Appropriations Act Signed and Sealed
Appropriations Act Signed and Sealed
Last week, President George W. Bush signed the FY 2005 Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which provides $28.9 billion in net discretionary spending for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This is $1.8 billion more than the FY 2004 enacted level reflecting a 6.6% increase in funding over the previous year. Including Project BioShield, mandatory and fee-funded programs, a total of $40.7 billion will be available to the Department in FY 2005.
Strengthening Border and Port Security
The Act includes $419.2 million in new funding to enhance border and port 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 (+$500 million, an 8.6-percent increase) will upgrade port security efforts and provide additional resources to implement the Maritime Transportation Security Act. Key enhancements funded by the act include:
* The Container Security Initiative (CSI) focuses on pre-screening cargo before it reaches our shores. The act includes an increase of $25 million over the current program funding of $101 million to continue both Phases I and II, as well as to begin the final phase of CSI.
* The United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US VISIT) program’s first phase was deployed at 115 airports and 14 seaports. US VISIT expedites the arrival and departure of legitimate travelers, while making it more difficult for those intending to do us harm to enter our nation. The act provides $340 million in 2005, an increase of $12 million over the FY 2004 funding, to continue expansion of the US VISIT system.
* Aerial Surveillance and Sensor Technology increases the effectiveness of the more than 12,000 Border Patrol agents deployed along the borders, and supports other missions such as drug interdiction. The act includes $64.2 million for CBP to enhance land-based detection and monitoring of movement between the ports. The act also includes $28 million for CBP to increase the flight hours of P-3 aircraft and $12.5 million for long-range radar operations.
* Radiation Detection Monitors screen passengers and cargo coming into the United States. The act includes $80 million for the next generation of screening devices for our nation’s ports of entry.
* CBP Targeting Systems aid in identifying high-risk cargo and passengers. The act includes an increase of $20.6 million for staffing and technology acquisition to support the National Targeting Center, trend analysis, and the Automated Targeting Systems.
* The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) focuses on partnerships to improve security along the entire supply chain, from the factory floor, to foreign vendors, land borders and seaports. The FY 2005 appropriation includes an increase of $15.2 million for this effort.
* The act increases the U.S. Coast Guard’s budget by 9 percent — from $5.8 billion in FY 2004 to $6.3 billion in FY 2005. In addition to maintaining its ongoing mission, the budget provides over $100 million to support the implementation of the Maritime Transportation Security Act, which will increase the Coast Guard’s ability to develop, review and approve vessel and port security plans, improve underwater detection capabilities, and increase the intelligence program. The budget also provides for the Coast Guard’s ongoing Integrated Deepwater System initiative, funding the program at $724 million, an increase of $56 million over the FY 2004 funding level.
An additional $2.5 billion for Project BioShield will be available starting in FY 2005 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. Specifically, the FY 2005 appropriation funds the following initiatives:
* Project BioShield allows the Federal Government to pre-purchase critically needed vaccines and medications for biodefense as soon as experts agree that they are safe and effective enough to be added to the Strategic National Stockpile. The program seeks to encourage the development of necessary medical countermeasures against a biological, radiological, or nuclear attack. Starting in 2005, $2.5 billion will be available for BioShield.
* Improving Biosurveillance, within DHS, will involve the Science and Technology (S&T) and Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) directorates.
* In S&T, the act provides a total of $118 million to enhance current environmental monitoring activities. A key component of this initiative will be an expansion and deployment of the next generation of technologies related to the BioWatch Program, a bio-surveillance warning system.
* In IAIP, $11 million is appropriated to integrate, in real-time, bio-surveillance data collected from sensors throughout the country and fuse this data with information from health and agricultural surveillance and other terrorist-threat information from the law enforcement and intelligence communities.
* National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) is responsible for managing and coordinating the Federal medical response to major emergencies and federally declared disasters. For 2005, the act includes $20 million in FEMA for planning and exercises associated with medical surge capabilities.
Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection The act provides $894 million, a 7 percent increase from FY 2004 to Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP), which will enhance 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. Key provisions include:
* Threat Determination and Assessment provides tools and unique analytical capability to enhance the Government’s ability to integrate, synchronize and correlate sources of information relating to homeland security, emanating from both traditional (Intelligence and federal law enforcement communities) and non-traditional (state and local governments and private industry) sources, and integrate that knowledge with an understanding of exploitable infrastructure vulnerabilities.
* $67.4 million, a $2.1 million increase over FY 2004, to expand the capabilities of the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD), which implements the public and private sector partnership protecting cyber security as it identifies, analyzes, and reduces threats and vulnerabilities; disseminates threat warning information; and coordinates cyber incident preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.
Improving Aviation Security
* $5.1 billion for the Transportation Security Administration, including aviation security fees, a $679 million increase over 2004. These funds will be used to continue to improve the quality and efficiency of screening operations through additional screener training, stronger management controls of screener performance, and technology automation.
* The act includes $475 million to continue deploying more efficient baggage screening solutions at our nation’s busiest airports. This funding will be used to improve the integration of explosive detection system (EDS) equipment into individual airports’ baggage processing. This will increase security effectiveness and promote greater efficiency.
* The act includes $115 million for air cargo security, to continue the research and deployment of screening technology started in FY 2004 and to increase air cargo inspectors.
* In addition, the Federal Air Marshals (FAMS) program, which has been moved to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), receives $663 million in the act, an increase of $50 million over the FY 2004 level.
* $61 million is appropriated to the DHS Science and Technology directorate, to accelerate development of more effective technologies to counter the threat of portable anti-aircraft missiles.
Support for State and Local Governments and First Responders
The act provides a total of $4 billion for state and local assistance programs.
* State-based formula grants are funded at $1.5 billion, including $400 million for law enforcement, with provisions directing the use of the per capita formula. The all hazards Emergency Management Performance Grant program is funded at $180 million.
* Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grants are provided $885 million, below the request of $1.45 billion. The bill provides a total of $315 million in transportation security grants in particular, $150 million each for port security grants and rail/transit security grants.
* Firefighter assistance grants are funded at $715 million, including $65 million for hiring, compared with the request of $500 million. The statement of managers calls for retaining the program’s all hazards focus.
* The act recognizes the Department’s implementation of HSPD-8, and sets deadlines for establishing first responder preparedness levels in January 2005, and releasing the National Preparedness Goal in March 2005.
Enhancing Immigration Security and Enforcement
The Act provides an increase of $179 million for improvements in immigration enforcement both domestically and overseas, including $123 million for the detention and removal of illegal aliens. To enhance immigration security and enforcement, the act includes:
* Detention and Removal. An increase of $123 million in FY 2005 will expand ongoing fugitive apprehension efforts and the removal from the United States of jailed offenders, support additional detention and removal capacity.
* Immigration Enforcement appropriated funding increases by $56 million for detecting and locating individuals in the United States who are in violation of immigration laws, or who are engaging in immigration-related fraud and will improve visa security by working cooperatively with U.S. consular offices to review visa applications.
Eliminating the Immigration Backlog
The act includes $160 million in total resources to continue progress toward a six-month processing for all immigration applications, while maintaining security and continuing the President’s multi-year $500 million initiative to reduce the backlog of applications. CIS has continued the focus on quality improvements and expanded national security checks, such as performing background name checks on all applications before approval.
Increasing DHS Preparedness and Response Capacity
The bill includes $3.1 billion for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate. This funding supports the Nation’s ability to prepare for, mitigate against, respond to and recover from natural and man made disasters. This includes $2 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund to allow DHS to provide support to states for response and recovery to unforeseen emergencies and natural disasters.
Strengthening the National Incident Management System (NIMS)
The act provides $15 million for the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The NIMS provides a national framework for Federal, State, Territorial, Tribal, and local jurisdictions to work together more effectively to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from all domestic incidents. The NIMS funding will be used to develop NIMS related training, guidance and other publications to support NIMS implementation. The funding will also be used to support effective resource management through the development of a national resource management system, an inventory of federal response assets, and the development of a national credentialing system.