WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Monday issued the following statement in response to the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget for the Department of Homeland Security.


           “I am grateful that the overall budget for the Department of Homeland Security will see a modest increase in funding for the next fiscal year – estimated at just under 3 percent – allowing it to continue carrying out its core security mission.

            “Given recent terrorist attacks on our homeland, the Administration made a wise choice to bump up spending for aviation security by $900 million, including more money in its budget to buy and staff whole body imaging machines, beef up canine units, strengthen our behavioral detection abilities, and increase the number of air marshals.

            “I am similarly pleased that the budget would strengthen the overall management of the Department, including offices responsible for overseeing billions of dollars in procurements. But I am concerned that funding for the Department’s Inspector General may not be sufficient for it to be as aggressive a watchdog against waste, fraud, and abuse as we need. 

              “Funding cuts in other areas critical to our homeland defense will require the Department to double down on efforts to manage programs with greater skill and efficiency. I will do what I can to help the Coast Guard overcome a proposed cut of 773 people. The Administration wants to spend $200 million for security to try terrorists in federal civilian courts, which I strongly oppose because enemy combatants should be tried in a military setting.  At the same time, they are proposing over $300 million in cuts to important programs that secure transit systems, provide disaster medical response, support fire fighters, promote interoperability, and encourage citizen preparedness.  These cuts will hurt our state and local partners most and come at a time when communities are hard pressed to find this critical funding on their own.     

             “Difficult budget decisions must be made, and I offer my support to the President and his Administration for making those difficult decisions.  I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues to enact a 2011 budget that helps improve the security of the American people.”