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House-passed DHS budget decreases cyber funds

The funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the House passed Wednesday would decrease the agency’s cybersecurity funding by roughly $39 million from the level enacted in 2014.

The move comes as the administration and some lawmakers are trying to boost DHS's cybersecurity role.

Several bills signed into law late last year codified the DHS cyber role for the first time and gave the department more authority over mitigating and responding to federal agency data breaches.

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Then this week, President Obama unveiled a proposal to put the DHS cybersecurity information center — known as the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) — at the center of a cyber threat information sharing program between the public and private sector.

Although many have pushed to give the agency more responsibilities, a government report released Monday criticized DHS for lacking a coherent strategy to defend federal facilities from cyberattacks.

The House-passed DHS budget allots $753 million for cybersecurity operations. While the amount is a decrease over 2014 enacted levels, it’s a slight increase over the administration's request.

The bill will face an uphill battle in the Senate. Democrats vocally protested a number of measures that would defund aspects of Obama’s immigration policy.