WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Chair of the Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the Homeland Security Committee, today raised concerns that the President’s newly released budget request for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is essentially flat.
“As the Chair of the Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight Subcommittee, I look forward to reviewing the details of the full [budget] request. However, based on an initial review of today’s document and the Secretary’s testimony, I am concerned that the budget request for DHS is essentially flat, and as a result may not provide what is needed to address the myriad threats facing the United States today,” wrote Senator Hassan in a letter to the Acting Director of the Office Of Management Budget.
You can read Senator Hassan’s full letter here or below:
Dear Acting Director Young:
The Administration released the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 2022) Budget Request today, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) request. Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also testified before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees regarding the DHS budget request earlier this week. As the Chair of the Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight Subcommittee, I look forward to reviewing the details of the full request. However, based on an initial review of today’s document and the Secretary’s testimony, I am concerned that the budget request for DHS is essentially flat, and as a result may not provide what is needed to address the myriad threats facing the United States today.
In particular, I am concerned that a flat DHS budget will not provide enough resources to address growing cybersecurity, border security and vetting, and violent extremism threats facing the United States. Even as federal agencies work to recover and bolster their defenses following the recent SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange cyber attacks, news reports today indicate that federal agency systems have once again been targeted by foreign adversaries trying to implant software code that may give the hackers broad access to agency and organization computer systems. State and local government organizations also continue to be targeted by hackers, disrupting their ability to provide critical services to U.S. citizens, and I believe we must do more to help state and local agencies.
DHS is also grappling with a rise in violent extremism - from homegrown violent extremism, domestic terrorism threats, and threats to houses of worship. The Department needs resources to address these emerging threats while also continuing to counter international terrorist threats, particularly as United States forces in the Middle East return home. Finally, DHS has been facing a surge of immigrants at the southern border, and the Department must have the resources to properly vet individuals coming to the United States and enforce our border and immigration laws.
For these reasons, I would respectfully urge OMB to work with Congress to ensure that DHS receives all of the resources it needs to address these emerging threats.