CARES Act Provisions for the Department of Homeland Security

Published: April 03, 2020

Federal Market AnalysisCoronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicDHSPolicy and Legislation

The economic stimulus bill includes emergency supplemental funding to support various DHS component COVID-19 response operations.

Key Takeaways

  • The CARES Act provides nearly $46 billion in emergency supplemental funding to DHS to support coronavirus response efforts, nearly all of which goes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the U.S. Coast Guard and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) also receive funds.
  • Funds provide for personal protective equipment, hazardous materials disposal and cleaning services, as well as for information technology enhancements and capabilities to undergird evolving response and relief efforts.

Last week, the president signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the economic stimulus package intended to relieve the negative economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and aid national response efforts. Some provisions of the legislation provide funding to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to support various component agency operations and the federal whole-of-government response.

The $2.2 trillion legislation consists of two major sections: Division A – Keeping Workers Paid and Employed, Health Care System Enhancements, and Economic Stabilization; and Division B – Emergency Appropriations for Coronavirus Health Response and Agency Operations. Division A contains the vast bulk of funding aimed at providing economic relief and stimulus. Division B delineates $340 billion in emergency supplemental funding for federal agencies, state and local governments, and hospitals to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

DHS Provisions in the CARES Act (Stimulus)

Given DHS’s role in addressing national preparedness and emergency response the department receives about $45.9 billion in funding for COVID-19 response – all within Division B of the bill – with nearly all of this funding going to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the agency leading the federal response effort. Summaries of the specific CARES Act provisions include:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – $45.445B

  • Provides $45B for FEMA’s response and recovery activities, for related FEMA facilities and information technology, and for Disaster Relief Fund reimbursements to states and localities.
  • Provides $400M in Emergency Federal Assistance Grants  
    • $200M for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program
    • $100M for Assistance to Firefighter Grants for personal protective equipment (PPE) and related supplies
    • $100M for Emergency Management Performance Grants for emergency managers.
  • Supplies $45M for Operations and Support to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus, including enhancements for IT and facilities support.
  • Allocates $3M in funds to the Office of Inspector General for oversight of activities supported by the $45B disaster relief funding.

Department-wide – $178M

  • Supplies funds for personal protection equipment for DHS personnel including gloves, garments, goggles, hand sanitizer, respirators, and surgical masks.

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) – $141M

  • Allocates funds for Coast Guard Reserve deployments to support medical response and port security requirements and necessary information technology enhancements required to aid response efforts.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – $100M

  • Provides for increased cleaning and sanitization for TSA operations at airports and other facilities, overtime and travel costs required to maintain operations while infected employees are quarantined, and additional explosive detection materials that must be disposed of after a single use to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – $9.1M

  • Supports improved interagency coordination for the protection of critical infrastructure nationwide.

While the Emergency Federal Assistance Grants will flow down directly to the front lines, the other areas may require a wide variety of services and products, including medical and personal protective equipment and supplies, cleaning services, hazardous materials disposal, operational support, and IT goods and services.