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President Signs Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2005

President George W. Bush signed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2005 on Oct. 18 to provide funds for homeland security activities. Combined with enactment of the remainder of the president's FY 2005 budget, the administration claims it will have nearly tripled funding for homeland security since 2001.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act provides $28.9 billion in net discretionary spending, a $1.8 billion increase (6.6 percent) over 2004, and a $14.9 billion increase (106 percent) over 2001 levels. Including Project BioShield, mandatory and fee-funded programs, a total of $40.7 billion will be available to DHS in FY 2005.

The FY 2005 budget includes $4 billion for state and local assistance programs - a 765 percent ($3.5 billion) increase over 2001 levels. This includes a 19 percent ($135 million) increase for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) over 2004. The UASI distributes terrorism preparedness grants to urban areas based on threat levels. Other state and local assistance programs funded by the appropriations act include $150 million for port security grants, $150 million for rail/transit security grants – neither of which were funded in 2001 – and $715 million for grants to fire departments. Although the White House touted the grant as "a $615 million increase over 2001," it failed to mention the fact that there was no increase for fire fighters above 2004 funding levels.

In addition, the appropriations act provides funding for other key programs and initiatives, including $8.5 billion for U.S. customs and border protection and U.S. immigration and customs enforcement, a 7 percent ($556 million) increase over 2004. This spending level funds programs to help secure the country's borders while facilitating the legitimate flow of commerce, including:

  • Full funding for the Container Security Initiative to pre-screen cargo containers from 26 ports representing more than 80 percent of inbound cargo to the United States. With the legislation signed by Bush, spending on cargo security, screening and inspections will total nearly $2.9 billion, an 80 percent ($1.3 billion) increase over pre-9/11 levels.
  • The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, which facilitates partnerships between the Federal Government and American importers to improve security along the entire supply chain – from the factory floor, to foreign vendors, to land borders and seaports.
  • $340 million for the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program (US-VISIT), an automated entry-exit system designed to expedite the arrival and departure of legitimate travelers, while making it more difficult for those intending to do us harm to enter our Nation. This is a $12 million increase over 2004.

Also included in the appropriations act is $5.1 billion for the Transportation Security Administration, including aviation security fees, a $679 million increase over 2004. This includes $475 million for explosives detection system baggage screening equipment and installation, a 19 percent ($75 million) increase over 2004. The act provides $6.3 billion for the Coast Guard, an 8.6 percent ($500 million) increase over 2004, and a 66 percent ($2.5 billion) increase over 2001 levels. Among funding for other programs, the appropriations bill includes $724 million for the Deepwater multi-year acquisition program to replace Coast Guard ships, aircraft and communications systems. The appropriations act also gives $3.1 billion for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate, a 7 percent ($198 million) increase over 2004. This includes:

  • Funding for programs that support the nation's ability to prepare for, mitigate against, respond to and recover from natural and man made disasters.
  • $2 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund, a $53 million increase over base 2004 funding. This fund allows DHS to provide support to states for response and recovery to unforeseen emergencies and natural disasters.

The appropriations act provides $894 million for the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate (IAIP), $60 million above the 2004 level. The IAIP is the focal point of the DHS's efforts to assess and protect the nation's critical infrastructures, including cyberspace, from terrorism. The 2005 funding level will allow the IAIP to identify critical assets and send IAIP teams to conduct site visits to assist operators and owners in identifying and reducing vulnerabilities.

President Bush and Congress also earmarked $1.1 billion for the Science and Technology Directorate, a $203 million increase over 2004. This includes $593 million to develop technologies that counter threats from chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons, and high explosives; and $61 million to continue the development of innovative counter-measures to protect commercial aircraft against man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).

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