The budget issue with the Department of Homeland Security is phenomenal to me. Remember from my last blog that I was still a federal employee when it was formed and I helped one agency that was in another Department move to DHS.
There was a lot that went into moving agencies into DHS. There were a lot of people/teams set up to dislodge agencies from their home Departments and relocate their regulations, missions and their people.
Do you know that agencies have regulations, partnerships, joint efforts, emergency support activities with their parent organizations?
A lot of work/resources went into making this move happen. There were teams of people across the federal government assigned to look at every part of each organization that impacted their parent (Department) then these teams had to write up the separation documents. Write regulations that severed ties with one parent to move it into another parent (DHS). This took a lot of time. A lot of federal government resources. I remember this clearly because I participated.
Think of this effort as similar to when private industry sells out one of its pieces to another parent. This is no different. It costs people resources to make this happen. It costs money to make this happen.
This is why I am so amazed that The Department of Homeland Security is in the middle of a partisan debate. DHS got the money it needed and even money it didn’t need because it was the agency to protect our nation at home, until now. They were ranked up there with the U.S. military. I could show you photos of uniformed people in DHS.
What has happened between now and then? This agency was established under a Republican administration. Now we are under a Democratic administration. So What?
I am absolutely sure that if DHS’ budget is not set in time, there will be many people who will have to work anyway.
The Secret Service members will work anyway. Coast Guard will have to work anyway. Customs and Border Protection will have to work anyway. Federal Emergency Management Administration staff will also work if an emergency happens. You know we are having many weather emergencies right now. The Transportation Security Administration staff will have to work anyway in our nation’s airports.
These federal workers will have to work without pay. Would you want to do this? They may have to save people at times, risking their lives, with no guarantee of pay.
No matter what side you are on in this debate, I think you may agree that this debate should be without strings. DHS must be held accountable to use federal funds in a efficient and effective manner as any other federal department. However, if DHS is a department that is a must for this nation, its budget should never be debatable.
We can debate on how much money DHS should be allocated. This is appropriate. But its budget/existence should not be part of a partisan debate if it is the U.S. national security entity.
And oh by the way, how about those transportation infrastructure investment funds? They are soon to run out also. This also should not be a partisan debate.
What do you want to pay for? There are those in the U.S. who will pay for good restaurants, high end clothing and jewelry, awesome vacations and top of the line electronic devices. There are those who don’t want to pay taxes or pay as little as possible so they can enjoy the ‘high life’ spending their hard earned money on what they want.
How about it? Do you want to be safe driving on or under a bridge or overpass? Do you want to be safe driving at 70 or more miles an hour on an interstate highway? Do you want your local roads to be free of potholes, have appropriate signage and lane markings regardless of the weather or time of day? Do you want your neighborhood street plowed in the snow?
What about transportation research and data for decision making?
This stuff is not free. What would you pay for?
What do you say?