Friday, March 10, 2017

Trump's White House aims to cut airport security to build wall

Sometimes Trumpworld is jaw-dropping bat-s#!t crazy. All you can do is stand back and marvel at what seems to be Trump waging war against America, and mutter “WTF”. The NY Times reports that Trump Weighs Cuts to Coast Guard, T.S.A. and FEMA to Bolster Border Plan.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is considering deep cuts in the budgets of the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency as it looks for money to ratchet up security along the southern border, according to a person familiar with the administration’s draft budget request.

The goal is to shift about $5 billion toward hiring scores of additional agents for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as toward infrastructure to support a crackdown on illegal immigration at the border. A significant portion of the money would go toward erecting a wall along the border with Mexico, one of President Trump’s signature campaign promises.

To fund those efforts, though, the plan would seek significant reductions in other areas, including a 14 percent cut to the Coast Guard’s $9.1 billion budget and 11 percent cuts to both the T.S.A. and FEMA. The three agencies have played high-profile roles in the Department of Homeland Security’s post-Sept. 11 security architecture.

From testimony by Peter Neffenger, Administrator, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security before the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Homeland Security on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. He asked for “$3.0 billion to support 42,848 FTE Transportation Security Officers (TSOs), an increase of $72.1 million and 323 FTE over FY 2016, to ensure effective screening operations while minimizing wait times. This funding will help to ensure that TSA maintains an appropriate staffing level at our checkpoints.” The reduction contemplated by the Trump White House would wipe out the 323 FTE increase and reduce the number of existing TSOs by about 4,000.

I know, I know. Responsible administrators (and I have been one) would first protect your people and cut as much as you need to elsewhere in the budget. Still, my numbers above suggest the potential for damage to airport security.

Coming soon to an airport near you - longer lines and reduced security. As I said, WTF?

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