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Tag: Budget

Cash-Strapped Secret Service Spends $137,505 on Golf Cart Rentals at Trump’s Clubs

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s frequent visits to his private golf clubs in New Jersey and Florida has cost the Secret Service at least $137,505 on golf cart rental so far this year.

The USA Today reports that the agency spent $61,960 to rent golf carts at the Trump International Golf Club in Florida. 

The news comes three months after it was revealed that the Secret Service can no longer pay overtime to hundreds of agents because of the large amount of resources needed to protect Trump’s large family.

“There’s a question about how fast Trump is racking up bills that the taxpayers have to pay, which are largely trips to his hotels and his golf courses,” said Harrell Kirstein, American Bridge communications director. 

Democrats Back Measure to Prevent Secret Service from Paying Trump Businesses

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democrats are trying to prevent President Trump from using the Secret Service to pay his businesses.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Wednesday he plans to introduce an amendment to an appropriations bill, the USA Today reports. 

“None of the funds made available by this Act to the United States Secret Service may be used to purchase, rent, or otherwise acquire goods or services, including hotel rooms, office space, or golf carts, from entities that are owned or operated by the President or the immediate family of the President,” the amendment reads.

The amendment follows news that Trump’s large family and frequent travels have drained the Secret Service budget.

“The immense honor and responsibility of serving as president of the United States should never be exploited for profit or personal gain,” Schiff said. “That the Trump Organization is profiting off the Secret Service is an abuse of taxpayer money and an improper method of enrichment.”

DOJ Program That Combats Terrorism Is Ending After Funds Run Out

virtual_library-terrorism-teamBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has run out of funding to train officers on combating terrorism and is quietly shutting down the program, even after the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month.

The last day for the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training Program is Sept. 30, the Kansas City Star reports

“It makes absolutely no sense,” said Mike Sena, president of the National Fusion Center Association, which runs a network of centers nationwide to help law enforcement combat terrorism.

“Eliminating programs that are critical to preparing our people in the field to identify threats before they manifest and cause harm to our public is an egregious error.”

The task force was revived in 2014.

The Justice Department declined to respond to questions about the program.

Other Stories of Interest

Justice Department Tries to Force Sanctuary Cities to Cooperate Under Budget Proposal

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is not giving up on his plan to strip federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities.

A month after a judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked Trump’s  efforts to starve municipalities of federal money for failing to fully cooperate with immigration enforcement, the Justice Department is trying to change the law to give the federal government more leverage over localities when it comes to immigration enforcement, the Washington Post reports.

Local law enforcement agencies have expressed numerous reason for refusing to fully cooperate. Some police departments and sheriff’s offices are opposed because it’s an unfunded mandate, has legal implications and makes the community more unsafe because undocumented immigrants are afraid to report crimes.

The Post wrote:

Justice Department officials have said that under current law, holding illegal immigrants upon request is voluntary. And in a memo Tuesday, Sessions seemed to concede that his power in the matter was limited.

He declared that sanctuary cities, even under Trump’s executive order, were only those places that violated the particular federal law that stops local officials from putting any restrictions on information sharing with ICE. Only such jurisdictions, he said, were at risk of losing federal funding.

If the Justice Department’s proposal were to become law, though, all jurisdictions that do not honor detainer requests will be at risk. The law would block cities from enacting policies that stop compliance with legal Department of Homeland Security requests, including “any request to maintain custody of the alien for a period not to exceed 48 hours.”

Trump’s Budget Calls for Tightening Border Security with a Wall, New Agents

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s new 2018 budget asks for $2.6 billion to begin building a wall along the border of Mexico.

To follow through on his pledge to combat illegal immigration, Trump also is requesting money for 500 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 new ICE agents and officers.

In his new budget, revealed today, Trump said he’s exploring ways to calculate “net budgetary effects of immigration programs and policy” before implementing big changes.

“Once the net effect of immigration on the federal budget is more clearly illustrated, the American public can be better informed about options for improving policy outcomes and saving taxpayer resources,” the president said in the new blueprint. “In that regard, the budget supports reforming the U.S. immigration system to encourage: merit-based admissions for legal immigrants, ending the entry of illegal immigrants, and a substantial reduction in refugees slotted for domestic resettlement.”

Long-Delayed Plans for FBI Headquarters Hits Budgetary Snag Yet Again

The FBI's current headquarters in Washington D.C.

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The long-delayed plan to build a new FBI headquarters appears to have hit yet another funding snag.

The budget that Congress is set to consider this week is more than a half billion dollars short of what’s needed to build the new headquarters, and it could take another year to decide on the location, the Washington Post reports. 

Under President Obama, the plan was to build a new headquarters in the Washington D.C. suburbs for $1.4 billion. The proposed budget deal under consideration this week provides just $523 million.

But the budget deal leaves open the possibility of another $315 million to add to the $390 million previously appropriated for the project.

The GSA wants to build a new headquarters in Greenbelt, Md., Landover, Md., or Springfield, Va.

The current headquarters is too cramped and not built to accommodate new technology.

Secret Service Faces Serious Challenges to Meet Demands of Trump Family

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service has been forced to make cost-cutting concessions because of the increasing demands and rising costs of protecting the new first family.

The strain of the demands has resulted in the Secret Service pulling dozens of agents from criminal investigations to serve two-week stints to protect members of the Trump family, the New York Times reports. 

One of the extra burdens is protecting the first lady and youngest son in Manhattan’s Trump Tower. The family’s travel habits also have required agents to work more overtime hours and spend more time away from home. In addition, the Secret Service is protecting Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

“They are flat-out worn out,” said Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“It’s like being on a bike that you never get off of,” said the committee’s top-ranking Democratic member, Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland.

Will a New FBI Headquarters Ever Be Built? Congress Faces Spending Deadline

Current FBI headquarters

Current FBI headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If you’re wondering whether the FBI’s new headquarters will ever be built, you could be forgiven.

For years, federal officials have been planning to build a new headquarters in Maryland or Virginia. But every year passes without funding.

Now Congress is scrambling to secure more than a billion dollars by next month to proceed with the project, the Baltimore Sun reports. 

“A vague, three-sentence statement released this month by the agency overseeing the $2 billion development — as well as silence from President Donald Trump, a former real estate developer — has shifted the discussion from whether the headquarters will be built in Maryland or Virginia to whether its progress will be delayed indefinitely,” the Baltimore Sun wrote.

To keep the project going, Congress must secure $1.4 billion for the building by April 28, when current spending authority expires.