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FYI Number 145: October 6, 2005

Congress Readies FY 2006 Homeland Security Funding Bill

The House and Senate will soon cast their final up-or-down votes
on the FY 2006 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations
Act. H.R. 2360 establishes a new Domestic Nuclear Detection
Office with an overall budget of $318 million, of which $125.0
million is for "testing, development, and deployment of
radiation portal monitors at the Nation's ports-of-entry." The
FY 2006 budget for "Research, Development, Acquisition, and
Operations" under the Science and Technology Directorate, which
includes this new activity, increases by 35.7% or $374.1 million,
to $1,421.0 million. The FY 2005 Directorate budget was $1,046.9
million.

There is extensive conference report language regarding other
science and technology programs which can be accessed at
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app06.html under Homeland
Security
; see H. Rept. 109-241. The following are sections from
the conference report pertaining to programs of particular
interest to the physical sciences community:

RADIOLOGICAL AND NUCLEAR COUNTERMEASURES:

"The conferees agree to provide $19,086,000 for Radiological and
Nuclear Countermeasures as proposed by the House instead of
$226,000,000 as proposed by the Senate for Incident Management
and Recovery, and Attribution and Forensics on Contaminated
Evidence. Funding for all other Radiological and Nuclear
portfolio activities is transferred to the Domestic Nuclear
Detection Office."

DOMESTIC NUCLEAR DETECTION OFFICE:

"The conferees agree to provide $318,014,000 for the Domestic
Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) instead of $127,314,000 as
proposed by both the House and the Senate. The conferees direct
not less than $81,000,000 of the amount provided is for
evolutionary and transformational radiological and nuclear
research and development activities. DNDO should leverage its
resources with existing institutions, such as national labs and
the research and development community, where practicable. In
addition, $4,000,000 is included for deployment of detection
systems at interstate weigh stations. The amount provided also
includes $125,000,000, as proposed by the Senate within the S&T
'Rad/Nuc' research program and by the House within the Customs
and Border Protection 'Salaries and Expenses'' account, for the
testing, development, and deployment of radiation portal monitors
at the Nation's ports-of-entry. Language is included in the bill
making this amount available until expended solely for this
purpose.

"Excluding funding for radiation portal monitors, $144,760,500
may not be obligated until the Committees on Appropriations
receive and approve an expenditure plan prepared by the Secretary and reviewed by the Government Accountability Office. None of
these funds shall be obligated for establishing new programs,
prototyping, or implementing a global systems architecture until
the Committees on Appropriations receive and approve the
expenditure plan. This plan shall include funding by program,
project, and activity for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010
and an organizational staffing plan, including contractors,
full-time employee equivalents, and intra and inter agency
detailees. In addition, the conferees direct the expenditure plan
include a detailed description of the global nuclear detection
systems architecture and milestones and costs, by fiscal year,
for implementing the architecture. The plan should also include
identification of the roles, missions, and responsibilities of
DNDO as compared to the statutory responsibilities of all Federal
agencies involved in radiological and nuclear detection and how
the DNDO changes any current roles, responsibilities, and
functions of each involved Federal partner in both the domestic
and international arenas."

NEW TECHNOLOGIES:

"The conferees believe new technologies may significantly help
the Department as it seeks to secure our homeland. The conferees
encourage the Department to develop such technologies as
lightweight miniature cooling systems for protective gear;
proteomic pathogen reference libraries; aquatic bioassessment;
airborne rapid response mapping; mobile and non-intrusive cargo
scanning; investments that focus on nuclear threats and
biological attacks, such as aerosolized pathogens and the spread
of zoonotic diseases as well as the spread of infectious disease
such as SARS and avian flu; real-time detection, identification
and assessment of chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological,
explosive and concealed threats; mitigating hazardous material
shipping violations; and leveraging intelligent transportation
systems."

NANOTECHNOLOGY:

"The conferees believe nanotechnology is a promising technology
that can contribute significantly in the defense against
terrorism. The conferees encourage S&T to pursue research in
nanotechnologies that may aid in the detection of biological,
chemical, radiological, and explosive agents; and to consider
ways to use these technologies for protecting transit systems."

UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS/HOMELAND SECURITY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMS:

The conference report provides $63.0 million for these programs.
Last year's budget was $70.0 million.

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
301-209-3095

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