Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 5, 2009

Objections to DHS Funding in Stimulus Bill Are a Red Herring

Filed under: Budgets and Spending,Congress and HLS — by Jonah Czerwinski on February 5, 2009

Republicans are objecting to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Stimulus Package”) because of spending they deem wasteful. Such objections over small spending items risk jeopardizing more American jobs on a daily basis. One of the items they point to is “$248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.” This claim is misleading, and now the tiny investment for DHS is at risk of being stripped from the bill.

To put it in context, consider that the ~$800 billion package includes $430 billion in tax cuts, $114 billion for infrastructure projects, $138 billion for extending unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other forms of help to those in need, and $31 billion to address the housing crisis.

Here is what the legislation actually says the DHS investment is for:

“ for the ‘‘Office of the Under Secretary for Management’’, $248,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2011, solely for planning, design, and construction costs, including site security, information technology infrastructure, furniture, fixtures, and related costs to consolidate the Department of Homeland Security headquarters: Provided, That no later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Administrator of General Services, shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives a plan for the expenditure of these funds.”

DHS employees labor away in a dismal office headquarters that is aged and ineffective for this agency’s important work. Wasteful? Hardly. These complaints are a distraction.

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3 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 5, 2009 @ 11:47 am

REally first post on this blog on new DHS HQ’s replacement/upgrade or whatever. Unfortunately, I have a problem. Unlike many Departments with a statutory “SEAT Of Government” mandate contained therein, DHS does not have any such language in its various statutes. I think that is good. I personally believe the SouthEAST DC site is highly vulnerable to terrorist attack and the concept should be rejected now. Instead, DHS should have a small downtown HQ’s location with the bulk of its staff relocated outside of the District. Within a short period, off-shore missiles from boats with short warning times if any will be a major threat to coastal locations like DC for critical infrastructure. The concept of strategic relocation of facilities is not new, and needs to be again adopted. Bad enough that the Pentagon is here in DC and not someplace like Ft.Riley Kansas. Besides the pervasiveness of the military/industrial complex throughout the DC area needs to be re-examined and as much as possible relocated away from DC. Just my opinion but I oppose the new DHS HQs being placed at St.E’s for many reasons but the key one is that it is such a good area to target.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

February 6, 2009 @ 6:12 am

I, too agree that a new DHS HQ is neeeded, however I might suggest to our new President a location such as Lebanon Kansas accessible by a turn off from US Route 281, a small town which geographically is said to be the center of US and an area which has much land available and a place where not only DHS HQ may serve, but numerous other government/military installations may be situated decentalizing our now vulnerable facilities. The beltway is far too saturated and far to accessible to those seeking our demise.

Let’s at least give a challenge while of course strengthening immigration laws and enforcement of our borders.

Time is of the essence and after all, this bailout package, public monies to be utilized to strengthen the core and its values, yet still scratching my head here in beantown wondering where the initial $350 billion – billion – was spent and just how timely the promised transparency vanished.

Who is guarding the chickens?? The wolf or those we have entrusted and they have sworn by oath to uphold our constitution and our great nation and its good and charitable people??

We not only have the “terrorists” to be concerned with, but a German-led EU seeking to become the peace-maker in the Middle East with its German war vessels patrolling the Mediteranean waters very concerned about Iranian aspirations and how Iran affects the European way of Life as well as an Egyptian government in the barrel of those seeking its changeover to more fundamental mannerisms which would dramatically alter Middle-east politics and of course the list goes on….

These are very uncertain times, however with more than 1 trillion in “fiat dollars” – trillion+ – in spending frenzy in the hands of public servants very much entrenched in their partisan ways, I hope some of our esteemed sincere leadership mentors share sleepless nights for Mr. & Mrs. Joe Citizen watch the beltway continuing antics, despite campaign promises, with much anxiety knowing that those far worse than Dora’s Swiper are ready to pounce on us at the most opportune time….

Let us not underestimate the need for DHS, its new facility, the priority in cybersecurity and a nation vigilant in every aspect of preparedness.

Presently, we have cities and towns which cannot even appropriately respond to an incident with equipment properly maintained – see Boston Fire, never mind those we will rely on when attacked by – bio/chem – praying that they would be properly trained and funded with attire and equipment to address a calamity. From the executive level down, not from the bottom up, the clock is ticking and federal funding for first responders is at the top of our list – police, firefighters and EMT’s are our front line, we willnot be scurried off by secret service to an undisclosed location, we – the people – are in the front line. We must all be vigilant in a world pervaded with greed and arrogance – evil – with a lack of repentence.

Let us not underestimate any of our neighbors. History teaches us much and while other nations allow their history books to be altered, we must know the history of mankind and understand the factual and the lessons of man’s capabilities.

This is our watch! I hear about our children and grandchildren and the woes they will face in addressing these fiat dollars – well, to me this is rhetoric, I am worried about us today. We stand so vulnerable and the same ‘ol, same ‘ol Washington insiders – the “betlway boys” as I refer to them are obviously up to the same ‘ol ways….

Both sides of the aisle need to address the issues, the possible numerous scenarios with preparedness, not their own self-agenda. Enough is enough! The clock is ticking and these public funds made available to the Executive department and throughout government must be spent wisely and each dollar must be open to public scrutiny.

Christopher Tingus
Harwich, MA USA

Comment by Balduin

March 30, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

Was usefull one, thank you

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