NPT DC: Reyes’ take on Obama budget
News release from the office of U.S. Rep Silvestre Reyes:
PRESIDENT’S BUDGET PROPOSAL INCLUDES FUNDING FOR CRITICAL PRIORITIES FOR EL PASO AND THE BORDER REGION
Fort Bliss would receive over a quarter-billion for new construction projects, new Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry in Mission Valley would receive over $91 million for inspection facilities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) today released the following statement on President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget proposal.
“President Obama’s FY 2010 budget reflects his Administration’s determination to set a new course in America’s border security policy. The President’s budget includes critical investments in several key areas that would significantly increase the resources available to help our law enforcement cut the flow of weapons, money, and drugs that are illegally smuggled between the United States and Mexico. It would also allocate over $91 million to fund inspection facilities for the new Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry with the capacity to conduct more thorough inspections of southbound traffic.
“I have strongly urged President Obama and his Administration to enact a strategic and comprehensive border security policy that moves beyond ineffective piecemeal approaches such as the border fence. This budget reflects his Administration’s willingness to move our country’s border security policy in a new direction to meet America’s 21st century security needs.
“I applaud President Obama for proposing much-needed investments at this critical time to improve border security. The President’s plan would provide substantial funding increases for initiatives and agencies such as the Southwest Border Initiative (SWB), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Marshals Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These funding increases will support additional manpower, training, equipment, and other resources that will improve our region’s security over the long-term.
“While I am encouraged by the President’s budget request in these critical areas, I am disappointed that funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) was eliminated. This funding is critical to border communities such as El Paso that have to shoulder additional costs to incarcerate undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes. In the weeks and months ahead, I will work closely with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to help ensure that we continue to reimburse border communities for these costs.
“In addition, the President’s budget would allocate over $345 million for construction projects at Fort Bliss. These projects will further prepare the base for the influx of new troops as a result of BRAC. As the Army’s top-rated installation for military value, the Army continues to invest billions in new facilities and equipment at Fort Bliss. As a senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will continue working with my colleagues to provide Fort Bliss with the resources it needs during the ongoing transformation into a key facility for the future of the Army.”
For more information on other areas of the President’s budget that are important to the needs of the 16th District of Texas, visit http://www.reyes.house.gov.
Selected Highlights from President Obama’s FY 2010 Budget Significant to El Paso and the Border Region
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry Inspection Facilities: $91.565 million for the Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry federal inspection facilities.
U.S. Department of Justice
Department-wide Southwest Border Initiative (SWB): The budget provides $2 billion for this initiative, which is an increase of $302 million over the 2009 enacted level. The Department of Justice’s SWB initiative supports the efforts of U.S. border states and Mexico to combat violence, stop the flow of illegal weapons and drug trafficking, bring dangerous criminals to justice, share critical information, and provide technical assistance and training to our law enforcement partners on both sides of the border. The initiative brings together the formidable law enforcement and prosecutorial components of the Department, including DEA, ATF, the U.S. Marshals, the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force, the U.S. Attorneys, the Criminal and Civil Divisions, and the Executive Office of Immigration Review, to help secure the border and maintain the rule of law in the region. The 2010 Budget request for the Department’s SWB effort represents an almost 18 percent increase over last year’s funding. It reflects the President’s commitment to provide more funding, technology, and manpower to secure the Southwest Border and help Mexico battle the drug cartels.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives: The budget includes $1.1 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), a net increase of $68 million or 6.5 percent over the 2009 enacted level. The FY 2010 request supports ATF’s efforts to reduce violent crime, detect and prevent terrorism and enforce the Federal firearms and explosives laws. For FY 2010, $17,989,000 is provided to support the Southwest Border Project Gunrunner. This funding will provide additional resources for understaffed ATF field offices on the border and within the inner cities, the deployment of additional special agents into Mexico, and personnel to assist in the identification and classification of recovered firearms on the border.
United States Marshals Service: The budget provides $1.1 billion for the United States Marshals Service, an increase of $191 million or 20.2 percent over the 2009 enacted level. Of this amount, $134 million are program enhancements for 700 positions (including 528 Deputy Marshals) to address Southwest Border enforcement and an additional $10 million is provided for courthouse security construction. Funding is provided to the United States Marshals Service to strengthen immigration enforcement along the Southwest Border.
Combating Illegal Drugs: The budget includes a total of $2.8 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), an increase of $130 million or 4.8 percent over the FY 2009 enacted level. These funds provide for 154 new DEA positions, including 78 agents, 25 intelligence analysts and 11 chemists; 99 OCEDTF positions, including 72 agents/attorneys; and 23 analyst positions to increase NDIC’s ability to provide document exploitation, analyze drug trends and provide accurate and timely drug threat assessments to the intelligence community and others. A significant portion of the new funding is dedicated to support law enforcement efforts to help stop the flow of illegal drugs across the Southwest Border and to investigate, disrupt and dismantle major Mexican drug cartels.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): For FY 2010, $24 million is requested to expand and reinforce DEA operations on the Southwest Border and its ability to disrupt and dismantle violent Mexican cartels. The Southwest Border enhancement includes an increased border presence to interrupt the flow of drugs to Mexican drug rings operating within the U.S.
Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative: The budget proposes $30 million for the Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative. This initiative provides funding for local prosecutor offices in the four border states, including Texas, for costs associated with the prosecution of criminal cases declined by local offices of the United States Attorneys.
Department of Homeland Security
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): The budget provides $5.46 billion for ICE, $469 million (9 percent) over the 2009 enacted level. The request includes over 300 new investigators along the Southwest Border, an additional $39 million to expand the Secure Communities criminal alien identification and removal program, and improvements to infrastructure to more effectively execute ICE’s law enforcement mission.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP): The budget provides $10.1 billion for CBP, $230 million (2 percent) over the 2009 enacted level, which includes funding for 20,000 Border Patrol agents.
International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE): The 2010 budget includes $1.9 billion for INCLE, a $168 million increase over the 2009 total, which includes approximately $588 million from both the enacted and requested supplementals, and the Andean Counterdrug Program. The request level provides $525 million for the Merida Initiative–$450 million for Mexico and $75 million for the Central American states.
Military Construction: $346.2 million to fund critical construction projects throughout the base to further prepare the installation for the influx of new troops scheduled to arrive in coming years.