GOP rewards Homeland Security fraud, waste & abuse with a budget increase

Posted on June 2, 2011

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As it simultaneously screams about cutting funding for school lunches, and cutting funding for paramedics training, and cutting funding for heating oil for the elderly, and holding disaster aid hostage unless spending cuts are approved, the GOP-controlled U.S. House of Representatives today passed a $42.3 Billion spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security.

The measure passed 231-188 after lawmakers eased cuts to popular grant programs for local fire departments and after GOP conservatives tried – but failed – in several attempts to *ADD* millions of dollars to a variety of their home state border security initiatives, i.e., pork. The spending bill shows a net INCREASE of $3.4 BILLION over last year’s DoHS budget. Last time I checked, spending cuts didn’t result in net increases. I guess I just must not understand Washington math.

Fox News: Obama Claims Border Fence ‘Basically Complete’ But It’s Only 5% Finished – May 10, 2011

So Fox News said two weeks ago that the border fence is a sham, but Republicans just forked over ANOTHER $42.3 Billion without even asking any questions. Back in 2007, the cost of the border fence had already ballooned to $47 Billion, more than 45 percent OVER the original budget. And in case you’re keeping tally; that 5%-finished border fence has so far cost a total of $84 Billion, not counting the $38 Billion wasted on the “virtual fence” comedy tour.

Border state Republicans were successful in some but not all of their attempts to add money to favored programs. Rep. Ted Poe of Texas gained $10 million for cell phone towers along the U.S.-Mexico border but could not secure $100 million for detention beds to hold illegal aliens facing deportation. Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas unsuccessfully pressed for, among others, a $50 million amendment for drone aircraft, helicopters and boats to patrol the border.

Might I remind you that it was just this past two months ago that Homeland Security’s OWN OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL released a report on fraud, waste and abuse within the Department of Homeland Security that uncovered and specifically identified $146,569,298 that was being wasted, misused or otherwise spent poorly by the DoHS, and resulted in 248 arrests, 173 indictments, 309 investigations referred for prosecution, 222 convictions, and 94 personnel administrative actions (also known as “firings”)?

And the “cut-spending” House of Representatives rewards them with a budget increase?!?  And before anyone has a hissy fit and says this spending bill is LESS than last year’s DoHS budget, don’t forget to add the $13,2 Billion in “emergency appropriations” that DoHS received from Congress after their budget was already passed. There’ll be no Bush-era “magic accounting” here.

An amendment by Reps. Justin Amash, R-Mich., and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to prohibit TSA from relying on the advanced screening machines as the primary means of screening passengers was defeated 300-123. The measure would also take away collective bargaining rights from the nation’s 44,000 airport screeners.  And you think airport TSA screeners are hard to deal with now?

Ummm … I hate to break it to all you “Republicans are for cutting spending” types out there, but Republicans just spent ANOTHER $42.3 Billion on a federal department that is KNOWN to be riddled with fraud, graft, waste and spending abuse, and their own internal investigative department even confirmed it.

Ahhhh … the raw sewage stench of Washington. Ain’t nothin’ like it.

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