Homeland Security Budget Request – Identity Crisis Alert: Secret Service is Shuttling Back Across Town to the Treasury Department

Rolling Analysis, FY21 Budget Homeland Security Budget Request – Identity Crisis Alert: Secret Service is Shuttling Back Across Town to the Treasury Department

Infrastructure, National Security,  | Analysis
Feb 10, 2020  | 3 min read | Print Article

The President’s Budget Request for FY 2021 includes $49.7 for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This is a $1.6 billion increase (3.4 percent) from the DHS 2020 estimated budget of $48.1 billion. [NOTE: FY 2020 budget figures for DHS have been adjusted to reflect the administration’s proposal to transfer the U.S. Secret Service from DHS to the Treasury Department. See “U.S. Secret Service” below.]

Border Security – Border security accounts for over one-third of the total DHS budget. The budget request proposes $18.2 billion for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP), roughly $1.2 billion (seven percent) more than in FY 2020. This includes $2 billion for construction of an additional 82 miles of President Trump’s Border Wall (check back later for more on border barrier spending). It provides $161 million to hire 750 new Border Patrol agents, and $21 million to hire 300 Border Patrol Processing Coordinators to process detainees at USBP facilities. It also includes $1.6 billion for U.S. Coast Guard vessel and aircraft modernization.

The FY 2021 request also includes $10.4 billion for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement service (ICE), up from $8.4 billion in FY 2020, an increase of roughly 24 percent. Of this increase, $544 million would support hiring 1,264 new staff (a six percent increase) and $710 million to increase the Alien Detention Program (ADP) to 60,000 beds. This would increase total funding for the ADP program to $3.1 billion.

U.S. Secret Service – The request also includes a proposal to shift the U.S. Secret Service from DHS back to the Treasury Department to better focus on the growing threat of online financial crimes. The Secret Service was originally shifted out of the Treasury Department when DHS was created in by Congress in 2002. According to the Treasury Department’s FY 2021 budget request, this change would allow the U.S. government to better address the growing links between financial and electronic crimes and the financing of terrorists and rogue state actors resulting from technological advances in the financial marketplace such as cryptocurrencies. The administration is requesting $2.4 billion for the Secret Service in FY 2021. The proposal would require congressional approval.

Whither 2021

Securing the Nation’s Transportation Network – The budget includes approximately $8 billion for the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) to safeguard our country’s aviation, mass transit, passenger and freight railway, pipeline, highway and port systems, about $60 million below the FY 2020 level.

Cybersecurity – The budget includes $1.1 billion for DHS’s cybersecurity efforts, funded mainly through DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). CISA’s total budget request is roughly $1.8 billion, 13 percent below FY 2020 levels. DHS is the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating federal efforts to safeguard government computer networks and the nation’s critical IT infrastructure.

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