Attached (See Below) is DHS Secretary Napolitano’s testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee today outlining the potential effects of the March 1st sequester on the DHS’s national security and economic missions.
In her testimony, the Secretary states “Sequestration would rollback bordersecurity, increase waittimes at our Nation’sland ports of entry andairports, affectaviation and maritime safety and security,leavecritical infrastructure more vulnerable toattacks, hamperdisaster response time and our surge force capabilities, and significantlydelay cybersecurity infrastructure protections. In addition, sequestrationwould necessitate furloughs ofup to
14 days for a significant portionofour frontlinelaw enforcement personnel,and could potentiallyresult inreductions in capabilities across the Department.”
“Reductions mandated under sequestration would require furloughs and reduced staffing at our Nation’s POEs and airport security checkpoints, increasing wait times for travelers and slowing commerce across the country. Reduced CBP staffing wouldmakefour to five hour waittimes commonplace and causethe busiestports to facegridlock situationsat peak periods.”
“In Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 alone, DHS processed more than 350 million travelers at our POEs, including more than 98 million international air travelers, as well as $2.3 trillion dollars worth of trade. Trade and travel is absolutely essential to our economy. Indeed, according to the U.S. Travel Association, one new American job is created for every 33 travelers arriving from overseas. Any increases in wait times at the borders will have a direct impact on our Nation’s economy.”
“Facing more than halfabillion dollars in cuts, CBP would not be able to maintain current staffing levels ofBorderPatrolagents and CBPOfficers asmandated by Congress. Sequestration would force CBP to immediately begin furloughs ofits employees, reduce overtime forfrontline operations, anddecrease itshiringto backfill positions. Specifically, beginning April 1, CBP would have to reduce itswork hoursby the equivalent ofover5,000 Border Patrol agents and the equivalent ofover2,750 CBPOfficers.”
If these sequestration cuts go into effect, NTEU will press to negotiate the impact and implementation of any furlough or reduction in force of our bargaining unit workforce. NTEU continues to press Congress to prevent the sequester from going into effect on March 1, 2013. To find out what you can do to help prevent the March 1st sequester, go to NTEU.org and click on Legislative Action Center.