In an effort to secure desired funding for his promised border wall, President Donald Trump appears to be willing to sacrifice other types of border security technology and completely do away with at least one counterterrorism program.
A report released Tuesday by Democratic staffers of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee details demands by the White House to eliminate Homeland Security’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams—groups of security officers deployed to various locations to prevent and deter acts of terrorism—and cut $27 million in funding for federal Air Marshals.
Newsweek says the report is based on private documents secured by Democratic committee members from a whistleblower.
“I’m worried that the Office of Management and Budget is overriding what local, state and national leaders have told me they most need to keep us safe,” the ranking committee member, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), said in a statement. “With recent terrorist attacks in our country and throughout the globe, counterterrorism programs shouldn’t be on the chopping block.”
The administration wants an $11 million cut to the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office and a total of $568 million in cuts to Homeland Security counterterrorism programs. Further,
The White House Office of Management and Budget also instructed Homeland Security to decrease its funding request for border security technology and equipment initiatives by approximately $175 million, deny pay raises for department law enforcement officers and hire 1,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.