The Bush Administration's fiscal year 2005 budget proposal calls for $47.4 billion in total funding for homeland security, an increase of approximately 13 percent over estimated FY 2004 spending. This budget represents a significant and appropriate growth in homeland security expenditures. Most important, the Administration's funding priorities dovetail well with the critical mission areas established in the national homeland security strategy.
- Spending on intelligence and early warning should focus on developing programs that promote intelligence sharing across the public and private sectors.
- The key principle guiding federal investments in border and transportation security should be ensuring the adoption of a layered security system.
- The guiding principle for enhancing domestic counterterrorism should be adopting programs that expand the capacity to conduct counter-terrorism operations without impinging on civil liberties or detracting from other law enforcement priorities.
- Protecting critical infrastructure and key assets requires programs that ensure responsible, efficient, and cost-effective cooperation between the public and private sectors.
- Research and development efforts should focus funding on developing new means to prevent, respond to, and mitigate the unprecedented dangers posed by catastrophic threats.
- Spending for emergency preparedness and response should be used to create a true national preparedness system.
- Shifting funding for the Terrorist Threat Integration Center and the Terrorist Screening Center to the Department of Homeland Security.
- Dramatically increasing appropriations for the Coast Guard's Deepwater modernization program.
- Expanding funding for pilot programs that employ select state and local law enforcement assets for immigration counterterrorism investigations.
- Limiting spending on port security grants.
- Reviewing the effectiveness of Project BioShield.
- Not increasing emergency preparedness and response grants to state and local governments.
Overall, the Bush Administration has proposed a responsible budget for enhancing homeland security. America faces a protracted war against global terrorism and requires a homeland security system that is equal to the task. The Administration has accomplished this goal by funding priorities that are in line with the national homeland security strategy. It remains for Congress to take a hard look at the budget, ensuring that new initiatives are properly funded to support the President's program.
James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow for National Security and Homeland Security in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at The Heritage Foundation.