Augusta Free Press

Senators to DHS: Don’t fund campaign promises through cuts to security programs

A coalition of 21 U.S. senators strongly urged U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to reconsider proposed budget cuts to airport, seaport and mass transit security programs in order to fund President Trump’s request for more than $4 billion to construct a wall along America’s southern border.

The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Bob Casey (D-PA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

“We are concerned that in furtherance of President Trump’s quest to build a concrete wall along our Southern border, his budget proposes drastic cuts for key agencies within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that are tasked with protecting our borders against current threats, including programs at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency which could include mass transit, aviation and port security grants,” the senators wrote. “We are concerned that the President’s budget request fails to address our real immigration challenges and trades proven programs – those that are currently protecting Americans from actual threats to our national security – for the purpose of aggressively implementing a campaign promise. We request that you take these immigration and national security concerns under consideration and modify the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget accordingly.”

A copy of the signed letter is available here.

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