Dan Lamothe, Ashley Halsey III, and Lisa Rein – The Washington Post:
The Trump administration, searching for money to build the president’s planned multibillion-dollar border wall and crack down on illegal immigration, is weighing significant cuts to the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration and other agencies focused on national security threats, according to a draft plan.
The proposal, drawn up by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), also would slash the budget of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides disaster relief after hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters. The Coast Guard’s $9.1 billion budget in 2017 would be cut 14 percent to about $7.8 billion, while the TSA and FEMA budgets would be reduced about 11 percent each to $4.5 billion and $3.6 billion, respectively.
I’m not a fan of TSA’s performance at our airports. Cutting their budget, though, is exactly the wrong thing to do. They need more appropriation, more agents, more training, more spot testing at airports large and small across the country, and removal of low performing employees.
The United States Coast Guard is our first-line offense for drug interdiction, illegal seaborne entry into the United States – including potential terrorists – and a vital link in our overall border protection and law enforcement. Again, if anything, they should be receiving a larger appropriation, not being gutted.
And FEMA? Are they serious? That’s the federal agency that moves in right behind a natural disaster. They’ve compiled an excellent track record of service since the hurricane Katrina disaster to those most in need after homes and communities have been ravaged by hurricane, tornado, landslide, flood. You name it, they respond.
The Trump administration has very poorly set their priorities. Removing funding for these agencies takes the United States in the wrong direction, and all we receive in return is Mr. Trump’s vanity wall.
Another terrific time to contact your Congressmen.
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