Obama’s 2015 Budget Proposes Reduction in Homeland Security Funding

President Obama released his budget blueprint for 2015, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not come out ahead. Overall DHS spending is expected to be cut by nearly 3 percent, with spending concentrated instead on a number of other high-cost agencies.

The White House proposal shows that the DHS will receive $38.2 billion next year, compared to a budget of $39.3 in 2014.

New Challenges for DHS in 2015

The 2015 budget would still provide adequate funding for DHS’s basic mission requirements, although the reduction would create new challenges for the agency, which must deal with a vast number of swiftly evolving threats in everything from border management and terrorism to cybersecurity and natural disasters.

Homeland Security Secretary Johnson said that the budget cuts to the DHS would require “difficult choices to realign resources” as to ensure the needs of the Department are met.

Mike McCaul, the House Homeland Security Committee Chairman, criticized the cuts to DHS and the other law enforcement agencies, saying that the President is increasing funding for more bureaucracy instead of “spending precious funds on keeping Americans safe.”

Likewise, Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper said that the reduced funding for the DHS would “create challenges.” He also voiced concerns about the President’s proposal to trim the department’s grant programs.

How Other Federal Agencies will Fare Next Year

Just a few of the agencies that would benefit from next year’s budget include FEMA, which will receive an 8.2-percent jump in its budget, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, which will receive a 6.7-percent increase, and Customs and Border Protection, which will receive a 2.6-percent increase.

DHS isn’t the only agency that will see cuts to their budget next year. The Science and Technology Directorate will see a 12.2-percent cut to its budget, while both the Coast Guard and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement will both lose about 4 percent from their budgets.

Other details of the President’s 2015 budget include adding 4,000 CBP officers, providing $549 million to protecting computer networks from cybersecurity threats, and dedicating $10 million to help immigrants working toward citizenship.