The problem is that of expressing urgency. The truth is, the threat of asteroid collisions and so on have always been with us, and the risk of such an impact is no different from 10, 20, 50, 100 years ago. What has changed recently to justify making such steps now? The difference is that we now have the potential capability of protecting ourselves from such impacts, but that is not a very good motivator for political backing.
Less likely that a modest sized rock would inadvertently start World War III, more likely that it would initiate a global depression and (possibly) start a new Dark Age. It's curious that the cost of any realistic "collision avoidance" measures would be far, far, far greater than the cost of "detect 99.9% of possible NEOs within 5 years" measures.
Also missing: serious discussion of what it would take to detect potentially harmful 100+m diameter comets, whether from the EKB, Oort cloud, or interstellar space.
A Reaction To The 2003 Siberian "Meteor"
I think that this is the "typical" US reaction to a real and very threatening situation. The Admin spills a "half-truth", and deflects the attention from the reality of whats really going on.
US Spaceguard was very worried after the "Second Tunguska", which occurred in 2003. They detected the detonation, but not the incoming "object".
The Russians spilt the story, the Americans ignored it (I can only find a couple of articles in the mainstream even admitting it occurred!).
Look to the "Siberian Installation" and Europa S8 in Antarctica, for further developments.
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