RealNews

Homeland security funds may shrink in 2004, key aide says

The top Senate aide for appropriations on Monday said federal funding for homeland security activities may be lower in fiscal 2004 than they are in the current year since Congress passed an emergency supplemental that boosted homeland security funding. Spending for homeland security has “spiked” in fiscal 2003, said Bill Hoagland, director of budget and appropriations in the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Overall federal spending in fiscal 2002 was less than $28 billion, with about $2 billion of that obtained through fees. In fiscal 2003, including the recently signed emergency supplemental funding, nearly $34 billion is being provided, a “staggering” 22 percent increase, he said. And the figure is even higher if you include items like the $3 billion given to the airline industry specifically for unreimbursed security costs, such as airports. That total is higher than the president’s fiscal 2004 request for $34 billion, he said. Full Story

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