Concerns Grow Over President Trump's Proposed Homeland Security Budget


Tuesday, February 25th 2020, 6:54 pm
By: News On 6


Congress is back in session this week for hearings on President Trump's budget proposal are underway and the Homeland Security budget is receiving scrutiny.

The president's proposed budget of $49.8 billion for the Department of Homeland Security would be a 3% cut from the current fiscal year. For an agency that oversees everything from border security to cyber security, and even helping in the nation's response to coronavirus, less money is a potential concern.

Senator Lankford downplays that concern, believing Congress will bump the number up. He is concerned about DHS’s role in interdicting illegal drugs coming into the country. He said he was pleased to hear that the agency is working to screen more vehicles entering the country.

"Only a fraction of the vehicles right now are actually screened, so there has to be some kind of suspicion for them to be stopped now. We'll be able to dramatically increase that by the end of the year, that was helpful to be able to get a response. The second part is, they're testing out different pieces of technology, and some of the technology is actually being developed in Oklahoma to be able to detect fentanyl in very small amounts," Lankford said.

Lankford also asked about the department's efforts to transition away from using temporary, soft-sided holding facilities along the southern border, and was assured that those are gradually being taken offline.

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