The House Appropriations Committee yesterday released its proposed markup of the FY ’13 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget, showing plans to trim $393 million from the request with the Transportation Security Administration targeted for a significant portion of the cut.
The committee’s panel that oversees DHS will markup the Obama administration’s $39.5 billion request for discretionary spending this morning. The panel is recommending a $39.1 billion budget for DHS.
The proposed bill would provide $5.1 billion for the TSA, $146.5 million below the request and $422 million less than in FY ’12. A large portion of the cut, $61 million, is to the agency’s managerial overhead and the appropriators would cap the full-time screening workforce at 46,000.
Within TSA, the bill would provide $100 million for the purchase and installation of explosives detection systems to screen checked baggage, which appears to be $17 million less than requested, while funding for checkpoint support would be $120.2 million, level with the request.
The Homeland Security Subcommittee also would restore funding for the Flight Deck Officers program, add $5 million for canine enforcement teams, and an additional $15 million for privatized screening operations.
Other cuts to the overall budget request would come from spending on cyber security, which would still be robustly funded at $748.9 million, $20 million less than requested and $306 million higher than the FY ’12 level. The panels says funding is directed to a new initiative to improve Federal Network Security to “help blunt cyber attacks and foreign espionage.”
Unlike last year when the House proposed gutting the department’s S&T budget, in FY ’13 it is proposing $826 million this purpose, $5.5 million less than requested but still $158 million more than the House and Senate eventually agreed on in FY ’12.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would receive $10.2 billion from the House, $77 million more than requested, with funding provided for 21,370 Border Patrol agents and 21,186 CBP officers. The proposal would fully fund the Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology program, which includes funding for the electronic border technology efforts, at $327.1 million, and $117 million for Non-Intrusive Inspection technology.
CBP is currently hosting a competition for the electronic border security program.
The bill would also provide $518 million for CBP’s Office of Air and Marine, about $82 million more than requested. The agency’s National Targeting Center would receive $68 million, $16 million more than requested, to enhance the identification of known and suspected terrorists and criminals.
The Coast Guard would also benefit under the House plan, which allots the service $10 billion, $211.7 million more than requested, reversing cuts to operations while also providing $66 million in long-lead funding for the seventh National Security Cutter (NSC). DHS in its budget request plans to pause the NSC program after the sixth ship is built even thought the Coast Guard says its requirements call for eight of the vessels. The House also would provide the production funds to complete construction of the sixth ship. Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] is the NSC contractor.
Other funds proposed by the House panel for the Coast Guard include four Fast Response Cutters, two MH-60 helicopters and one missionized C-130J aircraft.
Overall, the panel proposes $1.4 billion for Coast Guard acquisition programs, $200 million more than requested.