Congress boosts DHS appropriations

A House/Senate conference has pushed fiscal 2007 funding for the Homeland Security Department nearly $3 billion above the amount President Bush requested, with more than half of the increase going for new and expanded border protection initiatives.

In response to the government’s poorly coordinated relief operations after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, conferees included a provision that boosts the standing of the Federal Emergency Management Agency within DHS and promotes its administrator to the level of deputy secretary.

According to the legislation, the FEMA director must have extensive emergency response and crisis management experience. The appropriations bill also would require better and clearer coordination among federal, state and local emergency preparedness organizations.

The bill also would also provide more than $1.14 billion for acceleration of the Coast Guard’s Integrated Deepwater System, about $80 million more than the president’s request. Congress cut funding for Deepwater in fiscal 2006.

Overall, the bill calls for $34.8 billion of discretionary spending for DHS operations and activities, $2.3 billion more than Congress allotted for fiscal 2006. Other items include:

  • More than $8 billion for customs and border protection, including money to pay for 1,500 new border patrol agents; $1.2 billion for border fencing, technology and infrastructure; and more than $139 million for the Container Security Initiative.

    Along with that and funds for various inspection technologies, the conferees included language in the bill requiring stringent performance requirements that “mandate a strategy to double the amount of cargo currently inspected, screen 100 percent of cargo through the Automated Targeting System and establish minimum security standards for cargo containers.”

    The bill also requires DHS to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for port, cargo and container security and another one for the Secure Border Initiative.

  • More than $3.39 billion for first responder grants and assistance, including $900 million for state and local government programs and $770 million for the Urban Security Initiative.
  • Nearly $543 million for infrastructure protection and information security, including $101 million for critical infrastructure outreach and for partnerships for data sharing, and $87 million for cybersecurity activities.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group