Federal Manager's Daily Report

The CBP would be authorized to annually hire more than 200 additional agricultural inspectors and 200 more agricultural technicians at airports, seaports and land ports of entry until current shortages in such positions are filled, under bipartisan legislation (S-2107) offered in the Senate.

The bill also authorizes the training and assignment of 20 new canine teams a year, “which have proven valuable in detecting illicit fruits, vegetables and animal products that may have otherwise been missed in initial inspections. Finally, the bill authorizes supplemental appropriations each year to pay for the activities of the agriculture specialists, technicians and canine teams,” a statement by sponsors said.

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The measure has the support of numerous food industry companies and associations as well as the NTEU union, which represents customs agents.

Several other initiatives are under way to close shortfalls in already authorized staffing in other CBP occupations.