DHS budget request forecasts big hiring goals for CBP, TSA

The budget request shows CBP wants more personnel on the border, while TSA is seeking more officers to staff airports amid a resurgence of air travel.

The Department of Homeland Security’s budget request for 2025 reveals some major hiring goals at select components, even as DHS faces uncertainty around its budget this year.

The Biden administration’s planned budget for DHS in fiscal 2025 is $107.9 billion, including $62.2 billion in discretionary funding, according to a budget overview prepared by DHS. That includes increased funding for hundreds of more staff at Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration.

DHS’s budget overview also reiterates the Biden administration’s October 2023 supplemental request for increased border funding, including $405 million to hire 1,300 border patrol agents and $239 million to hire 1,000 CBP officers. The Biden administration is also seeking $755 million this year to hire 1,600 asylum officers.

Congress has yet to pass a fiscal 2024 appropriations package for DHS.

“The President’s budget continues to invest in the security of our borders, even as we continue to call on Congress to pass the February bipartisan border security legislation to provide urgently needed resources and tools to our frontline personnel,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

Next year, CBP’s $19.7 billion budget request includes $117 million to further increase border enforcement staffing, including an extra 250 Border Patrol agents, 135 Border Patrol Processing Coordinators, 150 CBP officers, and 121 mission support positions, including intelligence analysts.

Separately, CBP is also seeking $93 million to support the drawdown of Defense Department personnel currently deployed to the border by hiring an additional 100 Border Patrol agents, 175 processing coordinators, 244 Border Patrol Mission Support Staff; and 46 Office of Field Operations Mission and Operational Support Staff.

TSA hiring goals in budget request

With pandemic travel restrictions lifted, TSA is also responding to historic increases in passenger volume by requesting more funding for hiring transportation security officers and other personnel. The agency projects passenger volume will increase by 9.2% over the next two years.

TSA’s $11.8 billion fiscal 2025 budget request includes funding to increase staffing levels by 2,596 positions, according to the agency’s Congressional budget justification. That includes 2,367 more TSO’s, 180 management staff, and 49 additional “Secure Flight” and intelligence watchlist positions needed to vet the additional passengers.

Last year, TSA screened over 858 million passengers, 484 million checked bags, and 1.9 billion carry-on items. TSA also screened a record of more than 2.9 million passengers the Sunday after Thanksgiving, according to DHS’s budget overview.

In response to the demand, TSA hired more than 9,000 new TSO’s and security support officers in fiscal 2023.

The agency projects passenger volume in fiscal 2025 to follow the historical average growth rate of 4.5% seen between 2014 and 2019.

While TSA’s fiscal 2025 budget doesn’t name a specific hiring goal, the $134 million it requested for “personnel recruiting and hiring,” which doesn’t include pay for personnel, supports TSA’s efforts to process “600,000 personnel transactions, over 170,000 candidate applications, and hire approximately 15,000 new employees,” according to budget documents.

TSA may not need to hire as many new officers if more TSO’s are convinced to stick around by the historic pay increase they received last year. The agency is seeking $1.5 billion in fiscal 2025 to maintain the new pay scale, which brings TSO pay in line with other federal employees.

The Biden administration, in budget documents, said the pay raise has already led to an 11% reduction in attrition at TSA.

Furthermore, TSA and the American Federation of Government Employees recently agreed to a milestone collective bargaining contract. The union ratified the contract earlier this week.

Copyright © 2024 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Related Stories

    defense budget

    Pentagon’s 2025 budget boosts personnel budget, cuts end strength

    Read more
    CISA, cybersecurity, budget

    Biden budget request includes $13B for cybersecurity, continuing upward trend

    Read more

    Biden proposes 2% federal pay raise in 2025 budget request

    Read more