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03 February 2003

Bush Seeks 7.4 Percent Increase in Homeland Security FY 2004 Budget

(Homeland security funding request totals $36,200 million) (440)
By Merle D. Kellerhals, Jr.
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- President Bush is asking Congress to increase the
Department of Homeland Security's spending by 7.4 percent to $36,200
million in the fiscal year 2004 (FY 04) federal budget.

The department's proposed budget will be augmented by additional
funding of $10,743 million from 16 other agencies and departments that
have also been assigned duties in bolstering homeland security. In
addition, the Department of Defense will spend approximately $6,714
million in FY 04 on homeland security support.

In the FY 04 budget proposal, President Bush said his plan:

-- establishes a single department whose primary mission is to protect
the American people and their homeland;
-- unifies principal border and transportation security agencies,
including control over immigration and naturalization services;
-- coordinates a cohesive network of disaster response capabilities;
-- creates a central point for analysis and dissemination of
intelligence and other information pertaining to terrorist threats to
protect U.S. critical infrastructure; and
-- joins research and development efforts to detect and counter
potential terrorist attacks.

The Department of Homeland Security's budget request includes:

-- $829 million to improve information analysis and infrastructure
protection, which includes approximately $500 million to assess the
nation's critical infrastructure, such as nuclear power plants, water
facilities, telecommunication networks, and transportation systems;

-- $803 million for DHS to develop partnerships with the private
sector to research, develop and deploy advanced homeland security
technologies, which includes $350 million in funding to address gaps
in high-priority operational areas such as protecting critical
infrastructure and borders;

-- $5,900 million for emergency preparedness and response, which
includes $400 million to strengthen and maintain the Strategic
National Stockpile of drugs, vaccines and equipment. And an additional
$890 million is being sought to pre-purchase critical vaccines and
medication for bio-defense;

-- $18,100 million for border and transportation security;

-- $500 million to reduce the backlog of immigration applications,
while at the same time ensuring that U.S. policies for issuing visas
remain consistent with security and foreign policy interests;

-- $1,300 million for the U.S. Secret Service; and

-- $12,200 million for other essential missions not specifically
related to homeland security.

The homeland security budget is part of President Bush's total FY 04
$2,230,000 million federal spending plan that he sent to Congress
February 3. However, Congress is still working on the current FY 03
federal budget, which has been combined into a single omnibus spending
bill, but differences between the version approved by the House of
Representatives and the Senate still have to be resolved.

(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:
http://usinfo.state.gov)