Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 11, 2009

Homeland Security Spending in the Stimulus

Filed under: Budgets and Spending,General Homeland Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on February 11, 2009

Senate and House negotiators arrived at a compromise version of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“stimulus package”) tonight. I can’t get my hands on a final text, but I thought it might be useful to see where we started in this negotiation for funds going toward homeland security. Following is a breakdown comparison between the House and Senate versions of the bill as they pertain to HLS-related spending. Many thanks to the smart people at Wall Street Journal for scouring the two versions in their entirety. Dollars are in thousands:


Note the disparity between the two chambers. The House pushed for a paltry $1.1B while the Senate won a grand total of $4.69B for homeland security spending. We can argue the merits of whether or not any of these items actually “stimulate” an economy, but it does indicate a lop-sided emphasis between the House and Senate.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

February 12, 2009 @ 12:06 am

Was the stimulus intended originally to fund improved infrastructure? Shovel ready? Perhaps too simple but it does seem that the DEEPWATER PROGRAM might be a priority and I don’t include the demise of the icebreaker fleet (two operative and one inoperative) as meeting the relatively new Russian and Canadian challenges to dominate the new Northwest Passage opened by climate change and melting Arctic sea ice. The point is that 24/7/365 ops are mandatory for the US in the Arctic now now down the road. Also interoperable communications systems in all SMSAs would seem to be shovel ready. But I think the real conclusion to draw is that DHS was not view as an organization that comes to mind for stimulus funding. Remember the two main justifications for DHS were domestic intel and prevention/protection against terrorist attack. Now that cyber security and intel have their own White House Czar ops explain again the current rationale for a second tier law enforcement/border/customs/immigration organization. Oh yes! Almost forgot. The source of funding for domestic crisis response including inaugrals the FEMA! Perhaps a close budget analysis indicates that no one in DHS realizes that STATE and LOCAL first responders are going down the drain now and in the next 5 years under current federal budgets including the stimulus. But hey all they do is the basics of law enforcement, fire protection and response, EM, EMT and HAZMAT and public health. More and more the federal budget looks designed to protect the federal government and its contractors inferentially and implicity allowing the Constitutionally mandated federal system to wither.

Comment by Rick Wimberly

February 16, 2009 @ 7:37 am

I’m working on a report on impact of the law on local public safety. Looks to me that the final version would spend anywhere from $4-billion to $14-billion on local public safety. There’s a wide swing because of the State Stabilization Fiscal Stabilization Fund. While most of the Stabilization Fund will be spent on education, the compromise version said Governors shall spend 18.2% on “public safety or other government service” programs (which could include certain education programs).

Emergency Management gets nothing in the final version (other than a chance to compete on the Stabilization Funds) while the Senate version had $250-million for building emergency operation centers and fusion centers. That allocation didn’t make it in the final version. There’s $210-million for building fire stations, down from the $500-million in the Senate version.

Law enforcement is the biggest local public safety benefactor with $3.9-billion in grants and programs.

We’re putting the finishing touches on our report, to be released shortly after the bill is signed by the President. Anyone wanting a copy can request off-line at rick.wimberly@galainsolutions.com.

Good work Homeland Security Watch. I always learn from your posts.

All the best,

Rick Wimberly

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