Today is budget day for President Obama. Expect a Fiscal Year 2011 budget of $3.834 trillion, of which $1.415 trillion is in discretionary funding. The budget includes a three-year freeze on a number of discretionary program. The budget, if implemented, puts our 2011 projected deficit at $1.267 trillion or 8.3 percent of GDP.
Homeland Security, which has been rumored before Christmas Day to be facing a freeze and possible cuts to programs, will receive a bump up of 2 percent to $46.3 billion. It is safe to say that the December 25th underwear bomber incident influenced the agency’s budget, with early information released by the White House highlighting $734 million to support the deployment of up to 1,000 new Advanced Imaging Technology screening machines at airport checkpoints and new explosive detection equipment for baggage screening. There will also be an increase in the number of international flights covered by Federal Air Marshals to “defend against attempted attacks on aviation.”
Interestingly, in the quick overview released at 6am this morning by the White House, there was not a single mention of border security. Numbers for Customs & Border Protection and related border/immigration programs are worth watching when the budget is released later today, especially as it might give some insight into where immigration reform may fall in terms of priorities for the President this year.
Also of note, the budget includes $33 billion for a 2010 supplemental request and $159.3 billion for 2011 to support overseas contingency operations, including those in operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. DoD family support programs will grow 3 percent to $8.8 billion and State Department funding (excluding war costs) will increase by 2.6 percent. The President also intends to provide $50.6 billion in advance appropriations for the VA medical care program.
Look for a deeper analysis later today/this evening.