The fallout resulting from their slapdash, chaotic efforts to drown the baby with the bathwater continues.
In written testimony for an April 29 Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing titled “The Homeland Security Department’s Budget Submission for Fiscal Year 2016”, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson basically begged for relief and protection from the careless, random cuts of the Republican sequestration, saying that unless Congress acts, sequestration will kick in again in 2016 leaving DHS “funding to its lowest level, adjusted for inflation, in a decade.”
The President’s budget request for FY 2016 also proposes to end sequestration. Unless Congress acts to prevent it, sequestration kicks in again in 2016. This would bring homeland security funding to its lowest level, adjusted for inflation, in a decade. Now is not the time to take such a huge step backward in our Nation’s homeland security funding. At a sequester level, funding for the Department would be inadequate to continue paying for our current workforce and programs. Meanwhile, pay and inflation costs would automatically increase notwithstanding sequestration. Many other key initiatives that were funded in FY 2015 would be discontinued or sharply curtailed. These initiatives include added border security on our southern border, more CBP officers, more ICE attorneys for immigration enforcement, and more HSI agents. Furthermore, the FY 2016 budget includes requests to implement recommendations of the United States Secret Service Protective Missions Panel. If sequestration returns, our ability to fully fund this, too, is jeopardized. We need to move forward, not backward, in our funding of homeland security.
Our FY 2016 Budget focuses resources in each of the Department’s mission areas: prevent terrorism and enhance security, secure and manage our borders, enforce and administer our immigration laws, safeguard and secure cyberspace, and strengthen national preparedness and resilience.
And it’s not just the Department of Homeland Security. As Congress addresses spending levels for the 2016 budget, they are realizing that they can’t keep going at sequestration levels because the numbers do not even meet inflation. How’s that for efficiency.
Chad Pergram of Fox News noted today, “Hse Apps Chair Rogers on $ bills: There’s a realization by people we have to do something. We can’t pass bills at these sequestration levels… Hse Apps Cmte Chair Rogers on the challenges to pass spending bills this yr. Says the numbers ‘don’t even meet inflation’ due to sequester.”
Hse Apps Cmte Chair Rogers on the challenges to pass spending bills this yr. Says the numbers "don't even meet inflation" due to sequester.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 29, 2015
Hse Apps Chair Rogers on $ bills: There's a realization by people we have to do something. We can't pass bills at these sequestration levels
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 29, 2015
Sequestration is basically modern Republican fiscal ideology in a nutshell. Cut everything, don’t ask what makes sense to cut, just cut and let the collateral damage find its targets. All of this so that they can continue to give billionaires tax cuts and subsidize big business with tax payments from the people.
Sequestration makes no sense; it is not based on responsibility, but rather on irresponsibility. It’s someone’s idea of an Ayn Rand novel come to life. Someone who clearly doesn’t understand the difference between reality and fiction (Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), this one’s for you).
Most people will agree that government is bloated and inefficient. But then, so are most major corporations. A real leader doesn’t run around cutting budgets without looking at them first and learning what they do.
Republicans like to pretend they are the party of personal responsibility and national security, but with this one move they have destroyed that narrative. And the bad news for Republicans is, they weren’t doing so hot on either narrative before sequestration. This is just another outcome that tells the story of the epic failure of the modern Republican party’s “ideas”. These folks can’t govern their way out of a paper bag. They can’t be trusted with national security, which they repeatedly treat like a hostage to advance their own political pandering.
Republican sequestration is a failure. It’s a disaster. It is the worst of Republicanism — drunken frat boys swaggering about, quoting Ayn Rand while they shut down the government and undermine national security for the momentary high of the illusion of power.
Back down here on the ground with the grown ups, Republican fantasies aren’t working out like they do in Rand’s fiction.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.