WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) blasted the House Republican budget proposal to cut fiscal year 2024 discretionary spending back to the fiscal year 2022 enacted level—resulting in a cut of at least 22 percent for essential programs – and the harm it would do to border communities, the economy and public safety.
“The Republican budget’s hypocrisy is apparent in their claim to care about border communities while they offer cuts that could halt critical progress we are set to make,” said Rep. Grijalva. “We need to invest in our ports of entry and public infrastructure to ensure they are secure and modern. Transportation and infrastructure funding is vital for Arizona as a border state to keep our commerce and economy moving forward. The Republican budget does the opposite putting our nation’s and communities’ economies and people at risk.”
These drastic Republican budget cuts will have far-reaching consequences for our border and transportation and infrastructure in Arizona and across the county, including:
- A reduction in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) frontline law enforcement staffing levels of up to 2,400 agents and officers, jeopardizing our ability to manage our borders;
- A reduction in operation hours for ports of entry and a hiring freeze impacting the agency’s ability to hire 300 additional agents and 150 officers, which will slow down trade and commerce;
- CBP would be less able to enforce trade laws and as well as forced labor laws, putting our businesses and workers at risk;
- A reduction in the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to prevent illegal drugs, such as fentanyl, from entering the country, making our communities less safe;
- Cuts in federal assistance to state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners for disaster preparedness, leaving our communities more vulnerable to natural disasters and emergencies;
- Reductions in TSA personnel that would result in wait times in excess of 2 hours at large airports across the country, causing undue burden and stress on travelers;
- Reductions for the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment will decrease funding for key projects across the country that are already under or nearing construction or in the local planning and development process;
- 90 fewer safety rail inspections at a time when train derailments are wreaking havoc on community safety and 980 fewer miles of track inspected in Arizona next year alone;
- Shutting down services for at least 6 Air Traffic Control Towers in Arizona, and produce wait times of two hours or more at some large airports across the country.
More information on how Republican budget cuts would impact the Department of Homeland Security is available here. Information on how Republican budget cuts would impact the Department of Transportation is available here.