The Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday introduced a fiscal year 2022 spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security that would provide more than a half-billion dollar increase in proposed spending for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), demonstrating strong support for an agency that is increasingly seen as crucial to bolstering the nation’s cybersecurity posture.
The budget recommendation from Democrats on the committee is $504.4 million more than the $2.1 billion request and also exceeds the $2.4 billion already approved by the House for CISA. Most of the proposed increase in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s bill is to boost the operations and support account, which would get $386.1 million more than requested, and to a lesser extent the acquisition account, up $112.4 million above the request.
Most of the largest proposed increases for operations and support would be for federal network resilience, voluntary threat detection programs, cyber threat hunting, the new Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative, and analytic capabilities for national critical functions.
Within the procurement account, most of the proposed increases are for the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation cybersecurity tools and next-generation communications.
Overall, the appropriators bill would provide $71.7 billion in discretionary spending for DHS, including $18.8 billion in disaster relief funds. The Biden administration requested $73.3 billion in discretionary spending for the department.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member on the committee, voiced his opposition to a slew of appropriations bills proposed on Monday by Senate Democrats, including the DHS bill. Shelby opposes a proposed $1.9 billion rescission in the Democrat’s bill for border barriers, another measure that allows Border Patrol funding to be transferred to remove existing border walls on public lands, a reduction in detention capacity at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and other proposed immigration changes.
While the controversial border barrier funds would be rescinded by Senate Democrats, some of the funding would be redirected to other bipartisan border security efforts, including $124 million for border security technology, $70 million above the request. This funding would go toward relocatable autonomous towers, search and rescue capabilities, mobile surveillance capabilities, team awareness kits, cross-border tunnel detection, small unmanned aerial systems, and data integration across Customs and Border Protection for a common operation picture.
The proposed bill would also increase the request for CBP’s non-intrusive inspection program by $36 million for scanning technology at ports of entry, including for outbound inspection equipment.
Coast Guard procurement programs would receive a small plus-up in the proposed bill, which would give $1.7 billion for the acquisition account, $70 million more than requested. The bill would cut $120 million from the request for long-lead time and material for the third new heavy icebreaker, the Polar Security Cutter (PSC), due to program delays. VT Halter Marine is the contractor for the PSC.
The bill would fully fund the Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program at $597 million, which would allow for construction of the fourth medium-endurance cutter and provide long-lead materials for the fifth ship. Eastern Shipbuilding Group is building the first four OPCs and the Coast Guard is recompeting the program beginning with the fifth vessel.
The Coast Guard’s MH-60 helicopter program would receive an additional $98 million from Senate appropriators for recapitalization of the existing fleet and new airframes. The MH-60 is supplied by Lockheed Martin’s [LMT] Sikorsky business unit.
The proposed bill also fully funds the Transportation Security Administration’s acquisition request, including $140.5 million for the checkpoint computed tomography program and $30 million for explosives detection systems. So far, TSA has awarded checkpoint CT contracts to Smiths Detection, which has completed deployment of 300 systems, and Analogic, which will begin deploying 314 systems in 2022.