Border protection gets largest chunk of $59B budget request

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The Department of Homeland Security’s total budget request for fiscal 2013 is just over $59 billion, a little less than the current year but almost $5 billion more than the 2011 level, according to government figures.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano said Monday that more than $850 million had been moved “to front-line operations” from administrative functions such as information technology, travel and overtime.

Among other efficiencies, Homeland Security is consolidating its various state and local government grant programs, which will dole out $2.9 billion next year if the budget is approved.

In budget documents, the department also says it has saved more than $60 million through energy efficiency at its facilities and in vehicle management, including the use of alternative fuels and hybrid cars.

The largest chunk of the department’s proposed budget - 21 percent or nearly $12 billion - goes to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that guards the nation’s entry ports and frontiers.

The agency is also one of the few that gets more money than it did this year with an increase of $240 million.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard get the next largest budgets at about $10 billion each. FEMA also will get the $2.9 billion in grants to distribute for state and local government disaster readiness programs, a $525 million increase over the current budget.

The department’s Science and Technology Division also gets a bump with an extra $163 million, bringing its funding to more than $830 million and restoring a big budget cut for this year.

The Transportation Security Administration, the fourth most-expensive agency at Homeland Security, gets 13 percent of the department’s planned spending, more than $7.5 billion.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which enforces immigration law inside the country, gets 10 percent of the budget, a little under $6 billion. It is a small reduction of about $200 million for each agency.

The budget also includes $769 million to improve the cybersecurity of the government’s nonmilitary computer networks and $117 million for scanners and other security technology at airports.

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