Last week, the US office of the president requested for four agencies to receive more than $10 million each for cyber security related initiatives as part of a coronavirus emergency request. Should this request turn into reality, it would provide:

  • The Department of Energy with $21 million.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with $47 million.
  • The Interior Department with $17 million.
  • National Archives and Record Administration with $5.5 million.

The president only requested $30,000 in new funding to be directed towards the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the federal group responsible for cyber security oversight in the country. In addition to being short changed when it comes to new pandemic-related funding, CISA’s overall budget is due to be slashed in 2021.

“Despite bipartisan support for increasing CISA’s cybersecurity budget, the President’s budget cuts it by about over $150 million,” states Cedric Richmond (D-La.).

The lawmaker noted that he remained baffled by the notion that elections would remain secure given a “[budget] cut of that magnitude”.

As The Hill writes, “the cut in the budget was only made because 2021 was based off of the 2019 budget. This decision [according to CISA’s director, Christopher Krebs]…was because the agency did not receive funding for 2020 until this past December, and the White House finalized its proposal for 2021 at an earlier date before the funds were distributed.”

Could poor planning undermine American elections as much or more than foreign adversarial threats? Share on X

For more on this story, visit The Hill.