Final FY24 Homeland Funding Released, A Week After FY25 Request

The second fiscal 2024 “minibus” funding package, released early yesterday morning, contains the full-year appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2024. Last week, President Biden announced his fiscal 2025 budget request, and since it came out before the 2024 enacted budget, all of the comparison tables in the budget are inaccurate.

Since DHS has two segments that are part of the transportation budget function (Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard), ETW follows those budgets (though not as closely as the USDOT budget). Herewith: the only place (so far) where you can find a comparison of the FY 2025 request with the FY 2024 enacted appropriation.

TSA. The story here is simple: giving the TSA screener workforce a pay raise in the ballpark of General Schedule employees of similar seniority requires an increase of about $640 million over FY 2024 final in the “Personnel, Compensation, and Benefits” activity. The overall gross budget request is $750 million over FY 2024 final, meaning that the other $110 million in plus-ups are scattered throughout the TSA budget.

Going from gross to net, the Administration does not perpetuate its previous request to increase the Aviation Passenger Security Fee, which would have raised an extra $1.56 billion in 2024. But the final 2024 House bill transfers $800 million of the portion of the TSA fee that is supposed to go towards deficit reduction this year and instead applies it to the TSA budget as an offset, for one year only. (The bill also extends budget sequestration into the year 2032 at a reduced rate in order to make this change deficit-neutral over a decade by sequestering a little over $800 million, government-wide.)

The 2025 budget request, perhaps coincidentally, to make that transfer permanent, and make it for the entire amount of the deficit reduction part of the fee ($1.6 billion in 2025), with no offset. (See page 176 of the FY25 budget master table for more.)

Coast Guard. The Coast Guard budget continues to be a bit boring, honestly. There is a bipartisan consensus around paying Guardsmen what they are entitled to, and on the scope of their missions. The interesting thing in each year’s bills is House vs Senate and Congress vs Administration fights over competing procurement priorities, with continuing differences over Fast Response Cutters, Polar Security Cutters, and what kind of helicopters to refit when.

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