Our subcommittee receives regular intelligence briefings regarding the growing risk of Islamic terrorism and the sweeping drug violence along our southwest border. But my cost-cutting amendment would have had no substantive impact on our ability to keep the homeland secure.
It would have instead reduced bloated DHS policy shops and redundant public relations offices and cut funds for duplicative programs already flush with unspent stimulus dollars and previous year carryover funds. Not surprisingly, the majority rejected my amendment on a party-line vote.
Five months ago, we couldn’t find 0.23 percent savings in a $44 billion security spending bill for nonsecurity items, but this is about to change. With a new mandate from the American people, simple but disciplined amendments like these will be given top priority. Savings must be found in the unlikeliest of places in order for our country to regain its financial footing.
As I said earlier, this isn’t simply a financial concern, but a very real security threat to our nation. Because of our enormous foreign-held debt, our ability to prepare for and respond to national emergencies, and our ability to equip, empower and maintain a top-notch military are increasingly at risk.
Leaving our children with a more dangerous world and fewer resources to protect themselves is irresponsibility of the highest degree.
To the 112th Congress, I say grab a shovel.
Rep. Hal Rogers (R) represents Kentucky’s 5th district and currently serves as the ranking member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.