BigNews.Biz - Mar 20,2012 - Senator Hutchison Urges Continued FBI Focus On Border
“Securing the southwest border and national security are one and the same.”
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) urged Robert Mueller III, Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to fully fund law enforcement programs directed toward the Southwest Border. Her remarks came at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science on the FBI's Fiscal Year 2013 budget. Sen. Hutchison is the ranking Republican on the Subcommittee. To watch Senator Hutchison's opening remarks click here; to watch the video of Sen. Hutchison questioning FBI Director Mueller click here.
"Securing the southwest border and national security are one in the same, "said Sen. Hutchison. "I am very concerned that the administration is not requesting sufficient funds to continue a range of much-needed law enforcement efforts, including supporting the work of the 13 Southwest Border Task Forces. These task forces are the backbone of the FBI's operations in the border areas, and work closely with the world-class El Paso Intelligence Center. I plan to follow up on these matters with the Chairman of the Subcommittee and my Committee colleagues."
In her remarks, Sen. Hutchison noted the following:
In the FY 2013 request, the FBI budget for the southwest border region reflects a flat funding level of $26 million. This does not include the $5 million annualization required to sustain the positions added in the FY10 Southwest Border Supplemental Appropriations Bill, which were also included in previous years. If the $5 million is not secured, this will have a devastating impact on the 13 Southwest Border Task Forces located in field offices along the border. These task forces are the backbone of the FBI's Southwest Border mission, and they provide intelligence and coordinate with the Southwest Intelligence Group, the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) and the National Border Task Force.
The FY 2013 request proposes a $162 million rescission in total FBI 2012 request. Waste should be cut, but this offset would hinder the FBI's ability to process IEDs for fingerprints and DNA linked to terrorists. An enormous backlog of IEDs are sitting in boxes in warehouses in Virginia waiting to be processed. But instead of processing and analyzing these IEDs to help the intelligence community track down these terrorists, the OMB and the White House proposes to rescind this funding. The FY 2013 request also proposes to cut $7.1 million for contractors of counterintelligence programs, informant validation, the Terrorist Screening Center, and the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force.