Presidential budget proposals are primarily messaging documents highlighting administration priorities. But the outline has drawn bipartisan criticism from lawmakers concerned about cuts to key national security programs.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said the cuts would “only reduce our readiness and effectiveness in preventing potential attacks and responding to disasters.”
“The White House needs to go back to drawing board with its budget and produce something to Congress that is workable, realistic, and, most importantly, keeps our country safe,” he said.
A DHS spokesman declined to comment on the draft and referred question to OMB.
“The budget blueprint will be released in mid-March. It would be premature for us to comment on – or anyone to report – the specifics of this internal discussion before its publication,” OMB communications director John Czwartacki said in a statement.
“The president and his cabinet are working collaboratively as we speak to create a budget that keeps the president’s promises to secure the country and prioritize taxpayer funds.”
News of the draft was first reported by Politico.
Nearly $300 million would go to hiring more border patrol agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, while $1.9 billion would be used to help fund immigrant detention and deportation efforts.
The draft would eliminate TSA funding for the Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Program, which funds the “VIPR” squads who prevent terror attacks in train stations, airports and other transportation hubs. It would also cut approximately $65 million in funding for behavior detection officers and federal grants for local law enforcement at airports.
The proposal would also reduce Secret Service funding for the National Computer Forensics Institute, a federally-funded cybercrime training center for local law enforcement. Overall, the agency would lose just over $50 million in funds.
ABC's Jordyn Phelps and Geneva Sands contributed to this report.