(AP/Evan Vucci/Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez/Photo montage by Salon)

President Trump will gut Coast Guard, TSA, FEMA to pay for his border wall, immigrant roundups

In order to pay for his border wall, Trump may decimate programs that actually keep the country secure


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Matthew Rozsa
March 7, 2017 7:29PM (UTC)

It appears that the State Department isn't the only part of the government that President Donald Trump is leaving in tatters. If he has his way with the new budget, the Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration could be next.

Under Trump, the Office of Management and Budget wants to cut the Coast Guard's $9.1 billion budget by 14 percent, according to internal budget documents obtained by Politico. The plan would also make significant cuts to airport and rail security, cutting Transportation Security Administration spending 11 percent. It would even reduce the budget of the Federal Emergency Management Agency 11 percent.

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The new plan would also increase the Department of Homeland Security's budget for building a U.S.-Mexico border wall and hiring additional border agents and immigration officers. The budget office's plan would raise Homeland Security spending 6 percent, to $43.8 billion.

Retired Adm. James Loy, a former Coast Guard commandant who worked for both the Homeland Security department and the TSA under President George W. Bush, told Politico that the Trump budget is simply unrealistic: "It is ignorant of what constitutes national security," Loy said. "They simply don’t understand the equation.”

Retired Coast Guard commander Stephen Flynn, who is now director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University, also told Politico that "As you harden the land border you open up the maritime border, it makes no sense. You are going to have this balloon effect."

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., penned a scathing op-ed for Fox News' website that unfavorably contrasted Trump's promises to increase military spending (which Hunter supports) with the reported Coast Guard cuts.

"It is nonsensical to cut the Coast Guard budget, especially to the degree recommended by OMB, and then pretend as if needless exposures and risks won’t be created," Hunter wrote. "If President Trump truly means what he says, then he’ll reject OMB’s blatant disrespect for the Coast Guard and its mission, and remind his cabinet that the service is a critical element in protecting American security."


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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