For Immediate Release DHS Press Office Contact: 202-282-8010
WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson today unveiled the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget request of $38.2 billion in net discretionary funding, building on the progress DHS has made in each of its mission areas while strengthening existing capabilities. The Budget enhances critical security partnerships across all levels of government, with international partners, and with the private sector, while streamlining operations and increasing efficiencies.
“The basic missions of the Department of Homeland Security are, and should continue to be, preventing terrorism and enhancing security; securing and managing our borders; enforcing and administering our immigration laws; safeguarding cyberspace; safeguarding critical infrastructure; and strengthening national preparedness and resilience,” said Secretary Johnson. “The President’s FY 2015 budget request provides the resources necessary to further strengthen these efforts while also being agile and vigilant in the face of ever evolving threats and hazards.”
The budget provides $7.0 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), including $6.4 billion in addition to the discretionary amounts discussed above and made available pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). In order to meet the discretionary budget authority agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, the Department’s net discretionary budget for FY 2015 includes a 2.5 percent reduction compared to the FY 2014 enacted level, requiring difficult choices to align resources to address the greatest needs of the Department.
Also of note, last year DHS achieved a major milestone by achieving its first clean audit opinion of the Department’s financial statements by an independent auditor. Simply put, the clean audit is a major step in the Department’s goals to increase the transparency and accountability for the taxpayer resources entrusted to the Department.
FY 2015 Budget Priorities:
Preventing Terrorism and Enhancing Security - Preventing terrorist attacks on the homeland is, and will remain DHS’s top priority. DHS works every day with federal, state, local, and international partners to combat terrorist threats in their various manifestations. Terrorist threats emanate from a diverse array of terrorist actors, ranging from formal groups and foreign-based actors, to homegrown violent extremists. As the terrorist threat becomes more diffuse and harder to detect, cooperation with counterterrorism partners and the American public takes on even greater importance. Therefore, DHS continues to promote and encourage public participation in our efforts through the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative and campaigns such as the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign.
The Budget includes $3.8 billion for TSA screening and the TSA Pre✓™ program as TSA continues to transition to a more risk-based approach to aviation security, increasing aviation security while also improving the experience of the traveling public. Investments in DHS’s intelligence and targeting activities will increase operational efficiencies and enhance our ability to stop threats before they reach the United States. Funding is also included for cutting edge research and development to address evolving biological, radiological and nuclear threats. Among the important research investments is the final installment of $300 million in funding for construction of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility, a state-of-the-art bio-containment facility for the study of foreign animal and emerging zoonotic diseases that will replace the inadequate facility at Plum Island.
The Budget also includes more than $1 billion for preparedness grants, which place particular emphasis on building and sustaining capabilities that address high consequence events that pose the greatest risk to the security and resilience of the United States and can be utilized by state and local partners to address multiple threats and hazards.
Safeguarding and Securing Cyberspace - The FY 2015 Budget supports initiatives to address the growing cyber threat, illustrated by the real, pervasive, and ongoing series of attacks on stores, banks, email services, power substations, and other resources that the public relies on. DHS is working with its partners to strengthen the security and resilience of critical infrastructure through an updated and overarching national framework that acknowledges the increased role of cybersecurity in securing physical assets. DHS has operational responsibilities for securing unclassified Federal civilian government networks and working with owners and operators of the systems and resources we all rely on to secure their networks through cyber threat analysis, risk assessment, mitigation, and incident response capabilities. In addition, the Department combats cyber-crime by leveraging the skills and resources of the United States Secret Service (USSS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and working in cooperation with partner organizations to investigate cyber criminals.
The Budget includes $1.25 billion for cybersecurity activities including resources to detect malicious traffic targeting civilian Federal government networks and resources to support cyber and cyber-enabled investigations carried out by ICE and USSS related to areas such as cyber economic crime, identity theft, theft of export controlled data, and child exploitation, as well as for managing computer forensics programs.
Securing and Managing Our Borders - The Budget continues the Administration’s unwavering commitment to protect the Nation’s borders. Security of our borders and ports of entry, on air, land, and sea, are the Nation’s primary defenses against illegal entry of people, weapons, drugs and other contraband. Good border security is both a barrier to terrorist threats, drug traffickers, transnational criminal organizations, and other threats to national security and public safety, and a facilitator for the movement of lawful trade and commerce. As the efforts of smuggling organizations are now responsible for almost all of those who cross the border illegally, coordination across the federal government and between the federal government and state and local law enforcement is more important than ever. As a result of recent investments, there is more manpower, technology, and infrastructure on our borders than ever before.
FY 2015 Budget includes salaries, benefits, and operating costs for 21,370 Border Patrol agents and 25,775 CBP officers. The Budget also includes resources to complete the hiring of up to 2,000 new Customs and Border Protection officers which commenced in FY 2014, and an additional 2,000 officers funded by fees in FY 2015, resulting in faster processing and inspecting of passengers and cargo at U.S. ports of entry, as well as more seizures of illegal items, such as drugs, guns, and counterfeit goods. In addition, the Budget includes $362 million to maintain the necessary infrastructure and technology along the Nation’s borders to ensure that law enforcement personnel are able to accomplish their objective as rapidly as possible without impediments.
To secure the Nation’s maritime borders and 4.5 million nautical square miles of maritime territory, the Budget invests in recapitalization of U.S. Coast Guard assets including the eighth National Security Cutter, operations and maintenance funding for six new Fast Response Cutters (FRCs), which will provide critical maritime border security along the Southeast and Gulf Coasts, and $110 million to construct 2 additional FRCs which would bring the total number of FRCs procured under that recapitalization program to 32.
Enforcing and Administering Our Immigration Laws - The Budget supports the Administration’s unprecedented efforts tostreamline and facilitate the legal immigration process while enforcing U.S. immigration laws through the smart and effective use of resources. To facilitate legal immigration, DHS has streamlined and modernized immigration benefits processes, strengthened fraud protections, and extended humanitarian protections to asylees, refugees, and crime victims. To reduce demand for illegal employment, DHS has implemented worksite enforcement strategies while enhancing voluntary use of the E-Verify system. To make the best use of limited resources, DHS has targeted enforcement efforts on the removal of criminal aliens who pose a threat to national security or public safety, and those who have recently crossed the border or are repeat violators.
In this respect, the Budget includes funds for a more cost-effective Alternatives to Detention program, for low-risk individuals under various forms of intensive supervision or electronic monitoring rather than in detention. The Budget includes funds to maintain nationwide implementation of the Secure Communities program in order to identify and remove criminal aliens, including those incarcerated in Federal, state, and local prisons, ensuring that criminal aliens are not released back into the U. S. Resources are also focused on monitoring and compliance, promoting observance of worksite-related laws, Form I-9 inspections, and improvements to the E-Verify program.
Strengthening National Preparedness and Resilience - DHS must continue to be vigilant in preparing for and responding to a range of disasters, such as floods, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and, chemical leaks like the 2014 spill into the Elk River in West Virginia that threatened the water supply of hundreds of thousands of people. DHS coordinates the comprehensive Federal efforts to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or other large-scale emergency, while working with individuals; communities; the private and nonprofit sectors; faith-based organizations; and, Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial partners to ensure a swift and effective recovery. These efforts help to build a ready and resilient Nation by fostering a “whole community” approach to emergency management, and enable DHS to get resources to impacted areas as fast as possible.
The FY 2015 Budget includes more than $10 billion to support disaster resiliency, primarily through grants programs and the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). The Budget requests $7 billion in DRF funding, including $6.4 billion pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), to provide immediate and long-lasting assistance to individuals and communities stricken by emergencies and major disasters. In addition, the Budget provides $2.2 billion in total grants funding to prepare state and local governments to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from incidents of terrorism and other catastrophic events. Also included in this funding level are Firefighter and Emergency Management Performance Grants that support local first responders in achieving their missions.