The Senate Appropriations Committee released nine appropriations bills for fiscal year (FY) 2022 on October 18 including a Homeland Security funding bill that would give the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) a 30 percent budget increase over FY2021 levels, to $2.638 billion.

That funding total is $218 million more than appropriated in the House of Representatives FY2022 Homeland Security appropriations bill, $504 million more than requested in President Biden’s budget, and $613 million more than appropriated for FY2021.

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“It’s time for the Department of Homeland Security to make investments in what protects us, not what divides us,” Sen. Chris Murphy, chair of Subcommittee on Homeland Security, said in the bill summary.

“That’s why this bill makes historic investments in climate resiliency and cybersecurity, and it puts an emphasis on border policies that are driven by data, not politics. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in this bill and look forward to getting it across the finish line,” the senator said.

The largest chunk of the funding is appropriated for cybersecurity activities, with $1.557 billion tagged to protect Federal networks and share information with private and non-Federal partners. That funding is broken up to include $299 million for emergency communications and $207 million appropriated for infrastructure security. The infrastructure security funding includes $39.6 million set aside for bombing prevention.

The bill also includes $20 million, included in the overall cybersecurity funding,  for a Cyber Incident Response and Recovery Fund. Creation of the fund was originally proposed by Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio. Similar language was included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – as well as the United States Innovation and Competition Act – that is currently awaiting a House vote after passing the Senate.

“These programs help to detect and mitigate the effects of cyber-attacks on Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments and the private sector; manage risks to critical infrastructure; and ensure emergency communications for the protection of lives and property,” the bill summary says.

The Senate also included $530 million for procurement, construction, and improvements, and another $9.9 million for research and development at the agency.

The overall proposed funding increase comes close to what some tech trade groups have been pushing for. Industry groups advocated for an additional $750 million for CISA in FY2022, which should make the $613 million proposed increase a welcome sight.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.