President Bush’s last annual budget proposal calls for more FBI funding but less for state and local anticrime grants. The proposal sent to Congress for the budget year starting Oct. 1 seeks more than $7.1 billion for the FBI, compared with this year’s $6.5 billion appropriation. The proposal includes $361 million in new money for intelligence and counterterrorism programs. The White House highlighted support of FBI financial crime investigations and $40 million for the bureau to investigate sexual predators. The Drug Enforcement Administration would get $1.9 billion, a slight increase.
Once again, the administration would gut the Office of Justice Programs, which oversees state and local anticrime grants, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the Office on Violence Against Women, and the Office for Victims of Crime. The White House would give the agency only $813 million, compared to the $2.3 billion appropriated by Congress this year. Advocates are seeking more funds for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program in a supplemental appropriations bill for the current fiscal year after Congress cut funding in December. The 2009 Bush budget seeks $200 million for Byrne, down from a $350 million proposal last year and far less than the roughly $600 million Congress appropriated for the last fiscal year. The budget again proposed $200 million for a violent crime reduction partnership initiative, but Congress has not provided full funding for that in recent years.