Congress passes DHS spending bill

House Appropriations Summary of the Homeland Security Department 2005 budget

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As expected, the Senate approved a conference report today by voice vote authorizing $32 billion in discretionary spending for the Homeland Security Department for fiscal 2005, which began Oct. 1.

The Senate's action follows a House-Senate Appropriations Conference Committee's Oct. 9 approval of the conference report. The spending amount is about $896 million more than what President Bush had proposed and an increase of about $2.8 billion above fiscal 2004. The bill will now be sent to the president.

Representatives overwhelmingly passed their appropriations bill in June, while Senate lawmakers passed their measure in mid-September by 93 to 0.

Although the conference report was not yet available to the public, the House and Senate appropriations committees provided highlights. They include:

Nearly $607 million for departmental management and operations, including $275 million for the chief information officer's office.

About $894 million for the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate, including $67.4 million for cybersecurity and $35 million for the Homeland Security Operations Center.

The research-oriented Science and Technology Directorate would receive $1.1 billion, including $558 million to develop radiological, nuclear, chemical, biological and high explosives countermeasures; $76 million for rapid development and prototyping of technologies; $61 million for research, development and testing of measures to protect civilian aircraft from shoulder-fired missiles; and $65 million for bio-surveillance activities.

More than $5 billion for the Transportation Security Administration, including $180 million for buying explosives-detection systems, $54 million for research and development of the next generation of such systems, and $12 million for rail security.

About $7.4 billion for the Coast Guard, including $724 million for the Deepwater modernization program.

Nearly $4 billion for first responder grants, including $1.1 billion in basic state grants, $885 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative, $715 million in grants for firefighters, $400 million in grants to local law enforcement agencies for terrorism prevention, $150 million in port security grants, and $150 million in rail and transit security grants.

About $6.35 billion to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, including $450 million for automation modernization, $80 million for radiation portal monitors and other detection technology, and $64 million for sensor and surveillance technology.

In addition, the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology initiative will receive $340 million.

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