New Homeland Security budget strips fund from biothreat research

The House of Representatives recently approved a 2012 Homeland Security budget Thursday that is $3 billion less than President Obama requested.

While most frontline federal security employees would keep their jobs, spending on border protection and immigration control would be increased and the Secret Service would have increased funding to protect 2012 presidential candidates. The Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration and research into biological and cybersecurity threats, however, would receive cuts, Security Info Watch reports.

In addition, the state and city agency grant programs, considered the front line in counterterrorism and disaster response, would receive the deepest cuts.

President Obama had requested a combined $3 billion for seven programs, including $300 million for port and transit security, $920 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative and over $1 billion for state security grants.

"It remains a dangerous world. We must remain vigilant," Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-Harding said, Security Info Watch reports. "However, we must also remember that one of the greatest threats to our national security is our growing $14.3 trillion national debt."

Peter King, the Homeland Security committee chairman, argued that the cuts went too far.

"We know also from bin Laden's own records that he's aiming at maritime, he's aiming at mass transit and he's aiming at our major cities. Yet we are cutting each of those programs," King, R-N.Y. said, according to Security Info Watch. "I cannot see why, at a time when the threat level is as high as it's been since Sept. 11, that we are reducing homeland security grants."