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February 13, 2012

Thompson Statement on FY2013 DHS Budget Request

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement on President Obama's FY2013 budget proposal released today for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

The DHS budget request reflects today's fiscal realities and the need for belt-tightening. When Secretary Napolitano comes before the Committee this week, I will be asking her if this belt-tightening will be at the expense of targeted preparedness grant programs that I strongly support. The consolidation of preparedness grants into one small pot is a cause for concern. I also have questions about why DHS believes it needs $1 billion less to operate next year. Although I am pleased that DHS has found places for efficiencies, I am concerned that key programs may be short-changed – particularly efforts to update the Coast Guard's aged fleet.

That said, some of the organizational and budgetary changes outlined in this request should bolster DHS's effectiveness and efficiency – especially with regard to cybersecurity and border security. I am also pleased that DHS finally took our advice, and will transfer US-VISIT to CBP and ICE, where it should be able to realize its border security mission and track overstays.

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978