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.

(3) comments

"Physical barriers are a proven asset to border patrol agents on the ground...." Except for those pesky tunnels and 32" ladders used for the 30' foot walls. And don't forget the former guy stealing $3.8 Billion from the Petagon's budget to build those physical barriers that any motivated person can climb!

socialrevolution

"The Wall" is a racist symbol of US white supremacy. The US border itself symbolizes the American theft of half of Mexico in the mid-19th century. Now the land thieves and imperialists who run the United States want to vilify Spanish-speaking human beings who exist south of that racist border ... vilify them for seeking some semblance of economic and physical security in the wake of the United States' 100-plus year project to wreck, exploit, and terrorize the nations of Central America.

With racist right-wing screeds like this, Representative Katko is demonstrating his deep commitment to the racist white nationalism which defines the Republican Party. Shameful.

LAW

While I often have agreed with Mr. Katko, I am not impressed by this argument, especially in light of the embarrassing failures of CISA to provide basic cyber security to the United States, and to select members who are not completely ignorant of the simplest cyber-security practices. I refer to the completely avoidable attack on the Colonial pipeline which supplies nearly 50% of the refined gasoline and aviation fuel consumed in the Eastern US - the largest markets for both critical commodities, and the incredibly foolish behavior of Representative Mo Brooks (R-Mo, 5th District), who sits on the CISA Committee. The attack on the Colonial pipeline resulted in a week-plus chaos as the entire length - from Texas to New Jersey - was shut down, gas stations were idled, and a ransom of $5,000,000 was paid to criminals reportedly operating in the former Soviet Union. (The FBI did claw back an amount equal to about half that sum.) Only days later, another large American company, JBS - suppler of one-quarter of the meat packed in the US, was attacked in a separate ransomware extortion act. This time the ransom was over $11,000,000. Additionally, there have been hundreds of attacks on local governments, schools, hospitals, and other public facilities in the past five years. These assaults during the last Presidential administration went largely ignored. Last week, in a dispute with a Democratic colleague, Mo Brooks - a Republican seated on the same CISA that Mr. Katko is asking additional taxpayer dollars for, tweeted a picture of his own computer complete with a Post-It note attached, that declared his password for all the world to see. I doubt you could find a fourth grader anywhere in the US who couldn't tell you why that is a no-no. Mr. Katko's assertion that more money is needed by "border patrol agents" for "physical barriers, technology, and personnel" is ludicrous. There are no borders on the Internet. There are no walls, no human invaders to interdict. Most drugs do not come into the US by land, but through airports and seaports. Or in packages delivered by UPS, etc. It's time Republicans got back to basics: 1) Don't do stupid things. [Otherwise, the libs are gonna own you.] 2) Get back to basics....

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