But the budget blueprint, released Thursday morning, doesn’t include many cyber-specific numbers, and lacks a top-line request for cyber spending across the entire government that previous White House budgets have included.
Throughout the campaign, Trump promised to boost the military’s offensive cyber capabilities and redouble efforts to protect government networks. The White House’s initial fiscal 2018 budget request, broadly speaking, reflects this approach.
The budget, said an introductory note, “will set goals in areas that are critical to improving the federal government’s effectiveness, efficiency, cybersecurity and accountability.”
According to a White House budget appropriations request, the Pentagon is seeking $7.2 billion “to address urgent readiness shortfalls,” a fund that “will also improve cyber and intelligence capabilities.”
The military also wants $2.1 billion “to accelerate” certain research efforts, including “cyber operations technology.”
“There’s no question this is a hard power budget. It is not a soft-power budget,” said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on a conference call with reporters Wednesday. "And that was done intentionally."
The desired cyber spending hike continues an escalating trend for DoD.
In fiscal 2015, the department requested $5.1 billion to support defensive and offensive cyberspace capabilities capabilities and to develop the cyber mission forces that make up U.S. Cyber Command. That number rose to $5.5 billion in fiscal 2016, before jumping to $6.7 billion last year.
In the last Congress, lawmakers of both parties introduced a spate of cyber bills that would allocate new funding to agencies like DHS for a wide variety of missions, including getting small businesses more digital defense tools and aiding the companies that operate critical infrastructure like hospitals and the power grid.