Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

October 2019
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Budget

President Trump’s Hiring Freeze Worries FBI, DOJ, Homeland Security

money-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump’s call for a hiring freeze has caused alarm in federal agencies like the FBI, Justice Department and Homeland Security.

During Trump’s announcement Monday, he said the military won’t be impacted by the hiring freeze that began Monday, the Sacramento Bee reports. 

Members of Congress want more information about the impact of the hiring freeze, which could mean far fewer FBI agents and Justice Department attorneys.

“This is a very complex government and you want to be really careful with your edicts because chances are they’re going to come back and bite you if you’re not careful,” said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove.

“We’re going to stop hiring. Really? What about TSA? What about the Border Patrol? What about the guy doing cybersecurity for the Justice Department?” he asked.

Republican Rep. Tom McClintock supports the order but cautioned against blanket hiring freeze.

“I applaud President Trump’s determination to pare back the federal government,” McClintock wrote in a statement to The Sacramento Bee. “The plan’s success, though, rests in redesigning the service delivery systems, eliminating unnecessary agencies and reforming the direct spending programs. Otherwise, you run the risk of shorting manpower in your top priority functions while continuing over-staffing of low priority or unnecessary agencies.”

Republican Congressman Introduces Bill to Eliminate the ATF

ATF LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner gets his way, the ATF will be dissolved and its responsibilities dished out to other federal agencies.

Sensenbrenner introduce the ATF Elimination Act, which would hand over alcohol and tobacco cases to the DEA, while the FBI would handle firearms, explosives and arsons, the Daily Caller reports. 

“Common sense budgeting solutions are necessary, and the ATF Elimination Act is one measure we can take to reduce spending, redundancy, and practice responsible governance,” said Sensenbrenner. “The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that has been branded by failure and lacks a clear mission. It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges, and a lack of leadership.”

Sensenbrenner maintains that eliminating the ATF would help “bring draining the swamp” and be in the “best interest” of taxpayers.

The Daily Caller wrote:

The bill would require the DEA and FBI to provide congress a plan for incorporating the ATF’s responsibilities, field offices, buildings and assets.

In addition to cutting the ATF, the bill would place a hiring freeze on the ATF and would require the Department of Justice, the ATF’s parent agency, to “eliminate and reduce duplicative functions and waste.”

Trump, an Early Critic of Intelligence Agencies, Plans to Restructure the CIA

CIA headquarters

CIA headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump, who has mocked U.S. intelligence agencies, plans to restructure the CIA and reduce staffing at its Virginia headquarters by moving more people into field posts worldwide. 

Sources familiar with the planning told the Wall Street Journal that Trump believes the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has become politicized and bloated. 

“The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world has become completely politicized,” said the individual, who is close to the Trump transition. “They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.”

Trump has criticized the CIA and other intelligence agencies for what he says are misrepresentations of Russia trying to influence the presidential election.

His criticism of those agencies has drawn fire from both sides of the aisle.

Yet Another Delay in Decade-Long Search for New FBI Headquarters

FBI headquarters

FBI headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Once again, the purchase of a new headquarters in the Washington suburbs has been placed on hold.

The GSA said it won’t select a location and builder until March of next year, the Washington Post reports. 

The decade-long search for a new headquarters has been narrowed down to three locations – Greenbelt, Landover and Springfield.

The concern remains about money as construction is expected to cost about $2 billion.

“Due to a strong and overwhelmingly positive response from developers to the solicitation [gsa.gov] issued earlier this year, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) now plan to announce the selected site and offeror for the competition in early March 2017,” said GSA spokeswoman Renee Kelly, in a statement.

“GSA and FBI are encouraged by the proposals received and are confident that, if Congress provides the resources requested in the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget, we will be able to deliver on our commitment to provide a world class facility for the FBI and a good deal for the taxpayer,” she said.

Homeland Security Memo Says ICE Is Running Out of Money Because of Detention Surge

border fence photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency running out of money because of a surge in the number of immigrants in detention?

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that ICE is on the verge of running out of money unless it receives $136 million to continue operating through Dec. 9.

But after the story was published, a DHS spokeswoman claimed the story was wrong.

Now the Wall Street Journal has a Homeland Security memo that appears to back up the earlier report that ICE is running out of money. The Journal reports today that a memo says, “ICE requests an additional $136 million for this account through Dec. 9, 2016,” and if the agency doesn’t get it, “our funds will run out on November 12.”

“Without the requested funding ICE will not fulfill its detention requirements… Insufficient funding would force ICE to reject any new book-ins, including these recent border crossers that fall within Priority 1 of the Secretary’s enforcement priorities,” the memo says.

Deputy Director of ICE, Daniel Ragsdale, called the memo a “draft which was never reviewed by ICE leadership,” adding, “this type of adjustment is common, and has been done in years past.”

House Republicans Want to Boost Funding for Border Patrol, ICE, TSA

congress copyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Republicans proposed a spending bill for Homeland Security that includes a $100 million increase over current funding levels.

The increase is $432 million more than President Obama requested for fiscal year 2017, the Washington Examiner reports. 

Republicans supported the increase in funding to boost border security, aviation security protection and protections from cyberattacks.

“Now, more than ever, we need to remain vigilant in the protection of our homeland. New threats to our people and way of life emerge every day, and the difficult challenges along our borders continue,” said Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers.

The House bill calls for $41.1 billion for Homeland Security.

Homeland Security Unable to Account for Hundreds of Millions of Dollars for Training

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Somehow Homeland Security has lost track of hundreds of millions of dollars for training employees, according to a report by the department’s office of inspector general, the Washington Times reports. 

The department was only able to account for $1.9 million of $1.4 billion that was appropriated in fiscal 2014.

Hundreds of millions were also unaccounted for the previous year.

In addition, the TSA failed to report any training costs for January 2015, but said the agency spent more than $23 million that year.

The Washington Times reports that Homeland Security has been unable to make progress following 29 recommendations by federal watchdogs to improve training management and oversight.

“The investment of significant resources into these working groups should have resulted in the implementation of improved processes, oversight, and management of DHS workforce training,” the inspector general’s report says. “However, there is little evidence DHS has tracked or implemented any of these recommendations.”

Other Stories of Interest

Column: ATF Doesn’t Need to Be Dissolved; It Needs to be Properly Funded, Managed

Dan Thomasson
Las Vegas Sun

Here we go again. Rather than fund the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, let’s tear it up and hand it over to the FBI. The cost of that, of course, would be four to six times what just giving the maligned agency the kind of support it needs to carry out its statutory authority would amount to.

That’s the latest attack on the chief federal bulwark against gun violence. What makes this unusual is that it doesn’t come from conservative sources like the Republican right, but from one on the liberal side normally aligned with the Obama administration. The Fund for American Progress, a think tank, has issued a lengthy report that seems to be based more on interviews with ATF’s regulatory officers than those charged with enforcing the law.

Over the decades, ATF agents have faced increasing difficulties in carrying out their mission because of underfunding, lack of direction at the top, harassment from a Congress that would rather have no interference with Second Amendment rights, a policy that has seen the proliferation of firearms from Saturday night specials to the battlefield variety, and a steady increase in the number of Americans who lose their lives each day to firearms.

Examples of that kind of horrific violence have played out in schools, shopping centers, movie theaters and college campuses and on the nation’s streets. Among supposed civilized nations, America has become the chief model of mindless and deadly social disruption supported by constitutional fiat that has no relevance in today’s world. The latest blood bath recently took place in a Texas restaurant jam-packed with motorcycle thugs who reportedly had gone there for recruiting purposes. Before the Waco police, Texas Rangers and state police could get it settled, nine were dead, a number wounded and 170 or so arrested.

The only visible federal law enforcement presence was represented by those with the big ATF acronym on the backs of their jackets. Only a few days earlier, these men and women had been called to the scene of a mysterious fire in an upscale neighborhood where the bodies of four people were found — three adults and a 10-year-old. It took only a short time for ATF’s arson experts to determine the fire was deliberately set obviously in a botched attempt to hide the slayings. This kind of expertise has been developed over years of dedicated hard work.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest