The Trump Administration is reportedly considering making significant cuts to the budgets of the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Administration officials would use the savings to cover the cost of two of President Trump’s prized campaign pledges, trimming the federal deficit and building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
“The Coast Guard is really one of our main border protection services. And yet we’ve seen massive cuts apparently to pay for a wall that the Mexican government simply is not gonna pay for.” – U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)
But the ranking Democrat on the sub-committee that watches over Coast Guard operations, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI,) says the funding cuts would harm efforts to safeguard the nation, not improve them.
“The Coast Guard is really one of our main border protection services,” Peters said. “And yet we’ve seen massive cuts apparently to pay for a wall that the Mexican government simply is not gonna pay for. And so now Donald Trump wants the American taxpayers to pay for it.”
Trump Administration officials claim the President’s tough stance on border security is already paying dividends, noting a roughly 40% decrease in the number of people attempting to illegally cross into the U.S. last month.
But Peters counters that he believes the Trump Administration had little to do with the drop in illegal crossings.
“We have been doing a great deal on border security for the last two years. In fact, we have seen a drop off of folks coming across the border here illegally for some time. And it’s the result of sustained efforts. This is something that you just can’t turn on and turn off in the course of two or three weeks,” Peters said.
The Democrat tells WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter that he is also alarmed about possible budget cuts that would gut programs designed to help restore and maintain the Great Lakes.