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Congressmen Argue: Will Sequestration Affect Border Security?

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Congressmen Argue: Will Sequestration Affect Border Security?

Congressmen Argue: Will Sequestration Affect Border Security?

Some Republicans say the Department of Homeland Security is exaggerating the harm sequestration will cause border security.

Texas Congressman Lamar Smith says the Republican backed house has already taken steps to avoid harm to border security.

A continuing resolution passed earlier this week, to fund the federal government, contains a provision that allows defense, veterans and border security some flexibility to adjust where they will cut.

“What we did was to make sure that the border patrol customs enforcement were able to maintain their current staffing levels so that we don’t have to endanger American lives so that we can maintain the tourism and traffic coming across our borders,” Smith said.

But maintaining current staffing levels doesn’t rule out the threat to cutback over time, or mandate furloughs.

Texas Congressman Pete Gallego a Democrat says this doesn’t fix the problem.

His district stretches across the Texas-Mexico border and he says the agents with the Border Patrol and Customs still be working less and that will have a real impact on border trade, traffic and security.

“They have more flexibility in dealing with the budget cuts – but the budget cuts themselves didn’t go away and the continuing resolution didn’t give them any extra money,” said Gallego.

Gallego said this situation hurts the men and women of the border patrol, their families and their communities which will all be forced to deal with the drastic reduction in their take home pay – regardless of what was included in the continuing resolution.