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Government-wide homeland security spending to rise steadily in next five years

The “homeland security funding analysis” accompanying President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget request estimates that government-wide “budget authority” for homeland security-related spending will climb slowly-but-steadily in each of the next five years.

Total homeland security spending by approximately 31 different federal departments and agencies will amount to $68.7 billion in 2013 and will grow by an average of $1.8 billion per year (about 3%) for each of the next four years, so that total spending will exceed $76 billion by 2017, says the federal government’s analysis.

The president is required by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to incorporate this separate analysis of homeland security expenditures along with its newly-announced federal budget each fiscal year.

“Since not all activities carried out by DHS constitute traditional homeland security funding (e.g. response to natural disasters and Coast Guard search and rescue activities), DHS estimates in this section do not encompass the entire DHS budget,” explains the seven-page analysis.

Even though there have been some slight ups-and-downs in recent years, total funding for homeland security has “grown significantly since the attacks of September 11, 2011,” says the analysis. “For 2013, the President’s Budget includes $68.9 billion of gross budget authority for homeland security activities, a $917 million (1%) increase above the 2012 enacted appropriations level.”

The document identifies three broad purposes of homeland security spending: preventing and disrupting terrorist attacks; protecting the American people, critical infrastructure and key resources; and responding to and recovering from security-related incidents.

The biggest growth in budget expenditures will come in that third category, responding to security-related incidents, particularly in first responder programs that help plan, equip, train and practice among police officers, firefighters, emergency medical providers and public works personnel. In fact, spending in that area is expected to increase by a whopping 9% between 2012 and 2013. “Response to natural disasters and other major incidents, including catastrophic natural events such as Hurricane Katrina and chemical or oil spills, like Deepwater Horizon, do not directly fall within the definition of a homeland security activity,” says the analysis, and thus are not included within these budget totals.

DHS, with expenditures of $2.7 billion (representing 42 percent of total 2013 spending in this category) is the biggest player in this arena, while the Department of Health and Human Services accounts for another $1.8 billion in spending (which represents 28 percent of such spending.)

The category that covers the protection of U.S. citizens as well as infrastructure and key resources will also grow year-over-year, but not as rapidly. The Obama administration’s budget request calls for an increase in spending of nearly $1 billion in 2013, which represents a 3% increase over the current year’s total. A portion of this category includes spending on protecting against terrorists’ use of CBRNE weapons, medical countermeasures, decontamination techniques and related research and development efforts. HHS plays the largest role throughout the federal government in this niche (accounting for $2.2 billion, or 41 percent of total spending), while the Department of Defense (with $1.4 billion, or 26 percent of all spending) and DHS (with $1.2 billion, amounting to 23 percent of the total) are in second and third positions.

DoD reports the largest share of funding when it comes to protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources, accounting for $15.3 billion in expenditures, which represents 64% of total spending in that area.

In addition to DHS, DoD and HHS, another 25 federal agencies report expenditures to “protect their own assets and work with States, localities, and the private sector to reduce vulnerabilities in their areas of expertise,” explains to analysis.

Finally, in the category of preventing terrorist attacks, overall expenditures are likely to drop year-over-year. Intelligence-and-warning activities (particularly those carried out by the DHS office of intelligence and analysis and the FBI) will fall by 1% compared with the 2012 enacted appropriation level. Similarly, funding for “border and transportation security,” largely conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, will decrease by about 2% between 2012 and 2013, says the analysis.

“The largest contributors to the domestic counterterrorism goal are law enforcement organizations, with DOJ (largely for the FBI) and DHS (largely for ICE) accounting for 58 and 40 percent of funding for 2013, respectively,” says the analysis.

A chart included with the homeland security analysis lists all of the departments and agencies that conduct homeland security-related activities. The top five, in terms of annual expenditures, are DHS ($35.9 billion in 2013), DoD ($16.9 billion), HHS ($4.2 billion), Department of Justice ($4.2 billion) and Department of State ($2.3 billion.)



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