2014 Budget Request: Transportation Security Administration

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The Transportation Security Administration faces cuts across all of its programs in President Obama's fiscal 2014 budget request.

TSA's request totals $7.398 billion, an 8.63 percent decline from fiscal 2013, accounting for inflation. The surface transportation function and the Federal Air Marshal Service would be cut most sharply, by about 22 percent and 17 percent respectively.

Aviation security, which represents about two-thirds of TSA's overall budget, would be cut by nearly 8 percent.

Funding for screening technology would be reduced by $262 million since fiscal 2012. Of that, TSA would save $22 million on screening technology maintenance, thanks to the extension of maintenance warranties from 12 to 24 months, the Homeland Security Department says in its overview (.pdf) of the request.

Also within the screening technology budget, funding for explosives detection systems would decline $138.3 million from 2012. DHS says that's because the 2009 stimulus supported the deployment of those systems, and now TSA will focus on sustaining its capability.

The request would cut funding for air marshals because TSA has leveraged "other aviation security system enhancements" and focused air marshals on high-risk flights, DHS says.

It also proposes to transfer the staffing of airport exit lanes to airport authorities. Compared to 2012, TSA would save $88.1 million and reduce staff by 1,487 full-time equivalents by doing so. "Staffing exit lanes is not a screening function, but rather falls under the purview of access control, which is the responsibility of the airport operator," DHS says.

Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams would be cut by $12.1 million and 179 full-time equivalents, compared to 2012 figures. VIPR teams--which consist of transportation security officers, canine teams, behavior detection officers and other officers--can conduct operations in any mode of transportation, including on passenger rail and even on highways.

For more:
- go to the DHS budget request webpage

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