Intel budget slips in 2015

Intel budget slips in 2015
© Lauren Schneiderman

Federal funding for the nation’s intelligence program slipped by $200 million last year, continuing a gradual decline in budgets for the nation’s spy agencies.

The so-called “black budget” for fiscal 2015 was $50.3 billion, the government said on Friday, down from $50.5 billion in fiscal 2014.

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With the exception of 2013, when across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration shrank the intelligence budget to $49 billion, the pot of money for federal intelligence agencies has been steadily decreasing in recent years.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence does not break down how the money is allocated among the multiple federal spy agencies, citing their classified operations. On Friday, the spy office said that “such disclosures could harm national security.”

In 2013, classified documents released by Edward Snowden showed that the CIA takes home the largest chunk of funding pot, followed by the National Security Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office, which builds and runs spy satellites.

The government has been required to release the top-line funding number since 2007.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have launched efforts to force the administration to break down how the “black budget” is allocated between the 16 different federal spy agencies, but that bipartisan effort has so far yet to make any progress.