Proposed $370M Cut
Donald Trump’s signature campaign promise, a multi-billion dollar wall on the southern border, will apparently be paid for, at least in part, by steep cuts to FEMA.
Politico reports the cuts will come from the, “agency’s program for countering violent extremism and preparations for a wide-scale terrorist attack.”
The New York Times had this take, “potential cuts would target for reduction an array of grants to state and local governments that have helped fund the development of emergency preparedness and response plans for natural disasters and terrorism-related events.”
Cuts to FEMA grants programs would obviously be very unpopular with the fire/rescue community.
If Trump has his way, the great hobgoblin of the Latin Illegals will be felt in many communities across the country.
Also in the Trump crosshairs is the US Coast Guard and TSA, agencies tasked with fulfilling other aspects of border security.
The Trump move has a broad array of folks shaking their heads as they point out that cutting close-in perimeter security and preparedness programs to fund a wall makes no sense as those trying to enter illegally will use water and air travel as their next options.
One official said in the Times, “It’s obvious they would next try to sneak in by sea or by air, which is precisely what the administration is trying to cut.”
Trump’s ideas will have to go through the Congressional budget process where the going is going to be rough.
Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who serves on the House Transportation Committee, dropped this bomb to Politico:
“The OMB treats the Coast Guard like a lunch fund to fund their other priorities within the Department of Homeland Security. Congress funds [through appropriations], and we’re not doing what they’re doing. They’re off in la-la-land. If they want to be irrelevant they’re off to a good start.”
FEMA ( and the fire service) needs a similar budget guardian.