Good morning Chairman Shelby, Senator Mikulski and Members of the Subcommittee:
It is my pleasure to appear before you with Director Mueller to present the President’s FY 2006 budget request of $19.1 billion for the Department of Justice.
This budget reflects the President’s charge for every public servant: not to simply spend more with the best of intentions, but to spend more wisely with an eye toward results.
It builds on our No. 1 priority by including over $500 million in new investments for preventing and combating terrorism.
I would like to present a few highlights from the President’s budget that we believe will lead to a stronger Justice Department, better homeland defenses, a more effective counter-terrorism effort, and even smarter crime-fighting initiatives.
First, the President’s budget includes funding to strengthen the FBI’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Programs, including additional resources to hire 499 Intelligence analysts and 288 new agents for the Counterterrorism Program.
Our request also continues efforts to partner with state and local governments to maximize resources targeted to homeland security. It includes $90.3 million in directed investment grants for counterterrorism and counterintelligence efforts.
Second, the President’s budget request will lead to even more effective drug-fighting strategies. It requests enhancements of $245.4 million for drug-enforcement efforts. For the first time in a decade, drug use has decreased among 8 th, 10 th, and 12 th graders. With extraordinary collaboration between federal law enforcement agencies, in the past two years we have hurt international trafficking organizations responsible for the U.S. drug supply.
We know from experience that law enforcement agencies must pool their resources and expertise to target trafficking networks effectively. The Department’s Drug Enforcement Strategy refocuses the OCDETF Program to conduct coordinated investigations of major drug supply and money laundering organizations, targeting the entire infrastructure of these enterprises. For this successful program, we are requesting additional resources of $172.5 million and 517 positions.
Also included are enhancements of $72.9 million for the Drug Enforcement Administration. This money will mean 122 new positions, including 76 new agents, for the DEA.
To assist state and local efforts in implementing drug enforcement programs and strategies, the Department’s FY06 request also includes $206.7 million in directed investments including a $19.3 million increase for residential substance abuse treatment; an additional $30 million for drug courts; a $19.4 million increase for southwest border drug prosecution; $20 million to continue methamphetamine lab cleanup; and $5 million to continue the prescription drug monitoring program.
Third, the President’s budget will continue to build on the President’s vision for policies that fight violent crime with hard time. Violent crime and firearms trafficking continue to be significant law enforcement problems throughout our Nation. We are committed to reducing violence and getting gun criminals off the streets through the Project Safe Neighborhood initiative. The Department is requesting a total of $379 million for PSN in FY 2006. PSN is a comprehensive strategy that brings together federal, state, and local agencies to reduce violent crime in our communities. Working with the Department, each community tailors the program to target local gun violence problems.
Fourth, the President’s budget builds on our successful efforts to protect women and children and to build a more just and safe society for all. Over the last year, we have worked aggressively with other law enforcement agencies to target and prosecute a large variety of offenders posing grave threats to children, including large international rings of organized and predatory child molesters and commercial producers and sellers of child sex abuse images. Through these efforts, more than 150 child victims were rescued. The FY06 budget increases funding by $10.4 million for our efforts to fight child pornography and obscenity.
Fifth, as a result of aggressive law enforcement policies targeting terrorism, violent crime, immigration violations, and drug crimes, as well as increases in the number of FBI, DEA, and ICE agents, the number of criminal suspects appearing in federal court continues to grow, as does the number of individuals ordered detained and ultimately incarcerated. The FY06 budget provides significant resources needed to improve courtroom security and the detention and incarceration of those accused or convicted of violent crimes. During FY 2004, the Nation’s federal prison population rose 4.3 percent—that’s an increase of more than 7,300 inmates. At the same time, the federal prisoner detention population rose 11.8 percent. Our FY06 budget requests $509.6 million in additional resources for the Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Office of the Detention Trustee to manage this growth.
Finally, the President’s budget includes many directed investments and efficiencies to ensure the Department continues down the path of wise and effective financial management so that we maximize every dollar that is provided to us.
Chairman Shelby, Senator Mikulski, Members of the Subcommittee, I am honored to testify here, and I look forward to working with you in the days and months ahead for a budget that will lead to a safer, more secure, and more just America.
Thank you. I would be pleased to answer any questions you might have.