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NTEU Leader Applauds Appropriations Committee Action on CBP Staffing Needs

Thursday, May 23 2013
 

Washington, D.C.—The leader of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) applauded action by a key House committee to approve an increase in funding that would permit Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to hire some 1,600 new CBP Officers (CBPOs) as requested, in part, in the White House fiscal 2014 budget.

“This move by the House Appropriations Committee is welcome recognition of the reality that CBP staffing has been and remains inadequate for its critical homeland security mission,” said NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley. “NTEU will work to see this funding decision implemented” so that CBP is adequately staffed at the nation’s 331 land, air and sea ports of entry.

The action came as the House body yesterday approved a reduced fiscal 2014 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill; CBP is a key unit of DHS.

In addition to the increased funding for 1,600 additional CBP Officers, the White House budget released earlier this spring proposed another 1,877 CBPOs to be paid for by an increase in customs and immigration user fees that have not been increased since 2001.

During Wednesday’s markup session, Appropriations Committee members turned back by a 20 to 25 vote an amendment offered by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), which would have ended sequestration. President Kelley has been a leader in calling for an end to this damaging policy and has been emphasizing that sequestration is scheduled to continue annually for another nine fiscal years.

Meanwhile, in a related matter, CBP has submitted to House and Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Committee leaders a proposed reprogramming of funds that would permit it to avoid unpaid employee furloughs.

The agency received some additional funding in the fiscal 2013 continuing resolution enabling it to take another look at its resources and create a plan to partially mitigate the effects of sequestration—including the elimination of potential furloughs.

Earlier, the agency had said it would need to furlough employees for up to 22 days. It later reduced that number and is awaiting approval from the appropriations committees before making a final decision.

NTEU is the largest independent federal union, representing 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.


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Contact: (202) 572-5500
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