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A $36.2 billion fiscal year (FY) 2004 budget was requested for DHS in order to maintain funding for critical operations of each of the agencies and to expand and improve homeland security efforts. This represents a 7.4 percent increase in funding over FY2003, and a 64 percent over FY2002. The FY2004 budget highlights include the following.
This budget will support the department's ability to analyze and identify potential threats, assess vulnerabilities, map those threats to vulnerabilities, and provide the information from which to organize protective measures. A total of $829 million was requested for this initiative-an increase of $652 million (370%) over the FY2003 level. This funding includes approximately $500 million to assess critical infrastructure (nuclear power plants, water facilities, telecommunications networks, and transportation systems) and to work to ensure that the highest-priority vulnerabilities are addressed.
Another $803 million was requested for the department to develop new partnerships with the private sector to research, develop, and deploy homeland security technologies-an eightfold increase over 2002. The S&T Directorate's Advanced Research Project Agency will direct $350 million in new funding to address gaps in high-priority operational areas, such as protecting critical infrastructure and borders.
The budget requests $5.9 billion for emergency preparedness and response, an increase of 16 percent ($838 million) over FY2003. The Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate will coordinate all necessary response efforts quickly and effectively, including maintaining and strengthening the strategic national stockpile of drugs, vaccines, and equipment, with $400 million requested to continue this initiative. An additional $890 million is requested to prepurchase critically needed vaccines and medication for biodefense.
Also requested was $18.1 billion for the Border and Transportation Security Directorate to meet the strategic goals of improving border and transportation security. The budget also supports DHS's effort to restructure the border-security agencies to enhance efficiencies and create one seamless border service.
In addition, $4.8 billion was requested for the Transportation Security Administration, an increase of $160 million from FY2003 after subtracting one-time costs from its startup. The budget request also includes funding for the comprehensive entry-exit system, which will enable the DHS to track the entry and exit of visitors to the United States. Another $100 million in new resources is requested in FY2004 for a total of $480 million.
Further, $3.5 billion is requested to support the nation's first responders, including $500 million in grants for assistance to firefighters, $500 million for state and local law-enforcement terrorism-prevention initiatives, and $181 million for the Citizen Corps.
Other initiatives for Border and Transportation Security include:
$62 million of new funding for the Container Security Initiative
$307 million additional investment in the Automated Commercial Environment
$119 million additional investment for nonintrusive inspection technology
$40 million of new funding for Atlas/Chimera to address requirements in the Border Security Act
$18 million for the Customs Trade Partnership against Terrorism initiative
The budget provides $6.7 billion to recapitalize the Coast Guard and an additional $615 million, which is 10 percent above the FY2003 level, to support the deployment of maritime safety and security teams, the procurement of coastal patrol boats, and continued development of the maritime 911 system. (A total of $134 million was requested for the maritime 911 system.) The budget includes $500 million to continue the Deepwater program, which is upgrading the Coast Guard's fleet of cutters, aircraft, and related systems to improve performance across DHS as the Coast Guard's activities become more integrated with other DHS components.
The FY2004 budget continues the president's $500 million initiative to reduce the backlog of applications, while at the same time ensuring that national policies for issuing visas to visitors are consistent with security and foreign-policy interests.
The Secret Service had a $1.3 billion request in the budget, an increase of nearly 10 percent over FY2003.
The FY2004 budget provides $12.2 billion for other essential missions not specifically related to homeland security, an increase of 5 percent, which includes an increase of:
$83 million (6%) for Border and Transportation Security
$18 million (1%) for Emergency Preparedness and Response
$319 million (9%) for the Coast Guard
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