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[] aviationnow, 26.3.03: Bush Requests $4.25B for HomeSec,
Bush Requests $4.25B Additional Funding For Homeland Security Programs In 
By Harvey Simon 
The Bush administration has proposed spending an additional $4.25 billion 
on homeland security for the rest of fiscal 2003, part of a $74.7 billion 
supplemental request sent to Congress March 25. Democrats in Congress are 
expected to push for more than the administration request.
The homeland security money is divided evenly between security programs at 
the federal level and funding for state and local efforts to offset the 
costs of protecting the nation during the war with Iraq.
The administration does not plan to offer any more supplemental budget 
requests for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, according 
to a senior administration official.
President Bush is asking Congress to approve the measure before Congress 
leaves for spring recess April 11.

On Capitol Hill, and at the local level, there were calls for even more 
spending. "We're hoping it will be increased," said Ed Rosado, legislative 
director for the National Association of Counties, in Washington, D.C. The 
association wants Congress to add $8 billion to $10 billion for homeland 
security, he said.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors also is looking to Congress for more money. 
The proposal "falls short of what is needed to support America's domestic 
troops -- our police, fire and emergency medical personnel," conference 
president and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said in a statement.
But Bush said March 25: "The supplemental should not be viewed as an 
opportunity to add spending that is unrelated, unwise and unnecessary."
Senate Democrats plan to seek another $4 billion to $6 billion for 
homeland security, according to Jay Carson, spokesman for Senate Minority 
Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).
Daschle "feels the funding included in the supplemental is insufficient to 
meet the costs states and cities are facing to make the homeland more 
secure," Carson said.

Bush's request includes:
* $1.5 billion for grants to states and communities for first responders 
to buy equipment, conduct training, hold exercises and plan. States must 
pass on 80 percent of the money to local governments.
* $450 million to states to improve critical infrastructure protection, 
with one-third of the money going to local governments. The money can be 
used to cover overtime costs -- something police and fire chiefs, as well 
as mayors and governors, have urged for their first responder work forces.

The administration is "making up for its previous error" of under-funding 
first responders, according to Kate Käufer, an analyst with the Center for 
Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington, D.C. The omnibus 
spending bill that Congress approved Feb. 13 contained $3.5 billion for 
first responders. Another $3.5 billion is set aside for them in the fiscal 
2004 request.

The supplemental also requests $1.5 billion for the DHS to boost border 
and port security, step up inspections of cargo and pay for the Coast 
Guard to protect military shipments leaving for the Middle East.
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