As our country wrestles with a record number of illegal border crossings and deals with the fallout of crippling cyber campaigns, it is astonishing that President Biden’s bloated $6 trillion budget proposal does not include funding increases for critical Department of Homeland Security (DHS) missions. Unfortunately, this budget is out of touch with reality and fails to prioritize many of today’s most pressing homeland security threats.
I am deeply disappointed by President Biden’s elimination of border wall funding. Physical barriers are a proven asset to border patrol agents on the ground – acting as a force multiplier that allows resources to be directed toward stopping dangerous cartel activity. With the Administration’s open border policies, lethal drugs will continue to pour across our border and have devastating consequences in communities across the country. We must give our border patrol agents the tools they need to be successful – including physical barriers, technology, and personnel.
As I’ve said, CISA needs sustained, robust funding to carry out its mission and nimbly respond to evolving threats. The modest increase in CISA funding is not nearly sufficient to resource the agency’s growing mission. Additionally, it’s perplexing that other civilian cybersecurity efforts received a larger budget increase than CISA. As the nation’s lead civilian cybersecurity agency, there is no question that CISA should be at least a $5 billion agency in the coming years.
Recent events have illustrated that we cannot be complacent when it comes to homeland security. As we prepare to reflect on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on our nation later this year, the importance of the homeland security mission is greater than ever before. The current threat environment demands a posture of unwavering resilience, and unfortunately the DHS funding proposed by the Biden Administration is wholly inadequate.
U.S. Rep. John Katko has represented Oswego County in Congress since 2015. He is the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee.