Washington, DC - Congressman Silvestre Reyes today voted to pass the FY 2010 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act Conference Report that invests in key homeland security programs that keep America safe. The legislation funds programs that secure our borders, ports of entry and airports, and help train local first responders and emergency personnel.
Congressman Reyes sponsored a critical $3.5 million project to help construct a new hanger for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) aircraft at El Paso International Airport. This facility will house critical CBP aircraft that provide support in border-security related missions. The new facility will have over 38,000 sq. ft. of hangar space and over 18,000 sq. ft. of office space.
"This legislation makes critical investments that will help keep America safe," Congressman Reyes said. "I am pleased this bill includes funding to help construct a new state-of-the-art hanger for CBP aircraft at El Paso International Airport. The existing facility is no longer sufficient to adequately meet the agency's needs. This new hanger will be a valuable asset for CPB and the El Paso community."
The FY 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Act will provide our first responders with the equipment and training they need to keep America safe. It includes over $3 billion in grants for local governments to protect critical infrastructure in high-threat areas through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). El Paso has received over $17 million in UASI funds since 2007. Congressman Reyes worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security to include El Paso on the list of metropolitan areas that qualify for UASI funds. Reyes also partnered with the City of El Paso, El Paso County, the Texas Department of Homeland Security, the Tigua Tribe, and the Rio Grande Council of Governments, to craft El Paso's application for this funding.
The bill also boosts our efforts to increase security along our borders. The legislation provides critical investments to combat drug and weapons smuggling along Southwest Border. In addition, the bill improves aviation security, port security and transit security. Among the many important programs, these funds will be used to purchase and install the latest explosive detection systems at airports nationwide and develop and deploy systems to screen cargo containers for weapons and nuclear materials.
Selected Highlights of FY 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Act