In the wake of a “knicker” bomber attempt (the Nigerial with the explosive in his briefs), alot of attention is being given to the Department of Homeland Security. The curious may want to review how much money has been thrown at this department before we throw more money at it in an effort to fix a problem that – apparently – this years’ “extra” $3.5 billion didn’t fix.
Like other federal agencies, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was not immune to stimulus money when the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was passed in February.
To give you a reference point, the DHS agency was formed in 2003. It employs around 180,244 persons with a December 2008 payroll of $993,631,929. About 34,000 of those persons work for TSA.
In March, 3.5 billion taxpayer dollars was awarded to “stimulate the economy” for DHS programs above and beyond it’s normal operating expenses.
While the whole country tightened its’ belt, DHS chose to use “stimulus” funding for such things as building itself a new headquarters.
Stimulus money appropriated by DHS:
St. Elizabeths/DHS Headquarters Consolidation:
$650 million ($200 million to DHS; $450 million to GSA)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP):
$720 million for construction at land ports of entry ($300 million GSA; $420 million CBP)
$100 million for Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technology
$100 million for border technology on the southwest border
$60 million for tactical communications equipment and radios
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):
$20 million for ICE automation modernization and tactical communications
Transportation Security Administration:
$1 billion for explosives detection systems and checkpoint screening equipment
U.S. Coast Guard:
$142 million for Alteration of Bridges program
$98 million for construction, which may include the following:
Shore facilities and aids to navigation facilities:
Vessel repair/acquisition (includes High Endurance Cutter, National Security Cutter)
Federal Emergency Management Agency:
$100 million for Emergency Food and Shelter Program
$150 million for transit and rail security grants
$150 million for port security grants, no non-federal match required
$210 million for Assistance to Firefighter (AFG) grants for firehouse construction; maximum grant is $15.0M
$5 million expansion in authority for FEMA Community Disaster Loans
Requires the establishment of an arbitration panel to resolve Katrina/Rita public assistance disputes
Requires FEMA to accept additional applications for Katrina/Rita public assistance
All non-federal matching requirements for SAFER grants waived for FY 2009-2010
DHS Office of Inspector General:
$5 million to conduct related oversight and audits