In a fiscal 2013 budget the Obama administration says commits to border and aviation security, prepares for disaster relief, and boosts cybersecurity, the White House requested $39.5 billion for the Homeland Security Department next year, just a 0.5 percent decrease from current spending.
President Obama asks for $6.1 billion in disaster-relief funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $1 billion for retaining, rehiring, and hiring firefighters amid a budget that reflects the wide range of ways the U.S. is continuing to beef up homeland security entering the second decade after 9/11.
The request also includes $769 million to improve federal civilian computer networks. The administration continues to address criticism that the nation’s cybersecurity defenses remain disjointed. In January, several members of the Senate Intelligence Committee blasted the FBI and intelligence officials for not working together with Congress to devise new and clear lines of authority for the nation’s total cyberdefense efforts.
The White House also is asking for $650 million in additional funding for terrorism-related cyberdefenses, explosives detection, and federal responses for chemical and biological weapons attack; $658 million for a new Coast Guard cutter; and $117 million to increase explosives detection at America’s airports.
Obama’s budget would fund 21,186 customs and border control officers and 21,370 border patrol agents.