WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15), a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, today voted for H.R. 2017, the Fiscal Year 2012 Department of Homeland Appropriations Act. The measure, the first of 12 annual funding bills to be considered by the House this year, provides $40.6 billion in non-emergency spending for programs and operations at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, I support this legislation because it bolsters the security of the American people while honoring Congress’s commitment to spend tax dollars in a responsible and efficient manner,” said Rep. Dent. “Nearly a month ago, intelligence gained during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan confirmed terrorist organizations remain committed to launching attacks within the US. Today, communities across the country, particularly in Alabama and Missouri, are reeling from some of the most devastating storms in their history. These events remind us that threats to our security can come from unpredictable sources at unpredictable times. H.R. 2017 provides DHS the resources it needs to ensure our nation is prepared for disasters of any kind.”

Notably, H.R. 2017 includes $8.7 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to enhance security along our borders and $3.19 billion for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in part to improve passenger screening equipment and personnel training.

During consideration of the bill on the House floor, Dent voted for an amendment to restore a portion of funding for two critical first responder programs; the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) programs. Originally set to receive $350 million in funding through the legislation, Dent supported an amendment offered by Rep. Steven LaTourette (OH-14) to provide a total of $670 million for the two programs.

“As first responders play an increasingly important role in national homeland security efforts, it is important that we help communities ensure they have the capabilities to effectively respond to natural and manmade threats,” Rep. Dent said.