Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 31, 2009

Homeland Security Budget: WAPO channels OMB

Filed under: Budgets and Spending — by Philip J. Palin on March 31, 2009

Monday afternoon the Washington Post offered a summary of how the White House budget would impact each federal department.   Nothing new in the WAPO piece.  But just in case you missed earlier reports: DHS is written in for $43 billion, an increase of 6 percent.

According to the Post, “The Department of Homeland Security’s budget includes few new initiatives and would barely increase under Obama’s proposal, though some big-ticket items were funded by the recently passed stimulus package.”

“DHS is the only Cabinet department whose discretionary funds are forecast to drop annually after this year through 2014. The loss is supposed to be offset by phasing in a per-ticket airline passenger security fee after 2012, a proposal that Congress has repeatedly killed.”

Obama included $368 million to sustain the Border Patrol at a planned 20,000 agents and carve out more money, $1.4 billion, for Immigration and Customs Enforcement programs to deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes.”

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1 Comment »

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 31, 2009 @ 7:14 am

I would hope that the DHS budget gets through on its own and not part of any CR. That is one of the few props that have saved DHS the past 6 years. But it is interesting how little DHS uses the budget to assist in its policy initiatives. GAO released an interesting letter report on the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) and its funding deficiencies yesterday after being on hold for 30 days. I believe that entire program should be sent to NOAA to work the tough coastal issues together with the CZM program (Coastal Zone Management Act) for the mapping and mitigation piece. The insurance aspects of the program should go to the US Treasury (Which made policy for all federal insurance programs under the Clinton Administration–Ellen Seidman) and combined with the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (now should be considered permanent) and the Price-Anderson Act insurance for Nuclear Power Stations now housed improperly IMO at the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission). By the way the interplay of the Price-Anderson Act benefits to citizens and state and local governments and the Robert T. Stafford Act benefits has never been thoroughly documented and analyzed by DOJ or its top-notch legal advisors in its OLC shop. Let’s not delay compensation should there be a core-melt or other accident impacting off-site citizens. This should be done now. See contradictory findings of the President’s Commission on Response to a Catastrophic Nuclear Accident sent to Congress in teh early 90’s and NUREG 1437 (sic). Work to be done and as always NO Congressional oversight on key domestic crisis management and response systems.

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