DHS the only federal agency to see budget increase in FY2007

Published 27 January 2006

Congress and the administration are going to cut the federal budget in order to fight the budget deficit — with one exception: DHS budget

DHS may well be the only federal agency the funding of which will be increased by Congress this year, the Senate’s senior budget adviser said. William Hoagland, senior budget adviser for Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee), said that homeland security issues will dominate this session of Congress, with funding increases expected for areas such as border security, Gulf Coast recovery operations, and technology to defend against weapons of mass destruction. Hoagland spoke at an event organized by Equity International and consulting firm McKenna Long & Aldridge. Hoagland said the DHS fiscal 2007 budget — which President Bush will submit to Congress on 6 February — could be boosted as much as 5 percent over this year’s levels. “It is about the only budget in town that is going to continue to see growth [going] into the next year,” he said.

Hoagland predicted that funding for border security will increase by as much as 10 percent and funding for science and technology to defend against weapons of mass destruction by as much as 35 percent. Congress likely will also approve another supplemental funding request of up to $30 billion to support ongoing Gulf Coast recovery. He added that Congress is expected to consider legislation which would fund cargo security, rail security, chemical security, and BioShield II, which offers liability protections to makers of vaccines and countermeasures to combat bioterrorism.

Not all areas of homeland security will see an increase in funding: Growing pressures to limit spending in some homeland security areas will likely mean less money for grants to state and local governments, he added. “The issues of grants to police, firefighters and other first responders I think will be the area where there will be restrictions, or at least limitations, on the rates of growth that we’ve experienced the last few years,” he said.

-read more in Chris Strohm’s GovExec.com report