Biden Asks Congress for $97Bln to Enhance Border Security, Protect Homeland
© REUTERS / TOM BRENNERU.S. President Joe Biden speaks about assistance the U.S. government is providing to Ukraine amid Russia's invasion of the neighboring country, in the Eisenhower Office Building's South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 16, 2022.
© REUTERS / TOM BRENNER
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Biden administration’s FY 2023 funding proposal includes a request for an additional $6.5 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), potentially lifting the agency budget to $97.3 billion, which will ensure the US has the tools to keep Americans safe, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Monday.
Earlier in the day, the White House rolled out US President Joe Biden's $5.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2023, which requests increases including substantial funding for US national security.
"This budget of $97.3 billion will ensure they [DHS personnel] have the tools necessary to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values," Mayorkas said in a statement. "The budget makes smart investments in technology to keep our borders secure and includes funding that will allow us to process asylum claims more efficiently as we build a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system."
According to the proposal released by the White House, the budget for DHS would include $1 billion for cybersecurity, $11.5 billion for the Coast Guard, $15.3 billion for US Customs and Border Protection, and $8.1 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Mayorkas said the funding will support critical work to protect the traveling public by ensuring the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workforce is paid on par with other federal personnel.
"The Budget will support our work to protect communities from today’s complex threats by doubling funding for the Non-Profit Security Grant Program and investing in DHS’s anti-human trafficking efforts," Mayorkas.
According to the statement, the DHS budget to protect houses of worship and other nonprofits will double to $360 million. He pushed for additional funding following the Colleyville synagogue hostage crisis in late January. Meanwhile, the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking will receive $18 million, according to the release.
25 March 2022, 15:27 GMT
Victim Assistance Program could see a $12 million bump to hire 59 victim assistance specialists who will handle a range of crimes including human trafficking, child exploitation, child sex crimes, white collar crimes, and human rights abuses, the release added.
The budget proposes a 4.6 percent increase in pay for military and civilian employees with with $1.5 billion allocated to the TSA for collective bargaining, pay equity, and merit systems protection for the workforce.
If approved, the budget will strengthen DHS’ disaster preparedness and climate resilience by providing more than $26 billion to bolster America’s responses to natural and other disasters; improve the national disaster infrastructure; put in place disaster-preparedness plans and approaches; and lessen the impact and effects of climate change by harnessing community partnerships, according to the release.