of actions within that strategy that is pushing throughout the Department---- Mr. Crenshaw. Great. It sounds very cross-functional. Can you discuss ICE's role in combating human trafficking? Mr. Wolf. Sure. I would say that ICE has probably the largest role within the Department. Specifically, their Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI. Mr. Crenshaw. That is important to note, because everybody talks about banning ICE--not everybody, of course, but a lot of my colleagues talk about banning ICE. I think it is not always pointed out that ICE plays the biggest role in combating the scourge of human trafficking, and we should absolutely note that. I want to move on to disaster relief. That is a big issue coming from Houston. My constituents, after a disaster, often fail--often face a web of different options on where they can get relief from, whether it is FEMA, or HUD, or SBA. It can be extremely confusing when you are trying to rebuild your home. I want to get your take on this. Rather than having post- disaster recovery and long-term housing issues split among these different agencies--FEMA, HUD, SBA--would it be beneficial to consolidate a lot of this under FEMA? Mr. Wolf. I think FEMA has started to do that. So I know, under the former administrator, Administrator Brock Long, as well as--that continue today, is they are actually trying to streamline that, and trying to make it easier for individuals that are affected by natural disasters. So what we have heard over time is if your house is destroyed by a natural disaster, you may have 3 or 4 different inspectors--1 from DHS, 1 from FEMA, HHS, you know, housing-- all coming out and knocking, asking similar questions. So yes, they are currently assessing and putting together a strategy on how do you consolidate that, how do you make it easier for that individual that has been affected, so perhaps they only get 1, maybe 2 visits, instead of the 3, 4, 5. So yes, I would agree that any time we consolidate or streamline, that is going to be---- Mr. Crenshaw. Yes, I am sure there would be a lot of bipartisan support for such a thing. Disasters don't just strike my district, they strike a lot. I want to talk about border security. Last year, when we did this hearing with Secretary Nielsen, we were in a crisis. We were seeing over 100,000 illegal crossings per month, in many cases, sometimes much more than that. A lot of that was family units, too, which made the problem all the more difficult to deal with minors coming across the border. Since then, illegal crossings have decreased dramatically. It seems that a large part of that is because of migrant protection protocols and increased cooperation with the Mexican Government. What else can we be doing? What would be your top items that you need from Congress to get a handle on our Southern Border finally, once and for all? Mr. Wolf. Yes. So I would say that we still remain in crisis mode along the Southern Border. As you mentioned, the numbers have dropped pretty substantially. However, it is not only myself, but predecessors of mine would say if you are apprehending over 1,000 folks a day, that is a bad day, and you are in a crisis. So, as I have mentioned earlier, we are apprehending between 1,200 and 1,300 a day, still. So the crisis is still there. The impacts on CBP, ICE resources are still there. As you indicated, the strategy that we put in place over the last 4 to 5 months is working--6 months is working. Partnerships are vitally important with the Northern Triangle and Mexico, but some of the programs like MPP, like ENV and some of the other programs that we put in place, are absolutely making a difference. They are allowing us to control that inflow coming in, allowing us to process individuals quicker, providing them immigration hearings quicker for their meritorious claims. And those that don't, we are trying to root out the fraud there. We will continue to talk with Congress on additional authorities that we need. We have been doing that for several years, trying to address Flores, asylum. So we will--I am happy to continue to talk to Congress. I did want to thank Congress for, obviously, providing us a supplemental last year that addressed the crisis and the surge that we had. Mr. Crenshaw. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The gentleman's time has expired. A request has been made for a second round of questioning. Ranking Member, you have a question you want to ask? Mr. Higgins. I do, Mr. Chairman, and thank you. To dive in a little deep into your budget, I suspect, Mr. Secretary, this is reflective of many isolated sections of the total budget request. But you have stated in your statement on page 7, about halfway through the page, regarding the need for increased detention beds for ICE, and this is due to historically high numbers of crossings being processed. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Higgins. You have a statement here of forecasting models reinforce the need for an increase in ICE's detention beds to 60,000. You go on to state that the budget includes $3.1 billion for this capacity increase. Now, if I have calculated this correctly--and perhaps I am misunderstanding your statement--that would equate to $51,600 per bed, if that encompasses the entire 60,000 beds, and the $3.1 billion being dedicated for that purpose. Would that include the care for the people in the bed, and---- Mr. Wolf. Yes, there is---- Mr. Higgins. Please explain. Mr. Wolf. There is a lot built into that. I would say our single bed daily rate is about $125, $130 a day. The family beds are a little bit more expensive than that. But yes, it includes not only the beds, but the administration---- Mr. Higgins. All the personnel that---- Mr. Wolf. Of all of that, yes. Mr. Higgins. To---- Mr. Wolf. We were at---- Mr. Higgins. Care for that person---- Mr. Wolf. I would say that we were at 56,000 beds in August of last year, so we continue to look at our modeling, looking at, obviously, past events, seasonality, and where we go. So, obviously, the 60,000 requests is in the fiscal year 2021 budget request. I will say it hit very real last Friday, when we had the MPP decision. It was stayed several hours later. But as I indicated in my opening remarks, we had thousands of migrants lining up to come into the country. We are going to have to detain them as we process them. So making sure that we have enough bed space to detain through the pendency of their immigration proceedings is absolutely critical. The administration, I will say, has done a number of things to speed that process up, so that we can give folks that need the protections, that need the asylum protections, or any other protections that they are seeking, get them that hearing quicker, while at the same time rooting out the fraud. Mr. Higgins. Thank you for clarifying that. I would like to close on a positive note. In your statement you have clarified that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS, naturalized 833,000 new citizens last year, which is an 11-year high. Mr. Wolf. Yes. Mr. Higgins. Can you confirm that that is an accurate number, sir? Mr. Wolf. That is accurate. Mr. Higgins. So 833,000 new American citizens have sworn an oath of citizenship and become naturalized citizens in our great country. Is that correct? Mr. Wolf. It is. We often say--and it is absolutely accurate--that we are one of the most generous countries out there, and we continue to process individuals coming in for a variety of different benefits. We just ask that you do that the legal way and the correct way. So we will continue to---- Mr. Higgins. Roger that. Mr. Wolf [continuing]. Process those individuals. Mr. Higgins. We support that. So welcome to the 833,000 new American citizens, and thank you, sir, for the job that you are doing. Mr. Chairman, I yield. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California for 5 minutes, Mr. Correa. Mr. Correa. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Again, I want to thank you, Acting Secretary Wolf, for being here today. I want to shift gears a little bit and talk about an important issue in California, the Real ID. Mr. Wolf. Yes. Mr. Correa. Two weeks ago I had the honor of spending 3 hours at the local DMV office to get my Real ID. I got there at 6:30 in the morning. I get in front of the line, people already waiting in line. Mr. Wolf. Yes. Mr. Correa. Three hours later I had my--completed my Real ID process. October 1 is the deadline. We probably have--it is estimated by DHS--35 percent of Americans don't have Real ID yet. In California an estimated 20 million drivers still don't have Real ID. So we may be looking at a real train wreck here. October 1 people can't fly. They need to fly. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Correa. Any thoughts how we can move forward on this? Are you going to move the deadline? Any suggestions? This was a law that was put into place, I think, 2005. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Correa. We are trying to comply with it by October 1. Please. Mr. Wolf. So I would say it continues to be a priority for the Department. So the Department's main responsibilities in this area is to make sure that we continue to educate folks about this. So individual States produce the Real ID. So they are compliant, and then they start issuing those. As you indicated, the law passed in 2005, 2006. We think a 14- to 15-year implementation plan is sufficient. But the stat that you mentioned is an accurate stat: About 35 percent of the IDs in circulation we estimate right now are Real ID-compliant. So that is one-third. So, as October 2020 looms, we are growing concerned. What I directed--we issued a request for information, I should say, to say to the industry--not only the airline industry, but to the tech industry--how can we streamline this process? So we instituted a measure a couple of weeks ago that allows individuals, once their States stand this up, to submit their documents electronically to the State DMV. What we hear often is that individuals show up and they have the wrong ID, they didn't bring a utility bill, or they don't have the right passport, they don't have the right underlying documents. So they wait in line, you may wait for 2 hours, you are sent home, and you have to come back. So trying to submit that---- Mr. Correa. Mr. Wolf, that happened to me. I was asked for my original Social Security card. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Correa. You ask most Americans to go dig up your original Social Security card, and it presented challenges. I did. But--go ahead, sir. Mr. Wolf. Specifically, the law is very prescriptive on what documentation is required. So, again, the law was written in 2005/2006. I will say that, you know, we did not have smartphones at that time, so we have evolved some time. What we can do, electronically, I think, is a question perhaps that we can talk to the committee about, see if we can have some relief under that law, that we can submit documents electronically in a secure environment to speed this up. But we continue to get information from every State every month on their compliance rate, which will make us--will help us make a number of informed decisions as that October 2020 date gets closer. Mr. Correa. Mr. Chairman, I would ask that we continue to monitor the situation here in the next few weeks, come back and ask this committee and Mr. Wolf on progress, because I think we are going to have a train wreck October 1. We will make the changes, as you said, maybe we submit electronically. Yet, knowing what I know, I think we are going to have to re-ask this question in a few weeks, after we see what happens, people trying to get their information in electronically. Mr. Wolf. So we get updated information every month that we look at. It is all voluntary by the States. Some States are much better than others in providing that information to the Department. So we continue to work with States, and specifically State DMVs, so that we understand how many licenses that they are issuing on a monthly basis. Mr. Correa. It is a daunting challenge. I wanted to make an appointment at DMV, and I tried calling all my local offices, and nobody had a slot open, and that is why I had to wait at 6:30 in the morning and, again, still was at the end of the line. So---- Mr. Wolf. We continue to also make sure that we push out, obviously, a Real ID is probably the best ID that you can have, but there are other alternative forms of identification, if you choose to travel after that October date on a commercial airline. So you can have military ID, you can have a passport. There is a whole list of alternative documents. So individuals that can't make it in for whatever reason, if they have one of the alternative forms of document, they can provide that and continue to fly. Mr. Correa. Thank you very much, Mr. Wolf. Again, Mr. Chairman, I look forward to asking this question again in the next few weeks. Thank you. Chairman Thompson. Well, and in light of that, do you anticipate some kind of directive from DHS before October 1? Mr. Wolf. We continue to assess that. As of right now, we would--the October 2020 date is the date. We have seen that be very successful over the last 2 to 3 years, of getting States to comply with the Real ID requirement. So the question is, we have almost all States that are compliant. The real question is, how many are issuing Real IDs, and how many will be in circulation as that October date comes to bear? So the information I talked about that we receive from the States every month will give us some information to make an informed decision. So as we get closer into the spring and summer, we will probably be talking with you, Chairman, and others about that date. Based on the number of ideas that we see---- Chairman Thompson. Let me--thank you. Let me give a problem. Some individuals' licenses don't expire or 2, 3, 4, 5 years. Mr. Wolf. Right. Chairman Thompson. I am not--there has been no information, other than you need to be Real ID-compliant by October 1. So-- -- Mr. Wolf. So that specific direction should come from the State DMVs to their entire ID population. Say, even though you may not have a renewal date for 2 years out, or a year-and-a- half out, to be compliant with Real ID you need to come in and get a Real ID. Chairman Thompson. Well, I think if you check, it is not being pushed out. Mr. Correa. Mr. Chairman, on that point, that is what motivated me to go get my Real ID. Chairman Thompson. Right. Mr. Correa. My license that expired. So I had to be there. Chairman Thompson. Right. But for those---- Mr. Correa. But that is a motivator. If you get 2 or 3 years out---- Chairman Thompson. Yes---- Mr. Correa. Versus spending 3 hours at the DMV---- Mr. Wolf. Again, if you are 2 or 3 years out, and you don't have a Real ID, but you have an alternative form, you are OK. Mr. Correa. Yes---- Mr. Wolf. You need that alternative form---- Chairman Thompson. That is if I know. You know? If I don't travel, it is a question. So--but it is a good point. If you would, can you tell us if all the States are compliant, coming into compliance, under this now? Mr. Wolf. I believe they are. I would just need to check on 1 additional State there. I know there are 2 States that have not started issuing any of their Real IDs, specifically. So they can be compliant, but not issuing IDs. I believe that is the case with 2 States. Every other State is compliant and has, in one phase or another, started issuing their Real IDs. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. I have just a couple of questions. The President made reference to a redemption fund paying for the wall. Have you--are you familiar with any of this? Mr. Wolf. I am sorry, a redemption fund? Chairman Thompson. He referenced at a speech in New Hampshire this month a redemption fund paying for the wall. Mr. Wolf. Well, I know the administration looks at a variety of different sourcing--funding sources for the wall. I know what we are appropriated for, and, obviously, funding that we are--that DoD is providing for wall construction, as well. So that is what I am familiar with. Chairman Thompson. So you are not familiar with a redemption---- Mr. Wolf. I am just familiar with our appropriated funding and, again, the DOD funding. Chairman Thompson. So it is not under DHS. Mr. Wolf. It is not under DHS. Chairman Thompson. Thank you. Thank you very much. I thank the Acting Secretary for his testimony--oh. The gentleman from Texas. Mr. Crenshaw. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just want to continue on that last line of questioning. We ran out of time as we were talking about what more Congress could do to secure the border. We talked about--you spoke about more than 1,000 illegal crossings a day, and how that still constitutes a crisis. Of course, that is true. But there is another metric that, I believe, is just as important, maybe more important, which is how we process those people after they have crossed. Mr. Wolf. Right. Mr. Crenshaw. You can't control who decides to walk across the border and turn themselves in. We will actually never be able to control that. Only the Mexican Government can control that. But we can control our--the catch-and-release, you know, I dare say, policy that has been occurring for the last couple of decades. So I want to get your statement on what we have done to better combat the catch-and-release process that has really been happening. Are we adequately enforcing our laws? Mr. Wolf. I think that is an important point. CBP, as we have said, has all but ended catch-and-release. The individuals that are coming across our border today, if you were to go back to May and June of last year, huge numbers coming across the border, and some months over 100,000, as we have indicated. We were releasing those individuals, large amounts, over 80 percent, 85 percent of those individuals. Today what we see is any individual coming across the border illegally is--over 90 to 95 percent of them are in an immigration pathway. So when we talk about MPP or we talk about ENV or we talk about PACR, HARP, or a number of other initiatives that we put in place to speed up that processing, of course we do that at the Department with CBP, ICE, USCIS, but also with our partners at DOJ to speed that process up, so that individuals, again, that are seeking protection, get their protection sooner in the process. So today it looks extremely different, almost night and day, to what we saw in May and June of that--of last year. I would say, as far as what Congress can do, obviously, the President's budget request is supportive of that process. We need to make sure that we have the right number of Border Patrol agents, but also the right number of ICE agents, as well, making sure that we are not just apprehending people, but, as we apprehend people, and we find criminals, and we find others, that we are investigating those folks. So CBP doesn't do that investigation, ICE does that. As we continue to increase prosecutions and do a number of things, ICE attorneys help that process. So it is the--I think you have to look at the full immigration continuum to, not only what occurs at the border, but also what is occurring as folks come into the interior, and either fall out of status or the like. So the President's budget request is--outlines the resources we need to do that. Mr. Crenshaw. That is excellent to hear. I would also point out I introduced the H.R. 1609, the Anti-Border Corruption Improvement Act, which would allow CBP to waive the polygraph requirement for certain law enforcement and military veterans who have already established that public trust. You know, we had some good news earlier where you talked about a net increase in hiring. But would a bill like that also help in the hiring process to get---- Mr. Wolf. It will, it will. Mr. Crenshaw. That would be excellent. Mr. Wolf. We have had some authority from Congress several years ago to speed that up, and to exempt certain---- Mr. Crenshaw. I would note that bill passed out of this committee unanimously the last Congress, I believe, and I would love it if we took it up again. I want to talk about, in my limited time here, CISA. I know you have been asked about this already, but I want to hear it from you again, that our cybersecurity defense will still be upheld with the President's budget. Mr. Wolf. Absolutely. Again, the President's 2021 budget request for CISA fully funds all of their initiatives, all of their priorities. As we look across the board, obviously they do cybersecurity for the dot.gov sector, but also election security, soft target security, supply chain security, 5G security. Across their sector, the 2021 budget request built with CISA, CISA leadership, is what they need to sustain their activities. Mr. Crenshaw. Are we able to hire the cyber experts that we need? Have there been any changes in hiring rules and practice that would allow better recruitment of the right personnel? This is a very specific type of person that we---- Mr. Wolf. Yes, so CISA does have a number of unique authorities to hire those cyber individuals. They are beginning--I would say there is on-going hiring. It is a challenge. These individuals, obviously, can make a lot more money in the private sector. Mr. Crenshaw. Right. Mr. Wolf. But they are bringing on new individuals. There is 500 in the 2021 budget request, not just in CISA, but across the Department. We need cyber capabilities across the Department. CISA is the largest repository of that, but TSA has cyber needs and capabilities, as well as the Coast Guard. Mr. Crenshaw. You know, there is a lot of other organizations in U.S. Government that deal with cybersecurity: The NSA, CYBERCOM. Do you think that the lanes are--that there is adequate understanding of who is in what lane, with respect to cybersecurity? Mr. Wolf. There certainly is, I believe, you know, from the Federal Government perspective. It may not be as clear to an individual in the American public looking at it, but specifically, we all have different, individual roles and responsibilities, and we all talk about how do we, you know, address a specific issue or a specific threat within those roles and responsibilities. So, again, CISA is looking at Federal networks, making sure--and we are the primary interface in sharing a lot of that threat information, intel information, with our private-sector partners. So all of the, you know, individuals and companies out there that are, you know, in the financial sector, and a variety of other sectors that are very vulnerable to cyber attacks. So I believe that the lanes in the road are quite clear, at least from a Government perspective. We could probably do a better job in explaining it to the American people who is specifically doing what. Mr. Crenshaw. Great, thank you, and I yield back. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. I would like to enter into the record a statement from Anthony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union. Without objection. [The information follows:] Statement of Anthony M. Reardon, National President, National Treasury Employees Union March 3, 2020 Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Rogers, and distinguished Members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to submit this statement for the record. As president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), I have the honor of leading a union that represents over 27,000 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, agriculture specialists, and trade enforcement personnel stationed at 328 land, sea, and air ports of entry across the United States (U.S.) and 16 PreClearance stations currently at airports in Ireland, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. CBP's Office of Field Operations (OFO) pursues a dual mission of safeguarding American ports by protecting the public from dangerous people and materials, while enhancing the Nation's global and economic competitiveness by enabling legitimate trade and travel. In addition to CBP's trade and travel security, processing and facilitation missions, CBP OFO employees at the ports of entry are the second-largest source of revenue collection for the U.S. Government. In 2019, CBP processed more than $2.8 trillion in imports and collected approximately $72 billion in duties, taxes, and other fees. CBP OFO is also the largest component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responsible for border security--including anti- terrorism, immigration, anti-smuggling, trade compliance, and agriculture protection--while simultaneously facilitating lawful trade and travel at U.S. ports of entry that are critical to our Nation's economy. Yet, the President's fiscal year 2021 budget requests no new funding for the hiring much-needed CBP officers, agriculture specialists, trade operations specialists, and mission support positions. The final fiscal year 2020 funding agreement provided $104 million to fund the hiring 800 new OFO positions, including 610 CBP officer and CBP agriculture specialist new hires. For years, NTEU has advocated for the hiring of thousands of new CBP officers and hundreds of new agriculture specialists based on the agency's own Workload Staffing Model (WSM) and Agriculture Resource Allocation Model (AgRAM). According to CBP's January 2020 on-board staffing data, CBP has 24,606 CBP officers on-board, but the fiscal year 2019 WSM states a need for 26,837--a gap of 2,231. For CBP agriculture specialists, the January 2020 data shows 2,477 on-board, and the fiscal year 2019 AgRAM shows a need for 3,148--a gap of 671. This staffing gap results in ports operating well below 100 percent of capacity. For example, the mayor of El Paso recently stated that ``we need at least 200 more officers.'' And according to El Paso commercial truckers, there are at least 8 commercial lanes at the Ysleta land port, and only 4 are open on a regular basis. There are 6 lanes at the Bridge of the Americas, and only 3 are regularly open. (Border Wait Times Hinder Flow of Commerce, Hurting American Companies, Texas Tribune, February 20, 2020.) NTEU appreciates the funding level for CBP OFO employees in the fiscal year 2020 DHS final funding agreement and urges Congress to add to these new hire numbers in fiscal year 2021 to address on-going staffing shortages at the ports of entry. NTEU is requesting committee Members seek from Senate Appropriators a minimum $160 million in direct appropriated funding for CBP ``Operations and Support'' in fiscal year 2021 to fund the hiring of at least 600 CBP officers, 240 CBP agriculture specialists, 200 CBP agriculture technicians, 20 agriculture canine teams, and 50 non-uniformed trade enforcement specialists and associated operational support personnel. NTEU commends Ranking Member Peters and Senator John Cornyn for introducing and favorably reporting S. 1004, the Safeguarding American Ports Act, stand-alone legislation that would authorize the hiring of 600 additional CBP officers annually until the staffing gaps in CBP's WSM is met. NTEU strongly supports this CBP officer staffing authorization bill that is awaiting Senate floor action and urges every Member of the Senate to support this bill. NTEU is not alone in seeking increased funding to hire new CBP officers at the ports. A diverse group of business, industry, and union leaders have joined forces in support of legislation and funding to hire more CBP personnel and alleviate staffing shortages at the Nation's ports of entry. The coalition--which includes leading voices from dozens of leading shipping, tourism, travel, trade, law enforcement, and employee groups--testified and sent letters urging Senators to cosponsor S. 1004 and asking appropriators to provide the funding necessary to hire at least 600 new CBP officers annually. As stated above, in addition to the shortage of CBP officers there is a current shortage of approximately 671 funded agriculture specialists Nation-wide according to CBP's own data-driven and vetted Workload Staffing Model. Last month, the House followed the Senate in unanimously passing the NTEU endorsed bill, S. 2107, the Protecting America's Food and Agriculture Act of 2019. The new law authorizes CBP to hire 240 CBP agriculture specialists, 200 CBP agriculture technicians and 20 agriculture canine teams per year until the staffing shortage that threatens the U.S. agriculture sector is met. NTEU asks the committee to support a fiscal year 2021 funding request of $160 million that includes $74.5 million to hire the first wave of CBP agriculture inspection personnel authorized by the newly-enacted statute. CBP Officer Overtime.--Due to the on-going current staffing shortage of 2,477 CBP officers, CBP officers Nation-wide are working excessive overtime to maintain basic port staffing. Currently, CBP officer overtime pay is entirely funded through user fees and is statutorily capped at $45,000 per year. All CBP officers are aware that overtime assignments are an aspect of their jobs. However, long periods of overtime hours can severely disrupt an officer's family life, morale, and ultimately their job performance protecting our Nation. Because CBP officers can be required to regularly work overtime, many individual officers hit the overtime cap very early in the fiscal year. This leaves no overtime funding available for peak season travel, resulting in critical staffing shortages in the third and fourth quarter that coincides with holiday travel at the ports. To address this issue, at many ports, CBP has granted overtime cap exemptions to over one-half of the workforce to allow managers to assign overtime to officers that have already reached the statutory overtime cap, but cap waivers only force CBP officers already working long daily shifts to continue working these shifts for more days. Officers are required to come in hours before their regular shifts, to stay an indeterminate number of hours after their shifts (on the same day) and are often compelled to come in for more overtime hours on their regular days off. Involuntary overtime resulting in 12- to 16- hour shifts, day after day, for months on end significantly disrupts CBP officers' family life and erodes morale. As NTEU has repeatedly stated, this is not a long-term solution for staffing shortages at the ports and has gone on for far too long. Temporary Duty Assignments at Southwest Land Ports of Entry.--Due to CBP's on-going staffing shortage, since 2015, CBP has been diverting hundreds of CBP officers from other air, sea, and land ports to severely short-staffed Southwest land ports for Temporary Duty Assignments (TDYs). CBP recently ended the most recent round of CBP officer TDYs to Border Patrol sectors across the Southwest Border. From May through September 2019, CBP deployed a total of 731 CBP officers to designated Border Patrol Sectors. In this latest deployment, 245 officers were sent from the SW Border Field Offices with the remaining 486 officers coming from the other Field Offices. According to a newly-released study, ``The Economic Costs of the U.S.-Mexico Slowdown,'' this most recent TDY has resulted in a significant slowdown at the U.S.-Mexico border leading to substantial economic harms. Millions of trucks carry goods across the border every year and delays at land ports cause cascading logistical problems. The current slowing on the U.S.-Mexico border is reducing efficiency and costing the U.S. economy billions in output and hundreds of thousands of jobs. If the diversion of CBP officers from the Southwest Border international land ports continues, the State of Texas alone could lose more than $32 billion in gross domestic product in just over 3 months. If there is a one-third reduction in trade between the United States and Mexico over a 3-month period, the cost to the U.S. economy would be over ``$69 billion in gross product and 620,236 job-years (when multiplier effects are considered). Almost half of these losses occur in Texas.'' NTEU urges Congress to require CBP to allocate personnel and resources appropriately to ensure timely processing of people at ports of entry and better manage the changing demographic flows at our Southern Border. To end all these TDYs, CBP must fill existing CBP officer vacancies and Congress must fund the hiring of the additional CBP officers called for in CBP's own WSM. Without addressing the 2,477 CBP officer shortfall, allocating adequate staffing at all ports will remain a challenge. CBP Funding Sources.--CBP collects Customs User Fees (CUFs), including those under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), to recover certain costs incurred for processing air and sea passengers and various private and commercial land, sea, air, and rail carriers and shipments. The source of these user fees are commercial vessels, commercial vehicles, rail cars, private aircraft, private vessels, air passengers, sea passengers, cruise vessel passengers, dutiable mail, customs brokers, and barge/bulk carriers. COBRA fees are deposited into the Customs User Fee Account and are designated by statute to pay for services provided to the user, such as 100 percent of inspectional overtime for passenger and commercial vehicle inspection during overtime shift hours. Of the CBP officers currently funded, CUFs fund 2,538 full-time equivalent (FTEs) CBP officers. Further, Immigration Inspection User Fees (IIUF) fund 4,179 CBPO FTEs. Together CUF and IIUF fund nearly one-third of the entire CBP officer workforce at the ports of entry. As in the past, the administration's budget proposes increases in user fees collected by CBP. Currently, over 36 percent of CBP OFO is funded with a combination of user fees, reimbursable service agreements, and trust funds. It is gratifying to see that the CBP officer staffing numbers in the President's budget are not dependent on Congress first enacting changes to statutes that determine the amounts and disbursement of these user fee collections. The fiscal year 2021 budget again proposes fee increases to the Immigration Inspection and Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 user fees; however, these user fees cannot be increased without Congress first enacting legislation. Legislative proposals to increase user fees have been part of the administration's annual budget submission since fiscal year 2024. These user fee increase proposals are again in the fiscal year 2021 budget request, even though the committees with jurisdiction have never held hearings on these long- standing legislative proposals and the administration has not pressed upon these committee chairs to do so. NTEU strongly opposes any diversion of CUFs.--Any increases to the CUF Account should be properly used for much-needed CBP staffing and not diverted to unrelated projects. Unfortunately, while section 52202 of the FAST ACT indexed CUFs to inflation, it diverted this funding from CBP to pay for unrelated infrastructure projects. Indexing COBRA CUFs to inflation would have raised $1.4 billion over 10 years--a potential $140 million per year funding stream to help pay for the hiring of additional CBP officers to perform CBP's border security, law enforcement, and trade and travel facilitation missions. Diverting these funds has cost CBP funding to hire over 900 new CBP officers per year since the FAST Act went into effect. These new hires would have significantly alleviated the current CBP officer staffing shortage. Reimbursable Service Agreements.--In order to find alternative sources of funding to address serious staffing shortages, CBP received authorization for and has entered into Reimbursable Service Agreements (RSAs) with the private sector, as well as with State and local governmental entities. These stakeholders, who are already paying CUFs and IIUFs for CBP OFO employee positions and overtime, reimburse CBP for additional inspection services, including overtime pay and the hiring of new CBP officer and agriculture specialist personnel that in the past have been paid for entirely by user fees or appropriated funding. Since the program began in 2013, CBP has entered into agreements with over 211 stakeholders providing more than 793,000 additional processing hours for incoming commercial and cargo traffic (GAO-20-255R). NTEU believes that the RSA program is a Band-Aid approach and cannot replace the need for Congress to either appropriate new funding or authorize an increase in customs and immigration user fees to adequately address CBP staffing needs at the ports. RSAs simply cannot replace the need for an increase in CBP appropriated or user fee funding--and make CBP a ``pay to play'' agency. NTEU also remains concerned with CBP's new PreClearance expansion program that also relies heavily on ``pay to play.'' Further, NTEU believes that the use of RSAs to fund CBP staffing shortages raises significant equity issues between larger and/or wealthier ports and smaller ports. Opioid Interdiction.--CBP OFO is the premier DHS component tasked with stemming the Nation's opioid epidemic--a crisis that is continuing to get worse. According to a May 2018 report released by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Minority titled Combatting the Opioid Epidemic: Intercepting Illicit Opioids at Ports of Entry, ``between 2013 and 2017, approximately 25,405 pounds, or 88 percent of all opioids seized by CBP, were seized at ports of entry. The amount of fentanyl seized at the ports of entry increased by 159 percent from 459 pounds in 2016 to 1,189 pounds in 2017.'' On January 26, 2019, CBP OFO made their biggest fentanyl seizure ever, capturing nearly 254 pounds of the deadly synthetic opioid at the Nogales port of entry. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, just 2 milligrams of fentanyl is considered a lethal dose. From the January 26, 2019 seizure alone, it is estimated that CBP officers seized enough fentanyl to kill 57 million people. That's more than the combined population of the States of Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania. The street value for the fentanyl was over $102 million. CBP officers also seized an additional 2.2 pounds of fentanyl pills and a large cache of methamphetamine. Most fentanyl is manufactured in other countries such as China and is smuggled primarily through the ports of entry along the Southwest Border and through international mail and Private Express Carrier Facilities, e.g. FedEx and UPS. Over the past 5 years, CBP has seen nearly 50 percent increase in express consignment shipments from 76 million to 110 million express bills and a 200 percent increase in international mail shipments from approximately 150 million to more than 500 million. Prior to the enactment of fiscal year 2019 funding agreement, there were only 181 CBP employees assigned to the 5 Postal Service International Service Centers and 208 CBP employees assigned to the Private Express Carrier Facilities. Additional funding from Congress for new hires in the past 2 cycles has increased the number of CBP officers assigned to these inspection facilities. NTEU's funding request would allow for further increases in CBP OFO staffing at these facilities. Noting the positive impact of hiring additional CBP officers, it is troubling that the President's 2017 Border Security Executive Order and his subsequent budget requests did not ask for one additional CBP officer new hire. In 2019, CBP officer seized a total of 2,560 pounds of fentanyl, an increase of 46.6 percent from fiscal year 2018. Imagine what CBP OFO could do with adequate staffing and resources. CBP Trade Operations Staffing.--In addition to safeguarding our Nation's borders and ports, CBP is tasked with regulating and facilitating international trade. CBP employees at the ports of entry are critical in protecting our Nation's economic growth and security and are the second-largest source of revenue collection for the U.S. Government--$72 billion in 2019. For every dollar invested in CBP trade personnel, we return $87 to the U.S. economy, either through lowering the costs of trade, ensuring a level playing field for domestic industry or protecting innovative intellectual property. Since CBP was established in March 2003, however, there has been no increase in non- uniformed CBP trade enforcement and compliance personnel. Additionally, CBP trade operations staffing has fallen below the statutory floor set forth in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and stipulated in the fiscal year 2019 CBP Resource Optimization Model for Trade Positions. NTEU strongly supports proposed appropriated funding in the fiscal year 2021 budget request for 50 additional Trade Agreement, Remedies, and Enforcement personnel and ensure compliance with laws that govern priority trade issues, such as Intellectual Property Rights. On-going Morale Issues at DHS.--Adequate staffing at CBP ports of entry is critical to our Nation's economic vitality. In order to attract talented applicants, however, Federal agencies must also recognize the importance of employee engagement and fair treatment in their workplace. Unfortunately, low morale has been a consistent challenge at DHS. For 6 consecutive years the Partnership for Public Service (PPS) Best Places to Work in the Federal Government ranked DHS last among large agencies surveyed. In 2019, PPS ranked CBP as 380th out of 420 component agencies surveyed with a drop of 2.1 percent from 51.6 percent in 2018 to 49.5 percent in 2019. The Best Places to Work results raise serious questions about the Department's ability to recruit and retain the topnotch personnel necessary to accomplish the critical missions that keep our country safe. If the agency's goal is to build a workforce that feels both valued and respected, these results show that the agency needs to make major changes in its treatment of employees. Wide-spread dissatisfaction with DHS management and leadership creates a morale problem that affects the safety of this Nation. Of particular concern to NTEU is the increase in suicides as the reported cause of death of Federal employees. New data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the past month shows that Federal employee suicides are at their highest level in at least 15 years, with suicides accounting for 28 percent of the 124 Federal employee job-related deaths in 2018. BLS records the event as a job- related suicide if the suicide occurred at work or if it occurred elsewhere but can be definitively linked back to work. Since 2011, the number of self-inflicted intentional fatalities among Federal workers has more than doubled to 35, although the Federal workforce has remained approximately the same size. Most suicides continue to involve Federal employees in work related to law enforcement, such as CBP. In 2016, 15 of the 16 reported suicides were by Federal workers employed at a National security- related agency. At CBP, more than 100 employees died by suicide between 2007 and 2018, according to the agency itself. NTEU applauds CBP for seeking additional funding for their Employee Assistance Program (EAP). We also appreciate that CBP agreed to add NTEU representatives to a CBP workgroup that is working to address the unacceptably high rate of suicides among CBP personnel and develop a ``Suicide Prevention Strategy.'' It is vital that this workgroup continue to include rank- and-file members' input as it develops a strategy to reduce the number of job-related suicides at CBP. NTEU also strongly supports H.R. 1433, the DHS Morale, Recognition, Learning and Engagement Act or the DHS MORALE Act. The MORALE Act was approved by the full House last year and is awaiting action by the Senate. The bill directs the chief human capital officer (CHCO) to analyze Government-wide Federal workforce satisfaction surveys to inform efforts to improve morale, maintain a catalogue of available employee development opportunities and authorize the designation of a chief learning and engagement officer to assist the CHCO on employee development. H.R. 1433 also authorizes the establishment of an Employee Engagement Steering Committee comprised of representatives from across the Department, as well as individuals from employee labor organizations that represent DHS employees. Last, the bill authorizes the Secretary to establish an annual employee awards program to recognize non-supervisory DHS employees who have made a significant contribution to the Department. In our collective bargaining agreement with CBP, NTEU negotiated an extremely popular employee joint awards program. The agency retains the discretion to determine how much of its budget will be allocated for awards, but 85 percent of the total awards budgeted are recommended by a joint union/management awards committee to be distributed proportionately among bargaining unit employees. NTEU recommends that DHS look at the negotiated CBP joint awards program as a model for an agency-wide program. While a major factor contributing to low morale at CBP is insufficient staffing and resources at the ports of entry, the provisions in the DHS MORALE Act will help to address non-staffing issues that affect employee morale by improving front-line employee engagement and establishing a statutory annual employee award program. NTEU commends the Chairman and the House for approving the DHS MORALE Act and urges the Senate to expeditiously do the same. nteu recommendations To address CBP's workforce challenges, it is clearly in the Nation's economic and security interest for Congress to authorize and fund an increase in the number of CBP officers, CBP agriculture specialists, and other CBP employees at the air, sea, and land ports of entry. In order to achieve the long-term goal of securing the proper staffing at CBP and end disruptive TDYs and excessive involuntary overtime shifts, NTEU recommends that Congress take the following actions:
Support funding for 600 new CBP officers in fiscal year 2021 DHS appropriations; Support fiscal year 2021 funding for new CBP agriculture inspection personnel, as authorized by S. 2107. Support funding for needed trade operations specialists and other OFO support staff; Introduce and enact legislation to authorize the funding of CBP officer new hires up to the number specified in CBP's own CBP Officer Workload Staffing Model; and Fully fund and utilize recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives. Congress should also redirect the increase in customs user fees in the FAST Act from offsetting transportation spending to its original purpose of providing funding for CBP officer staffing and overtime and oppose any legislation to divert additional fees collected to other uses or projects. The employees I represent are frustrated and their morale is low. These employees work hard and care deeply about their jobs and their country. These men and women are deserving of more staffing and resources to perform their jobs better and more efficiently. Thank you for the opportunity to submit this statement for the record. Chairman Thompson. I want to thank Acting Secretary for his testimony, and the Members for their questions. The Members of the committee may have additional questions, and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to those questions. Without objection, the committee's record shall be kept open for 10 days. Hearing no further business, the committee stands adjourned. [Whereupon, at 12:47 p.m., the committee was adjourned.] A P P E N D I X ---------- Questions From Honorable Torres Small for Honorable Chad Wolf Question 1. I'm pleased the administration is pursuing deployment of cost-effective autonomous surveillance towers along the Southern Border. These systems use commercial off-the-shelf sensors combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide fully autonomous situational awareness without any additional manpower. According to industry, the autonomous surveillance towers are also relocatable, solar-powered, and cost less than $100,000 per mile of coverage. Please provide the committee with your deployment plan, including the number of autonomous surveillance towers you plan to acquire and anticipated costs and schedule for their deployment along the Southern Border. Answer. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Innovation Team has procured a total of 60 autonomous surveillance towers (formerly known as innovative towers) in fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2019. CBP is establishing a new program of record, the autonomous surveillance tower (AST) program, to purchase, field, and test an additional 140 autonomous surveillance land towers for a total of 200 towers. We plan on using $55 million in procurement, construction, and improvements (PC&I) funding in fiscal year 2020 and $28 million requested in fiscal year 2021 to deploy towers. A total of $12.4 million was included in the fiscal year 2021 President's budget for the operations and sustainment (O&S) of the first 60 innovative towers. O&S cost estimates in the out years will be developed to support the planned deployment schedule. Question 1b. To what extent will the procurement and deployment of autonomous surveillance towers impact CBP's legacy surveillance tower systems? Answer. ASTs are not expected to impact CBP's legacy surveillance tower systems. ASTs are complementary to the legacy systems and are ideal for areas where less range is needed, where power or communications infrastructure are unavailable, where towers may be relocated, or when manpower to operate surveillance systems is limited. Question 1c. I am concerned our acquisition process remains slow and outdated. What alternative procurement strategies to purchasing equipment, such as a lease or subscription model, has the Department considered for rapidly fielding commercial solutions for border security? Answer. For CBP's acquisition of the initial ASTs, we used a combination of procurement strategies. A limited number of ASTs were acquired under a partnership with another Government agency. This strategy provided an avenue to demonstrate the capability in the field, with incremental deployments, which not only demonstrated that the technology was technically viable in various environments, but that it was operationally effective and widely accepted by users. Subsequently, CBP used traditional methods to acquire additional systems under General Services Administration contract vehicles. Going forward, CBP intends to use the flexibilities of the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program to acquire production-level quantities. By leveraging other Government agencies' existing SBIR capabilities, we can contract directly with the original equipment manufacturer for ASTs that can be deployed in the near future. CBP first used SBIR Phase III contracts to facilitate the deployment of new technologies in fiscal year and we have found them to be an effective component of our strategy. Beyond ASTs, CBP has used alternative procurement strategies to acquire small unmanned aerial systems and Linear Ground Detection Systems. For these procurements, CBP used Section 880 of the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which provides for streamlined purchases of commercial and innovative solutions. This authority provides U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and CBP the ability to better engage with industry and select one or more solutions that can be fielded for demonstration purposes. If the technology proves effective, CBP will be able to exercise options for production-level quantities that can be quickly deployed to the field. We plan to use Section 880 authority for additional commercial and innovative solutions. With respect to acquisition program oversight, CBP has streamlined decision making into fewer reviews and by tailoring requirements to simplify documentation preparation. As a result, we expect the AST program to meet its targeted contract award date in June 2020. Questions From Honorable Michael Guest for Honorable Chad Wolf Question 1a. Given that the aircraft that the USCG currently owns will be over 20 years old (date of manufacture--2001) and will have logged over 10,500 flying hours by the time your new LRCCA aircraft will be delivered, which a conservative estimate would be at earliest 2023, do you believe it would be prudent to replace the older asset first, given that maintenance and flight-hour costs increase along with age? It seems to me that this strategy would ensure better performance and reduce maintenance costs to the Government. Answer. The U.S. Coast Guard is monitoring the operational availability and sustainment cost of our owned aircraft (CG-01), and we are working closely with the U.S. Air Force who is also operating several C-37As that are a similar age. The Coast Guard intends to utilize the $70 million received for Long Range Command and Control Aircraft (LRCCA) in fiscal year 2020 to recapitalize the currently- leased aircraft, as stated in the report language of H.R. 3931. Transitioning from long-term leasing to an owned aircraft will provide significant cost savings over the service life of the aircraft. Question 1b. Can you provide a copy of Analysis of Alternatives or other data that drove the decision to purchase vs. lease at this time? Answer. The analysis that supported the Coast Guard's request to purchase a new LRCCA indicates that there is a significant cost savings associated with owning the aircraft. The current lease cost is $9 million per year, which includes 500 annual flight hours and depot level maintenance for the aircraft. The Coast Guard estimates that approximately half of the lease costs ($4.5 million) is for maintenance and upkeep. This means the remaining $4.5 million of the lease cost is for access to the aircraft (time and flight hours). The costs for fuel, unit-level maintenance, and aircrew personnel are not included in the lease, and therefore will be the same for the leased and owned aircraft. Assuming a 20-year life cycle, the cost associated with $4.5 million/year lease totals to $90 million. This is comparable to the acquisition cost of a new C-37, which is estimated at less than $70 million. Based on a 20-year life cycle, leasing of an aircraft is approximately 30 percent more expensive than owning and maintaining the aircraft. In addition to the annual lease cost, the Coast Guard pays one-time costs at the start and end of the lease period to install/ remove Coast Guard-specific communications equipment, which takes the aircraft out of service for up to 6 months. Finally, if an owned aircraft is operated past 20 years, the savings associated with owning the aircraft increases. Question 1c. What were the annual maintenance costs for the GV vs G550 this past year? Answer. The 2019 costs for maintaining the GV was $4.2 million, which included a one-time upgrade to the avionics systems. The 3-year average maintenance cost for the GV is $3.2 million per year. The Coast Guard does not have the actual maintenance cost for the G550 since the maintenance costs are included as part of the lease costs. Question 1d. Wouldn't it also be better for USCG pilots to maintain currency on one type plane and not two? Answer. The GV and G550 are very compatible and similar in terms of capability and support requirements. GV and G550 aircraft have the same type rating; therefore CG LRCCA pilots can attend the same training to maintain currency on both aircraft. Question 1e. From a capability and cost perspective, wouldn't operating and maintaining two newer G550's be better than a G550 and a GV? Answer. The GV and G550 are very compatible and similar in terms of capability and support requirements. Although it would be ideal to operate two new aircraft, there is a significant cost savings associated with replacing the leased aircraft. Scheduled maintenance, unscheduled maintenance, and obsolescence mitigation costs affect both the GV and G550 aircraft. Question 2a. The FBI recently found itself in a similar situation and chose to replace its older aircraft first while also continuing to lease a newer asset. Have you reviewed the FBI's strategy? Answer. Yes, the Coast Guard reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about their recent purchase of a G550. Question 2b. Would you be willing to analyze this approach and share your findings? It seems to me that by replacing the GV first, the USCG will save taxpayer dollars and ensure there is no break in operational capability as the new G550 is being built and modified. Answer. It is the Coast Guard's understanding that the FBI's decision to recapitalize their GV was based on operational considerations. The FBI's GV experienced frequent unscheduled maintenance that was impacting their mission performance. The impact of the unscheduled maintenance was exacerbated by the fact that a high percentage of the FBI's travel is to foreign countries which have limited availability of maintenance support. In addition, it is understood that the FBI has fewer organic operational support personnel than the Coast Guard, and relies more heavily on contracted operational support, which can make it difficult to quickly execute unplanned maintenance evolutions. The Coast Guard's GV is not causing operational impacts similar to the FBI's aircraft.