U.S. Congressman Paul Broun, M.D. (GA-10) this week offered amendments to cut a total of $5.539 billion from the Homeland Security FY13 Appropriations bill. His amendments would have achieved significant savings while leaving full funding for counterterrorism activities intact.
"Protecting our homeland in the face of terrorism remains a top national security priority," said Rep. Broun. "However, we must ensure that every action we take is a proven and effective one. That's why I offered multiple amendments to cut back administrative bloat and to dismantle and modify the ineffective Transportation Security Agency (TSA).
"One of my amendments would have reduced the administrative, salaries, and expense account budgets by 3 percent, excluding the Coast Guard. This would have saved almost a half billion dollars by tightening the belt on personnel expenses, while leaving our critical operations fully funded. Our fiscal emergency demands that we focus government spending only on the mission at hand, not on sustaining bureaucracy.
"Most significantly, I offered an amendment to fully defund the TSA, which would have saved more than 5 billion dollars. Since it was created, the TSA has failed time and again to accomplish its mission, instead becoming the poster child for bureaucratic nonsense. While the agency continues to grow at a breakneck speed -- intelligence agencies are the ones actually capturing terrorists that mean to do us harm.
"Sadly my colleagues rejected all of my efforts to cut spending, which shows both sides of the aisle still aren't serious about getting our fiscal house in order. I urge my colleagues and Americans across the nation to join me in calling for the serious spending reforms that are so direly needed to get our country back on track."
The FY13 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill passed, with a vote of 234-182.