The Bush administration sent a “hollow” budget to Capitol Hill that does not fulfill its funding commitment to add 1,500 law-enforcement officers to guard the borders against illegal aliens, key Senate appropriators said yesterday.
“This is a situation of showing a proposal and then hiding the funds, and so we end up with a budget that we’ve got a $1.6 billion hole in,” said Sen. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire Republican and chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security.
Facing off against Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff during a budget hearing yesterday, Mr. Gregg said the funding priorities of the Bush administration treat border protection like “a stepchild of national defense.”
“I can’t think of anything more significant to national defense than protecting our border and making sure that our homeland is secure, and yet the Department of Homeland Security is being starved for funds in crucial areas,” Mr. Gregg said.
“It’s a hollow budget and I can’t understand it because I’ve watched the press conferences where the administration has said it’s committed to border security and domestic defense, and yet this budget isn’t going to get there,” Mr. Gregg said.