Tuesday, July 25, 2006

King Votes Against Homeland Security Spending... Again

During the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Bill vote, King had an opportunity to vote for an amendment introduced by Rep. Bernie Thompson "that would have increased the department's authorized funding to $40.8 billion was defeated on a 16-13 party-line vote. The amendment would have increased funding levels across several Homeland Security accounts, including money for rail and mass transit security, grants for first responders, beefed-up biological and chemical countermeasures, more Customs and Border Protection agents, more radiation monitors at U.S. seaports and an acceleration of the Coast Guard's Deepwater modernization program. "
An amendment by Rep. James Langevin, "would have added $374 million for the department to buy radiation detection equipment for seaports was also defeated by a 16-13 party-line vote. Langevin said the department will not deploy next-generation detectors to all U.S. seaports until 2013, but his amendment would allow it to be done by the end of fiscal 2007."
And Rep. Markey's amendment "would have required the Transportation Security Administration to ensure that all cargo on commercial airplanes is inspected within three years."
Each amendment was opposed by Peter King.
Does anyone see why these measures should have been opposed?
Here is King's reasoning...

"Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y., opposed the [Thompson] amendment, saying it would jeopardize the credibility of the committee because the funding level was unrealistic. "To be taken seriously as a committee, I believe we should set realistic numbers,"

If King is so adament about "Homeland Security" then he should be first in line to increase funding.
King certainly had no problem increasing funding for Bush's Iraq War.
The budget estimate for the Bush-Iraq War for this year is $101.8 billion.
In 2005 the cost was $87.3 billion.
That's a $14.5 billion increase.
King voted for that increase and each supplemental spending bill presented for the war.
In 2004 the cost of the war was $77.3 billion and in 2003, $51 billion.
According to the Congressional Research Service via the Washington Post "Even if a gradual troop withdrawal begins this year, war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to rise by an additional $371 billion during the phaseout, the report said, citing a Congressional Budget Office study. When factoring in costs of the war in Afghanistan, the $811 billion total for both wars would have far exceeded the inflation-adjusted $549 billion cost of the Vietnam War."

Now this isn't about cutting funds that provide equiptment and supplies to our soldiers fighting, this is about being "realistic"about what we need to do for our own security.
So far we have seen half-assed measures coming from King's committee and the republican congress.
We have even seen funding for the Department of Homeland Security CUT by King's votes which translated into cuts for the NY area.
And don't be surpised if DHS funding takes another hit when Bush decides to go to war with Iran. And of course don't be suprised that Peter King will be right there lined up behind George W. Bush.

The question we need to ask is which "Homeland" King is more interested in seeing secure, Iraq or the United States

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