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May 18, 2005

House Passes Homeland Security Approps; Cyber Security Still Not a Priority

Despite a $213 million increase to the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate in FY 2006 and a report from a presidential advisory committee noting the dangerous lack of support for cyber security research at DHS, the House approved a cut to cyber security research activities at the agency as part of the FY 2006 Homeland Security appropriations bill. The House approved the President's request of $16.7 million for cyber security research in FY 2006, a decrease of $1.3 million from the FY 2005 enacted level.

Here's a handy table showing the additions and cuts to the DHS S&T budget.

FY 2006 DHS Science and Technology Appropriations
House Approved Version
FY 2005
FY 2006 Request
FY 2006 House Approved
$ Change FY 2006 Approps vs. FY 2005 Enacted
Technology Development and Transfer
Biological Countermeasures
Chemical Countermeasures
Explosives Countermeasures
Radiological and Nuclear countermeasures
Domestic Nuclear Detection Office
Conventional Missions in Support of DHS
Threat and Vulnerability, Testing and Assessment
Emerging Threats
University Porgrams/Homeland Security Fellowship Programs
Cyber Security
Critical Infrastructure Protection
Rapid Prototyping Program
Interoperability and Compatibility
Research and Development Consolidation
$117$117 -
Total, Research, Development, Acquisition, and Operations

There will be a couple of opportunities to address the cut to cyber security research as the bill moves through the appropriations process. The Senate has yet to act on its version of the bill. They've been briefed on the PITAC report, but it's not known whether they'll deviate much from the President's requested level for the program. This highlights the importance of advocacy efforts that target the President's budget request in addition to the congressional appropriations cycle, especially when the President and the congressional majority are all the same party....

Update: Cameron Wilson at USACM has a good post on the Dept. of Homeland Security Authorization Act (pdf), which is also likely to make it to the House floor this week. The bill creates a new Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity within the department and authorizes $19 million worth of cyber security R&D within the S&T directorate, including "long-term research." In essence, the language authorizes spending that's already going on (see above), though having a higher authorization could make increasing the appropriation a little easier as the appropriations bill moves forward.

Posted by PeterHarsha at May 18, 2005 10:48 AM | TrackBack
Posted to FY06 Appropriations | Funding