The House Appropriations Committee has approved and sent to the floor legislation containing a 20.2% increase for the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Under this bill, H.R. 2360, funding for the Directorate would increase by $211.7 million, or 20.2%, from this year's budget of $1,046.9 million to $1,258.6 million. The Bush Administration requested $1,287.5 million.
The report accompanying this bill contains lengthy recommendations that were written by the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, chaired by Harold Rogers (R-KY). The Ranking Member of the subcommittee is Martin Sabo (D-MN). The full text of House Report 109-079 can be read at http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app06.html Within this report, see "Science and Technology" toward the end of the table of contents. Selections from the report follow:
"The mission of the Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate is to develop and deploy technologies and capabilities to secure our homeland. This directorate conducts, stimulates, and enables research, development, test, evaluation, and the timely transition of homeland security capabilities to federal, state, and local operational end-users. This activity includes investments in both evolutionary and revolutionary capabilities with high payoff potential; early deployment of off-the-shelf, proven technologies to provide for initial defense capability; near-term utilization of emerging technologies to counter current terrorist threats; and development of new capabilities to thwart future and emerging threats."
"The Committee recommends $1,258,597,000, for Research, Development, Acquisition and Operations, $28,450,000 below the President's request and $211,733,000 above the amounts provided in fiscal year 2005. Decreases in the President's budget include $100,000,000 from the newly created Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, $12,000,000 from Chemical Countermeasures, and $13,650,000 from Conventional Missions. Increases include $40,000,000 for Explosives Countermeasures for air cargo activities, $21,000,000 for Interoperable Communications, $15,000,000 for Critical Infrastructure Protection research, and $4,400,000 for Safety Act implementation. The Committee also provides $10,000,000 for implementation of Section 313 of the Homeland Security Act and technology development and transfer."
The committee report lists 18 budget activities such as Biological Countermeasures, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office and University Programs. See the report for the committee's recommended funding level and descriptive text. Among the programs described are:
UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS/FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMS:
"The Committee notes that the University and Fellowship Programs will have at least $45,000,000 in unobligated resources at the end of fiscal year 2005. The Committee recommends $63,600,000 in new budgetary authority, the same as the budget request, for a total of $108,600,000 available for these programs in fiscal year 2006. The Committee urges S&T to continue to expand its Centers of Excellence. Through the Homeland Security Centers of Excellence (HS-Centers) Science and Technology is encouraging universities to become centers of multi-disciplinary research. The future of homeland security science is being advanced through both its Centers of Excellence and by the development of the next generation of scientists through its Scholars and Fellows Program. There continues to be intense interest from universities with proposals to perform homeland security activities. This additional funding will allow Science and Technology to evaluate and support additional university proposals in fiscal year 2006."
"The Committee believes that nanotechnology is a promising technology that could contribute significantly in the defense against terrorism. The Committee encourages S&T to pursue research in nanotechnologies that may aid in the detection of biological, chemical, radiological, and explosive agents." [No funding level was recommended.]