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04 February 2002

Bush Seeks $38,000 Million to Defend U.S. Against Terrorism

(Budget request includes funding against bioterror threat) (570)
By Merle D. Kellerhals, Jr.
Washington File Staff Writer
Washington -- President Bush is asking Congress for $38,000 million
for homeland security in fiscal year (FY) 2003, an $18,000 million
increase over the previous year, the White House says.
The U.S. government "has an absolute obligation to secure the homeland
from future terrorist attacks," the White House said in its budget
request to Congress February 4. "Homeland security is a challenge of
monumental scale and complexity. It will not be cheap, easy, or
Bush said the United States will begin immediately to accomplish four
urgent missions:
-- ensure state and local officials are prepared for terrorism,
-- enhance national defenses against biological attacks,
-- secure the nation's borders, and
-- share information and use information technology to secure the
United States.
From the Homeland Security budget, the Pentagon will receive $7,800
million to help pay for Defense Department anti-terrorism efforts.
Battling bioterrorism, however, is a major Bush administration
priority. Anthrax-tainted letters have killed five people, infected 18
and put 30,000 Americans on antibiotics since the September 11th
terrorist attacks that killed thousands in New York City, at the
Pentagon and in southeast Pennsylvania.
"The consequences of new, larger, more sophisticated attacks could be
much worse," according to the Bush budget request. "We must have no
illusions about the threat of germ terror."
The Bush 2003 budget requests $5,900 million to enhance defenses
against bioterrorism, which includes:
-- $1,200 million to increase capacity of state and local health
delivery systems to respond to bioterrorism attacks;
-- $2,400 million for an aggressive research and development program
to develop technologies to strengthen bioterrorism response
capabilities. This includes $420 million for the Pentagon to study
bioterrorists and ways to fight the use of biological agents as
"Almost $1,700 million would be provided to the National Institutes of
Health to perform fundamental research leading to the development of
vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostic tests, and reliable biological
agent collection," the budget request said.
-- $851 million would be used to improve federal capabilities to
respond to bioterrorist attacks, including ensuring enough antibiotics
to treat 20 million people. This includes funding for enhancing the
nation's smallpox vaccine supply, and enhanced funding to protect the
nation's food supply; and
-- $392 million to strengthen the U.S. ability to detect and react
quickly to a biological attack through improved communications.
The Bush budget for homeland security also includes $10,600 million to
improve border security, and another $4,800 million for enhanced
aviation security through the newly created Transportation Security
Bush also said he is seeking $3,500 million for economic assistance,
military equipment, and training for nations dealing directly with the
war on terrorism. He wants $121 million for anti-terrorism assistance,
training and equipment to help other countries battle global terror.
The administration also requested $52 million to establish a Center
for Anti-terrorism and Security Training (CAST) to provide a
consolidated tactical training facility.
And, Bush is seeking $4 million for the Treasury Department's Office
of Technical Assistance to provide training and other needed expertise
to foreign governments' finance ministries and offices to combat
terrorist financing, the budget request said.
(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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