Will the Debt Ceiling Deal Mean Less for Homeland Security?

A Department of Homeland Security police officer mans a barricade during a bomb threat near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., August 19, 2021. REUTERS/Gabrielle Crockett

What the new budget deal to raise the federal debt ceiling means for homeland security is only slowly coming into focus. Very few of the initial statements out of the White House or House Republican leadership about the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 mention what the new budget cap means for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or for homeland security more broadly. A close look, however, leaves reason for concern. DHS will be competing for fewer civilian budget dollars against the full range of the nation’s domestic needs and priorities. This puts the United States’ defenses at risk in areas where the threats are increasing, as in cybersecurity, border and immigration security, and domestic counterterrorism. 

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