By Channon Hanna
Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security approved the FY 2011 funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. There is no word yet when the bill may be considered by the full committee.
During the markup, Subcommittee Chairman David Price (D-N.C.) stated that Homeland Security figures show how “the number and pace of attempted attacks against the United States over the past nine months have surpassed the number of attempts during any other one-year period.” He went on to say “that if nothing else, this heightened threat environment provides the clearest justification for the bill’s $43.89 billion in discretionary funding.” Price also stressed that while the bill gave only modest increases or even cuts to most agencies, the Transportation Security Administration budget was increased by 6 percent. Price emphasized that this increase was done in an effort to “respond to the continued and evolving threat to our aviation sector.”
Highlights of the bill include:
- The TSA receives $8.059 billion, with aviation security programs getting $5.48 billiont.
- Approved $679.13 million for the purchase and installation of explosive detection systems and explosive trace detection equipment.
- The bill fully funds 503 advanced imaging technology units, though no specific funding amount was given.
- It provides for hiring 5,355 new screeners to operate advanced imaging equipment, though no specific funding amount was given.
- Approved $117.56 million for air cargo security, which is a $5.3 million decrease from the last fiscal year.
- The bill supports 275 additional canine teams. No dollar figure was given.
- Approved $85 million for Secure Flight.
- Approved $950.02 million for federal air marshals, which is an $89.9 million increase over FY 2010 levels.
- DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate is funded at $1.071 billion, which is an increase of $65.029.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection is allocated $9.844 billion, which is a decrease of $282.29 million over FY 2010 levels.
- An increase of over $45 million for an additional 389 CBP officers, though no information was provided on how many officers will be dedicated to airports.
- Approved $351.8 million for US Visit-Exit, which is a $51.8 million increase over FY 2009 funding.