President Signs FY 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations
President George W. Bush signed the Fiscal Year 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill on Friday that will adequately fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and allow it to continue its critical mission of safeguarding the nation.
The fiscal year 2007 appropriations bill will allow DHS to make significant progress in every aspect of the department’s mission, but particularly in three critical areas: improving border security, enhancing chemical security, and strengthening FEMA.
Additional highlights of the bill include the following:
–$34.8 billion total in regular and emergency appropriations: This represents a $1.3 billion increase over last year’s non-Hurricane Katrina appropriations.
–Improving border security: Unprecedented level of funding for critical components of our Secure Border Initiative, which include 1,500 border patrol agents, 6,700 detention beds, and $1.2 billion for border fencing, vehicle barriers, technology, and tactical infrastructure.
* Implementing chemical security safeguards: Authority for the department to implement risk-based security standards for chemical facilities that present high levels of security risk.
–Increased transportation funds: Enhanced security for all modes of transportation and support for traditional missions such as maritime safety, drug interdiction, presidential protection, and law enforcement. Funding is included for equipping first responders with resources to prevent, deter, and respond to terrorist acts and natural disasters.
–Strengthening DNDO: A $163.6 million increase in funding over FY 2006 for the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office. The funding will further the department’s efforts in preventing nuclear and radiological terrorism.
–Enhancing Port, Container, and Cargo Security: A $1.065 billion increase for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Deepwater program, 450 new CBP officers for cargo inspection and trade operations, and the resources to expand the Container Security Initiative program to 58 foreign seaports. In addition, $55 million will be provided for C-TPAT, supporting 100 percent validation of over 6,070 certified partners.
–FEMA remains in DHS: The bill wisely reinforces DHS’ ability to operate as a comprehensive all hazards agency by keeping FEMA and its capabilities within DHS. The legislation further enhances FEMA’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. The details related to the integration of FEMA and the Preparedness Directorate functions will take time to develop and implement, and a stronger Department with enhanced capabilities will emerge as a result. Each and every employee in FEMA and Preparedness is serving an important function and will continue to do so as part of the Department of Homeland Security.