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Justice Dept. budget slightly down

Feb. 13, 2012 at 4:52 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Justice Department's $27.1 billion budget for fiscal year 2013 represents a 0.4 percent decrease from the current budget, officials said Monday.

President Obama's $27.1 billion budget request includes program increases for administration priorities, including $55 million to investigate and prosecute financial and mortgage crimes, the department said in a release.

Another 5 million in new money would be allocated to prevent human trafficking, hate crimes and police misconduct, while $141.2 million would go to prisons and detention to ensure prisoners and detainees are confined in secure facilities.

The budget also provides $4 billion to maintain the department's national security mission and nearly $2 billion in funding to maintain security along the Southwest U.S.-Mexico border, officials said.

"The president's budget request will provide the department with the resources necessary to continue protecting the American people from terrorism and other urgent threats to our national security," Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said in a release. "It will enable us to safeguard citizens from violent crime and threats to the most vulnerable among us. And it will strengthen critical efforts to combat financial and mortgage fraud, while recognizing the valuable role of state, local and tribal law enforcement partners in achieving national goals."

The budget includes a $31.8 million increase to uphold traditional law enforcement, immigration and litigation-related missions, and $2 billion to maintain assistance to state, local and tribal law enforcement, the department said.

The budget also reflects more than $1 billion in savings through efforts such as improved administrative efficiencies, and savings in grant programs.

For health care fraud enforcement, the department uses funding provided by the Health and Human Service Department, which requested $71.7 million to address health care fraud.

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