Conservatives love circulating rhetoric to claim that Donald Trump’s obsession with his vanity-wall project along the Southern border is proof that their president is trying to keep this country safe. But that’s easily debatable on many levels, and now in Trump’s 2020 budget proposal, it’s revealed that it includes plans to eliminate a program that deploys dog teams to detect explosives at crowded travel hubs across the country, according to the Daily News.
Trump wants to slash last year’s budget allocated $59 million for 31 of the dog units, formally called Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Teams, to zero.
“As state and local law enforcement agencies already monitor and maintain jurisdiction in these areas, the VIPR Teams’ efforts are duplicative and unnecessary,” the White House wrote in defense of the cut. “In addition, VIPR Team performance measures fail to articulate program effectiveness, and lack demonstrable results.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) defended the program.
“None of them are as good as these, none of them are as mobile as these,” Schumer said of the VIPR Team dogs on Sunday at a news conference. “These are the most highly trained dogs, and they’re the best.”
It’s not just the bomb-sniffing doggos who are at risk to be cut this year in regards to national security.
Trump’s 2020 budget also contains $84 million in cuts to Transportation Security Administration staffers who are tasked with monitoring access to secure areas of airports, and, as the news outlet notes, instead, the budget seeks to transfer those responsibilities onto private airline operators.
Under the proposal, state and local governments would also lose $46 million worth of grants used to beef up airport security. Those grants were created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.”
“This is just pushing the cost from the feds to the city, any city,” Schumer said. “But terror threats are of national concern, and New York, other big cities and transit hubs should not be shouldering the brunt of these security costs.”
On Thursday, it was announced that the Defense Department would divert billions of dollars that were put in the Pentagon budget to support military operations and reprogram that to instead pay for almost 200 miles of Trump’s border wall this year.
It’s difficult to determine if Trump is doing irrational things intentionally or if he’s just incredibly ill-equipped to lead the most powerful country on earth. We could understand revisiting the TSA’s policies, but to completely get rid of the bomb-sniffing dog program just seems wildly irresponsible, and dangerous. I guess we have to pay for Trump’s tax cut for the rich somehow.
Featured image via screen capture
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