House FY 2011 Bill Would Slash Cyber by $60 Million

The House Appropriations Committee intends to cut cybersecurity funding by $60 million for the last remaining seven months of the fiscal year.

The committee on Friday introduced H.R. 1, the largest discretionary funding reduction in congressional history, which would take money away from the Homeland Security program that coordinates nationwide efforts to safeguard critical infrastructure and communications.

Under the Republican-led committee's plan, the infrastructure protection and information security program would get $806 million rather than the $866 million that DHS requested.

Part of the rollback would rescind $6 million in unobligated balances from so-called next generation networks for providing national security and emergency preparedness communications, in the event someone or something cuts off connectivity.

Meanwhile, House Homeland Security Ranking Democrat Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., estimates that another Republican-backed measure, H.R. 408, aimed at scaling back federal spending in fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2006 levels, would slash the cyber and infrastructure protection program by $275 million.

On Friday, Thompson released a report that said the reduction would mean "ground would be lost on efforts to identify, address and mitigate cybersecurity and physical vulnerabilities to federal and private sector networks."