Sending Office: Honorable Andre Carson
Help Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Agencies Meet Personnel Shortfalls and Surges in Need
Allow Former and Retired Federal Law Enforcement Personnel to Protect and Serve
Endorsed by: The Air Marshal Association and Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE)
Last year, the Director of the United States Secret Service informed Congress the agency was struggling to meet increasing demands, forcing over 1,000 agents to work hundreds of hours of uncompensated overtime. Congress responded by increasing salary caps
for 2017 and 2018. While this measure provide some relief, it does not solve the personnel shortage issue. Repeatedly increasing and lowering salary and personnel caps is inefficient and costly.
Our security environment is unpredictable, making hiring and retention of an appropriate number of personnel particularly difficult. No fail missions force DHS employees to absorb an increased demand that strains their work. Whether protecting our president,
borders, flights, or federal buildings, it is time for us to acknowledge that their staffing needs are different than other components of the federal government. Agencies within DHS need to onboard the most qualified people quickly, even if temporarily, to
fill specific, short-term needs. Meeting the demand with new full-time employees, who must be recruited, cleared, and trained, is both inefficient and costly. We can continue to throw money at the problem by increasing salary caps and engaging in just-in-time
hiring, or we can find another approach.
That is why I introduced H.R. 5255, the Department of Homeland Security Reserve Service Act. The bill establishes a reserve service for five DHS agencies:
- United States Secret Service
- Federal Protective Service
- Customs and Border Protection
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- Transportation Security Administration
The bill allows the covered agencies to maintain a skilled, ready-to-work pool of former employees who can respond as required to the changing security environment. FEMA provides an excellent example of how a reserve workforce can be utilized. After Hurricanes
Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria, thousands of temporary, ready-to-work reservists were deployed for rescue and recovery efforts. While FEMA and other components in DHS have different missions, temporary workforces can be of tremendous value.
Please join me in helping the Department of Homeland Security perform their mission critical duties by supporting the Department of Homeland Security Reserve Service Act.
If you would like to sign on as a cosponsor or if you have any questions, please contact Nathan Bennett at
email@example.com or at 5-4011.
Member of Congress
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