Wednesday, April 05, 2006

We Need to Stop Cutting Critical Homeland Security Programs

Here is something to think about as we begin to debate the Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2007:

A recent GAO report indicates that DHS is not telling the truth when it says it is identifying all high-risk cargo that enters the United States. According to the report, Customs and Border Protection has missed multiple deadlines for putting key screening controls in place. Security officials even failed to identify a container used last year to smuggle Chinese immigrants into the port of Long Beach. (April 5, 2006, Congress Daily AM)

Despite this alarming report, the Republican Budget Resolution would actually cut funding for port security grants, the Container Security Initiative which inspects high risk cargo bound for the United States, and the procurement of radiation portal monitors that help identify nuclear materials inside shipping containers. I am convinced our Republican leadership is out of touch with the needs of its own national security agencies.