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Homeland Security

03 February 2003

Bush Requests Money to Sustain War on Terrorism in FY 2004

(But scope of proposed budget is broader than in 2003) (970)
By Andrzej Zwaniecki
Washington File Staff Writer
Washington -- President Bush has proposed a 4.1-percent increase in
government spending in the fiscal year beginning October 1 (FY 2004),
with most of the increase intended to support the continuation of the
war against terrorism and improvements in homeland security.
The $2,229,000 million budget proposal the White House sent Congress
February 3 reflects priorities that have been at the center of Bush
administration policies since the September 11 terrorist attacks, as
well as new global and domestic concerns.
"The budget for 2004 meets the challenges posed by three national
priorities: winning the war against terrorism, securing the homeland
and generating long-term economic growth," the president said in his
budget message.
Bush has asked for $380,000 million, or a 2.7-percent boost, in
military spending to fund the continued development of military
capabilities necessary to advance the global fight against terrorism
and counter the threat of weapons of mass destructions. He also
requested an additional $41,300 million for protection of domestic
interests that would constitute a 9.5-percent increase over an overall
2003 homeland security budget. The request includes $36,200 million
for the newly created Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a
60-percent increase in resources for the agencies and programs moving
into DHS.
The defense and homeland protection priorities emerge in proposed
spending for programs, including international programs, managed by
various departments and agencies.
The budget proposal includes:
-- $9,100 million for the deployment of a space-based long-range
ballistic missile defense system to protect the United States from
nuclear attack;
-- $2,300 million in targeted assistance to U.S. partners, including
Jordan, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Colombia, in the global
fight against terrorism;
-- $6,400 million, an 8.3-percent increase over the 2003 budget, for
activities related to maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile;
-- nearly $1,000 million, $200 million more than in the 2003 budget,
for nuclear nonproliferation programs, mostly in the former Soviet
Union, that prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the
hands of terrorist groups or states;
-- $500 million for vulnerability assessment of critical U.S.
infrastructure such as nuclear power plants, water facilities,
telecommunications networks and transportation systems, and
development of plans to address major weaknesses;
-- $373 million for border security and related trade initiatives such
as equipping border points of entry with radiation detection and x-ray
machines for inspecting cargo containers;
-- $164 million for building up Federal Bureau of Investigation and
other agencies' intelligence capabilities through hiring of more
analyst and surveillance personnel, developing sources to identify and
locate terrorists and their supporters and linking information from
federal, state and local law enforcement to outstanding terrorism
threats and investigations.
While proposed domestic and international expenditures for 2004
resemble proposed spending in the 2003 budget in their focus on the
war on terrorism and homeland protection, as whole they reflect a
broader view of domestic and world problems.
In his budget message Bush emphasized strengthening the U.S. economy
as one of his primary objectives. He has asked Congress to approve his
jobs and growth package designed to accelerate economic growth and
thus create new jobs through a $670,000 million 10-year tax cut and
work-transition benefit plan. This plan will "provide critical
momentum to our economic recovery," Bush said. And to restore
confidence in the corporate sector and financial markets, he has
requested $842 million in funding for the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) to boost the agency's capability to enforce recently
tightened corporate governance regimes and identify and investigate
corporate fraud.
In the global arena the president is seeking $1,300 million to fund,
within his Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) initiative, development
projects in poor countries that demonstrate a commitment to good
governance, economic freedoms and social investment. It is the first
step toward a projected $5,000 million in annual MCA funding by 2006.
Bush also has asked for $450 million for fighting the global HIV/AIDS
epidemic as the first installment of $15,000 million he committed to
spend over five years to combat the disease.
The 2004 budget indicates an increased administration interest in
developing new environmentally friendly energy sources. The president
is seeking over $1,500 million over five years to develop hydrogen
fuel-cell technology for cars and $12 million in 2004 to support an
international program aimed at developing nuclear fusion as a
commercially viable energy source.
The proposed economic stimulus plan, boost in defense and homeland
security spending and other proposals come at a cost. The president's
budget blueprint estimates that the federal government would operate
in 2004 at a $304,000 million deficit, only slightly lower than an
estimated $307,000 million record deficit in 2003. It expects economic
growth in 2003 to reach almost 2.8 percent and inflation not to exceed
2 percent.
The president has blamed "a recession and a war we did not choose" for
the return to the era of deficits, which are likely to stay at least
until 2008, according to budget estimates. However, he said that
relative to the overall budget and the size of the U.S. economy, the
budget gap would be small, less than 3 percent of gross domestic
product. Moreover, deficits are projected to decrease to $190,000
million in 2008.
The submission of the president's budget starts a months-long process
of budget negotiations between the White House and Congress and among
legislators. Congress considers the president's budget proposals in
drafting its own budget plan and in passing the 13 annual spending
bills for operating the government after October 1. The president can
sign or veto any of those bills.
(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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