The “Security Minibus” Omits Funding for Key Security Programs
Starting today, the House will consider the “Make America Secure Appropriations Act, 2018,” also called the “Security Minibus,” which is a package of four appropriations bills including Defense, Energy and Water, Military Construction/Veterans Affairs, and the Legislative branch. House Republicans are labeling these as “national security bills,” once again failing to recognize that our country’s security depends on much more than our military might. This bill fails to address key security programs that keep Americans safe at home and abroad. Given the Republicans’ proposed 2018 spending levels, this Security Minibus exposes these vital priorities to potentially deep cuts.
Examples of national security priorities at risk include:
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security – The Department of Homeland Security is the primary agency responsible for keeping America safe. The department’s wide-ranging duties include aviation security, border security, emergency response, and cybersecurity. The U.S. Coast Guard, responsible for maritime safety, security, and serving as a first responder, is not included in the Republican security package.
- U.S. Department of Justice – The Justice Department, responsible for enforcing the law, defending the interests of the United States, ensuring public safety, and preventing and controlling crime, is not included in the package. Notably, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, responsible for investigating and combating terrorism, is left unfunded.
- Public Health Programs – Offices and agencies that ensure the health and safety of Americans, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, are also omitted from the package.
- U.S. Department of State – According to military experts, diplomacy and foreign aid are critical components of our national security. Yet the bill omits the entire State Department.
- Food Safety and Inspection Programs – Federal programs that protect our food supply from foodborne illness and contamination, whether intentional or unintentional, are absent from this bill.
House Republicans’ extremely narrow view of security will put Americans at risk if these departments and programs, among many others, are not adequately funded. The only way to ensure our national and economic security is to raise the caps for both defense and nondefense programs, and make the investments needed for all federal programs to meet their national security missions.