WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, released the following statement in response to President Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget proposal. Last week, Sen. Carper commended the Administration’s $1 billion request, as part of its fiscal year 2016 budget proposal, to support economic development, enhanced security measures, and stronger governance in the nations of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
“Earlier today, the President outlined a budget that would continue to support many of the priorities that I share as ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and that would continue to help foster our nation’s economic growth.
“First, the President’s fiscal year 2016 budget demonstrates the Administration’s continued commitment to ensuring that our nation is safe and secure. Part of this effort is to make sure there is adequate coordination and collaboration across the Department. Thus, I was encouraged that the President’s proposal would support the consolidation of the Department’s headquarters at the St. Elizabeths campus. The Administration’s budget would also continue its efforts to enhance security at our nation’s airports and borders.
“Over the past several years, we’ve seen a disturbing pattern of extreme weather that has taken lives and cost our nation billions of dollars in loss of property and economic opportunity. In response, the Administration’s fiscal year 2016 budget would direct more resources for pre-disaster mitigation efforts so our communities are better prepared when the next storm or disaster inevitably hits. The Administration’s budget would also ensure that the Department has the funding necessary to enforce the recently reauthorized Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program and to continue cybersecurity efforts across its components – priorities that Dr. Tom Coburn and I championed last Congress. Further, this proposal would see that the Secret Service has the necessary resources to implement an independent oversight panel’s recommendations to enhance security for the President and at the White House, following a number of serious security lapses over the past few years.
“The President’s budget also focused on a number of priorities that would increase efficiencies across the federal government so that agencies are able to save critical taxpayer dollars while delivering better services to the American people. The budget proposal would implement more program integrity measures across the federal government, such as additional tools to reduce improper payments that cost our agencies millions each year. It would also direct more resources to improve the federal government’s acquisition and management of information technology, and take steps to save money through strategic sourcing in federal contracting and a reduction of the overall federal footprint in real property.
“Finally, I’d like to underscore the Administration’s continued support for postal reform. I welcome the proposed budget’s inclusion of a number of key principals in the bipartisan Postal Reform Act of 2014, which was approved by our committee last year. Like the Carper-Coburn Postal Reform Act, the Administration’s proposal would protect Saturday delivery until total mail volume drops below 140 billion pieces per year and establish a Chief Innovation Officer to help the American institution adapt to the Digital Age. I look forward to partnering with the Administration on these initiatives and more as I continue to work with my Congressional colleagues on comprehensive reform for the Postal Service this year.
“Budget battles of all kinds can hinder our nation’s economic growth and make it very challenging for any federal agency to accomplish their mission effectively. That’s why I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to study the President’s proposal carefully and act in the best interest of our nation’s taxpayers, businesses, security, and economic recovery. While I know we will have our differences on some policies, I believe that those of us in Congress can all agree that we need to do everything possible to give the government and businesses certainty and show the American people that we can lead. An important part of that effort is to pass a comprehensive and bipartisan budget plan, and I think this proposal by the President is a good start. I look forward to discussing the details of this proposal with the Administration and my Congressional colleagues in the coming weeks.”