House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a fiscal year appropriations bill that provides $30.8 billion in discretionary spending for the Dept. of Homeland Security, a 4% increase over 2005. But that calculation excludes $6.5 billion in emergency appropriations and $2.5 billion in advance spending for anti-bioterrorism measures provided in 2005.
The conference agreement, reached on Sept. 29, allots $175 million for in port security grants, up $25 million from 2005, and $150 million for rail and transit security grants, the same amount as this year.
The American Association of Port Authorities had sought $400 million for port security grants in the 2006 bill. In the wake of the July 7 terrorist subway and bus bombings in London, the American Public Transportation Association lobbied for $2 billion for transit security in the measure.
House and Senate floor consideration on the homeland security legislation is expected during the week of Oct. 3. If approved and enacted, it would be only the third of 12 appropriations measures for 2006 to be wrapped up.
With fiscal 2006 set to begin Oct. 1, most federal agencies will be operating under a continuing resolution. That "CR" funds agency programs at their 2005 spending level, or the amount contained in House-passed or the Senate-approved appropriations bills for 2006, whichever has the lowest funding.
The CR was being debated on the House floor on Sept. 29.