Budget 2012: Homeland Security
The proposed Department of Homeland Security budget of $43.2 billion amounts to a slight increase of .7 percent, or $309 million over net discretionary funding levels enacted in 2010. The budget request for total funding is $57 billion, which includes all fees and other income.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said the budget proposal allows the department to meet security threats "while reflecting an unprecedented commitment to fiscal discipline that maximizes the effectiveness of every security dollar we receive."
Notable increases in spending would include $105.2 million to deploy an additional 535 employees and 275 advanced imaging machines to screen airline passengers, bringing the total of such machines at airport checkpoint to 1,275 by the end of 2012. The administration noted that the new imaging machines, which have generated some controversy where they have already been deployed, will have "robust privacy safeguards." In addition, the budget includes $273 million to place new explosives detection systems at airports. Passenger security fees would increase by $1.50 "per emplanement beginning in 2012," according to the proposal.
The budget also calls for 21,370 Border Patrol agents, up from 20,500 in Fiscal Year 2010, an all-time high for the agency. The budget also would add an additional 300 Customs and Border Protection officers for passenger and cargo screening, allowing the expansion of pre-screening at foreign airports. There were 20,600 CPB officers in Fiscal Year 2010. "This reflects the largest deployment of law endorcement officers to the front line in the agency's history," the department said.
The Coast Guard would be equipped with six more Fast Response Cutters at a cost of $358 million and two more Maritime Patrol Aircraft at a cost of $130 million under the proposal.
The administration said it would realize $800 million in savings by eliminating some duplicative state and local grant programs, administrative costs and consulting services. The Department also proposes to delay construction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters at St. Elizabeth's; work on the Coast Guard headquarters at the site will be completed.
The Republican Continuing Resolution for Homeland Security amounted to $41.5 billion, and also sought trims in administrative spending while maintaining core security programs.