Cyber Command, network defenses bolstered in spending bill

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The $1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal 2014 would more than double Defense Department spending on U.S. Cyber Command and would boost the Department of Homeland Security's funding to defend government networks.

Cyber Command would receive nearly $450 million under the legislation, a significantly higher sum than the $191 million allocated in 2013. Lawmakers also directed more than $700 million to DHS cyber defenses, including continuous diagnostic and mitigation programs.

Both provisions have strings attached. DOD officials must supply further information on Cyber Command programs, and leaders at DHS' National Protection and Programs Directorate must report on their progress on a quarterly basis beginning in April. Specifically, NPPD leaders must detail how the $719 million in cybersecurity funding is being spent and, by July 1, outline the measures being taken to secure their networks.

The budget documents also call for U.S. Special Operations Command to provide additional information about its programs and operations.

In a report accompanying the spending bill, lawmakers wrote that the House and Senate Appropriations committees look forward to working with DOD's comptroller and the commander of the Special Operations Command "to improve budget justification materials. This structure shall be the starting point and may be revised in future years based on mutually agreed upon recommendations."

The $487 billion defense budget in the omnibus bill is "virtually the same as the current level," according to a summary provided by the House Appropriations Committee, but lower than the $526 billion proposed earlier this year by the Obama administration.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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