Bush Requests Large Budget Increase for Department of Homeland Security

President George W. Bush has asked Congress for $40.2 billion for homeland security for FY 2005. This is a 10 percent increase over TY 2004.

The budget substantially increases funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from 2003, the year that the department was created. The DHS budget number includes sources of funding such as discretionary and mandatory appropriations, offsetting collections from user fees, and trust funds.

The president requested $411 million in new funding to maintain and enhance border security activities, including the expansion of pre-screening cargo containers in high-risk areas and the detection of individuals attempting to illegally enter the United States. Additional funding for the U.S. Coast Guard an 8 percent increase will upgrade port security efforts and implement the Maritime Transportation Security Act.

Bush has asked for an additional $2.5 billion for Project BioShield for the development and pre-purchase of necessary medical countermeasures against weapons of mass destruction, and improved bio-surveillance by expanding air monitoring for biological agents in high-threat cities and high-value targets such as stadiums and transit systems.

A 3 percent increase has been requested for the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate (IAIP), bringing funding to $864.6 million. According to the Bush administration, the funding will ensure enhanced capabilities to receive intelligence and information from an expanded set of sources, to assess the vulnerabilities of the nation's assets and critical infrastructure, to assess consequences, and to add capabilities in remediation and protective actions.

Bush requested $890 million for aviation security, a nearly 20 percent increase, including funds to improve integration of explosive detection system (EDS) equipment into individual airports' baggage processing to increase security effectiveness and promote greater efficiency.

In addition, the federal air marshals (FAM) will receive supplementary training and have opportunities to rotate into land-based agent assignments, further refining their law enforcement skills. Between FY 2003 and FY 2005, the FAMS budget will grow from $466 million, to $613 million, an increase of 32 percent.

The FY 2005 budget includes a total of $3.6 billion to support first-responder grants and allocates more of the funds to high-threat areas facing the greatest risk and vulnerability. Since March 1, 2003, DHS awarded over $8 billion to support state and local preparedness. Between FY 2001 and the FY 2005 budget request, over $14.5 billion in assistance will be made available for programs now under DHS.

The 2005 Budget request provides $3.6 billion in the Office for Domestic Preparedness to continue these enhancements and achieve national preparedness goals including a doubling of the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). DHS will also continue grants for law enforcement terrorism prevention efforts, and direct grants to improve fire departments' response to terrorism and other major incidents.

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