Tuesday, May 2, 2017

HR 244 – DHS Spending

This is the second in a short series of blog posts about HR 244, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017. The initial post in the series was:

This post deals with Division F of the bill, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2017. This Division is generally based upon the earlier appropriations bills from 114th Congress (HR 5634 and S 3001). As is typical with DHS appropriations bill, the programs of specific interest to readers of this blog do not draw much in the way of specific mention in the actual spending bill (or Division F in this instance). To gather much in the way of information we have to look at the Explanatory Statement for Division F, that effectively updates the Committee reports on the earlier bills.


Cybersecurity is now a major reporting category under Title III, Protection, Preparedness, Response, And Recovery, under the National Preparedness and Programs Directorate. Table 1 below lays out the cybersecurity operations and support funding outlined on pages 40-41. The CERT figures probably include ICS-CERT and are part of the NCCIC funding.

Budget Estimate
Final Bill
Cyber Readiness

NCCIC Operations
NCCIC Planning
Cyber Infrastructure

Cybersecurity Advisors
Enhanced Cybersecurity Services
Cybersecurity Education and Awareness
Federal Cybersecurity
Table 1: Cybersecurity Spending

The budget numbers are from the Trump budget. The breakout from the last Obama budget does not track well with these categories so it is not reasonable to try to compare the two sets of numbers. Even where there are similar category titles (CERT Operations for example) it is not necessarily the same set of budget numbers.

There are no specific control system security related comments in the Explanatory Statement. This is somewhat disappointing since the Senate Report on S3001 that noted (pg 98) increased spending (+$5 Million) on the ICS-CERT ‘Training and Assessment’ account. I suspect that there will still be an increase, but how much of that earlier amount remains to be seen.

Chemical Security

Again, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program is not large enough to be mentioned in HR 244. It does get a line item in the Explanatory Statement and the numbers do mesh from the previous bills; see Table 2.

Obama Budget
Trump Budget
Infrastructure Security Compliance
Table 2: Chemical Security

There is no explanation why the negotiators reduced the CFATS program spending to levels below the $72 Million found in both of the earlier House and Senate Reports. Congress has had problems recently with ISCD being able to fill the authorized Chemical Security Inspector slots, but that may not explain this decrease; it may simply be cutting minor programs to provide money’s for increasing other programs.

Surface Transportation

Surface transportation security falls under two different agencies in DHS. The Coast Guard deals with the security of water transportation and its related land based facilities under the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA). There is no mention of that program in either HR 244 or the Explanatory Statement. On the government side this is a very inexpensive program (relatively speaking).

The TSA is responsible for all of the other very limited DHS surface transportation security programs. For purposes of this blog, this includes pipeline, rail and truck transportation security. There is just a single line item to cover all of the TSA surface transportation security spending:

Obama Budget
Trump Budget
Surface Transportation Security
Table 3: Surface Transportation Security

It really looks like everyone is just marking time on TSA surface transportation operations. Kind of scary looking at the history of attacks on surface transportation across the world.

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