On Tuesday, May 16, FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared before the United States Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, at a hearing to review the FY2019 budget request for the FBI.
Statement Before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
May 16, 2018
FBI Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2019
Good afternoon Chairman Moran, Ranking Member Shaheen, and members of the subcommittee.
Thank you for allowing me to appear before you today. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) especially thanks this committee for its support of the men and women of the FBI in the fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriation. As the committee is aware, FBI personnel are the lifeforce of the organization-they work tirelessly to combat some of the most complex and serious national security threats and crime problems challenging the nation's intelligence and law enforcement communities. The funding you provided is imperative in allowing the FBI to retain these precious assets-our personnel-as well as address these considerable threats.
Today, I appear before you on behalf of these men and women who tackle these threats and challenges every day. I am extremely proud of their service and commitment to the FBI's mission and to ensuring the safety and security of communities throughout our nation. On their behalf, I would like to express my appreciation for the support you have given them in the past, ask for your continued support in the future, and pledge to be the best possible stewards of the resources you provide.
I would like to begin by providing a brief overview of the FBI's FY 2019 budget request, and then follow with a short discussion of key threats and challenges that we face, both as a nation and as an organization.
FY 2019 Budget Request Overview
The FY 2019 budget request proposes a total of $8.92 billion in direct budget authority to carry out the FBI's national security, criminal law enforcement, and criminal justice services missions. The request includes a total of $8.87 billion for salaries and expenses, which will support 34,694 positions (12,927 special agents, 3,055 intelligence analysts, and 18,712 professional staff), and $51.9 million for construction.
As a result of this budget being formulated before the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, it was built utilizing the prior year enacted level as a starting point. Accordingly, this request sustains prior year personnel and operational funding, but provides no discrete program enhancements. The request also includes a cancellation of $148 million from Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) automation fund available surcharge balances.
When compared against the FY 2018 Omnibus enacted level, the FY 2019 request level represents a total decrease of $476 million, including a $318 million reduction in the FBI's construction account funding for one-time projects, and a $158 million reduction to the salaries and expenses account.
Key Threats and Challenges
This committee has provided critical resources for the FBI to become what it is today-a threat-focused, intelligence-driven organization. Our nation continues to face a multitude of serious and evolving threats ranging from homegrown violent extremists to hostile foreign intelligence services and operatives; from sophisticated cyber-based attacks to Internet-facilitated sexual exploitation of children; from violent gangs and criminal organizations to public corruption and corporate fraud. Keeping pace with these threats is a significant challenge for the FBI. As an organization, we must be able to stay current with constantly changing and new technologies that make our jobs both easier and harder. Our adversaries-terrorists, foreign intelligence services, and criminals-take advantage of modern technology, including the Internet and social media, to facilitate illegal activities, recruit followers, encourage terrorist attacks and other illicit actions, and to disperse information on building improvised explosive devices and other means to attack the U.S. The breadth of these threats and challenges are as complex as any time in our history. And the consequences of not responding to and countering threats and challenges have never been greater.