Today, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement following the House's approval of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014. Chairman Carper welcomed the approval of the legislation but expressed concern about the House's decision to divert funding from the Department of Homeland Security's management fund into other programs:
"Crafting an appropriations bill for an agency as complex and important as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is never an easy task. It is particularly challenging in this fiscal environment where we must continue to look for ways to do more with less. While I appreciate the challenge in crafting this bill and welcome many of the funding decisions made by my colleagues in the House of Representatives in this legislation, I am concerned about the decision to divert funding from DHS management programs into other programs.
I certainly understand the need for members to find deficit neutral ways to fund their priorities, but undermining programs intended to ensure efficient and cost-effective management is short sighted and the epitome of "penny wise and pound foolish.' As a former governor, I know well the challenges of having to craft balanced budgets but I also know that in government, as in life, you get what you pay for, and paying for better management practices is a smart use of taxpayer dollars. We have made a lot of progress over the past few years in improving the way DHS manages itself, but I fear that these cuts may undermine those efforts. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as the Administration to develop a better approach that is still fiscally responsible but does not cut funding from one of the areas where we need it most. Additionally, as Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I will closely review all the other aspects of this legislation to ensure that it is both responsible and provides DHS the funding it needs to effectively fulfill its mission of protecting the American people."