HSGAC Hearing Statement: The Department of Homeland Security Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the committee hearing on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) fiscal year 2018 budget request.

“I want to begin by extending my deepest sympathy to the loved ones of the victims of the monstrous terror attacks in Manchester and London. The resilience of these communities in the face of evil reminds us that no amount of hatred and violence can surmount our unity. We stand with the United Kingdom in our resolve to overcome and defeat violent extremism.

“The heinous acts of terror carried out last week in Manchester and London should remind us of the security vulnerabilities of public places and ‘soft targets’ here in the United States. Yet the president’s fiscal year 2018 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security cuts more than $800 million in grant funding for state and local first responders to prepare for major disasters and emergencies. The budget proposal zeroes out DHS’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) efforts to combat radicalization and homegrown terrorism. This approach is nothing short of penny wise and pound foolish.

“At the same time, the Trump Administration is requesting dramatic funding increases for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement that do not proportionately reflect the agencies’ demonstrated needs. While the proposed budget includes $1.5 billion for immigration enforcement and $1.6 billion to begin construction of the border wall, it cuts funding for a vital transportation program that helps keep Americans safe and secure at airports and transportation hubs. This narrow focus on removing undocumented immigrants, including those who pose no threat to public safety, and on building an exorbitantly expensive and ineffective wall comes at the cost of other major security priorities and, ultimately, Americans’ safety.

“I look forward to hearing from Secretary Kelly about this budget proposal and its impact on DHS’s core mission to keep Americans safe and secure.”