DeFazio Offers Amendment To Homeland Security Funding Bill
May 26, 2006
Press Release | Contact: Danielle Langone (202) 225-6416
WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Peter DeFazio offered an amendment yesterday to the FY 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations Act that would have increased funding for the Office of Inspector General (OIG). The amendment was defeated by a vote of 200 to 220.
The Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which is expected to pass the House in June, provides critical funding for border and transportation security, preparedness grants and training, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Coast Guard. The bill provides a total of $33.1 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion over the previous year.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) OIG uncovers waste, fraud and abuse throughout the agency and provides directions to the agency on how to improve security and avoid waste in the future. DeFazio offered an amendment that would have increased funding for the OIG in FY 2007 by $11.5 million.
This additional funding would have helped make up a shortfall in the office's budget, ensuring that the OIG could continue to aggressively conduct oversight of the Department's activities and programs, despite the enormous strain that the continued oversight of the Hurricane Katrina response and recovery have caused.
"While this bill will increase funding for homeland security over last year, it falls short of properly protecting the American public," DeFazio said. "In light of the many needs, it's even more important we have a robust Office of the Inspector General to ensure limited taxpayer dollars are not being wasted or misspent.
"The Inspector General not only guards taxpayer dollars, but also works to reveal gaps in homeland security policies and operations in this huge, disjointed agency," DeFazio said. "We can't afford to ease up on oversight of the TSA, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or FEMA. My amendment would have ensured adequate funding to allow the OIG to continue its work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina without sacrificing critical ongoing oversight of the rest of DHS."