• Lawmakers question DHS about cutting costs

    On Tuesday, during a hearing on inspector general recommendations, House lawmakers pointedly questioned DHS and Defense Department (DoD) officials  on departmental efforts to contain costs.

  • DHS asked to help shield Port of Hueneme from the effects of sequestration

    The Port of Hueneme is the only deep-water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Sequestration-related budget cuts mean the port’s six CBP and two Department of Agriculture inspectors can no longer work on Saturdays, or work overtime. This means that ships arriving at the port now have to wait outside until inspectors are available – at a cost to carriers of between $25,000 and $50,000 per day depending on the size of the ship. Port authorities and local businesses are worried that it will not be long before carriers direct their ships to other ports.

  • CBP sends out furlough notices to agency employees

    The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has started sending furlough notices to its employees, the result of the agency’s need to cope with a 5 percent sequestration-related reduction in salaries and expenses. Border patrol agents say the cuts will hobble efforts to make the border more secure.

     

  • Budget cuts lead to uncertainty for military schools

    The sequestration has hit many federal agencies, but Defense Department schools and other military education programs  have more questions than  answers as to how the federal budget cuts will affect them.

  • Air Force, DoD curtailing air activity

    Federal budget cuts are starting to take their toll. Department of Defense (DoD) comptroller Robert Hale has sent out updated travel guidelines to DoD employees, which take account of  the $46 billion being cut from the Pentagon’s budget. In addition, training flight hours will be cut by 18 percent, which comes out to approximately 203,000 hours.

  • Airports yet to be affected by sequestration-related cuts

    Since sequestration went into effect last Friday, both  airport authorities and DHS have been saying that that passengers should prepare themselves for  longer wait times at security checkpoints. So far, airports in major cities have reported no discernible increase in wait time at security lines.

  • El Paso police receives a federal grant, but resident are worried about CBP budget cuts

    As the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency begins to deal with significant budget cuts and furloughs, the local law enforcement in El Paso, Texas has just received additional funding. Local police officers help residents handle encounters with illegal immigrants, but many residents believe U.S. Border Patrol agents are more suitable for the task.

  • U.S. arms sales, security partnerships to suffer as a result of sequestration cuts

    One area where sequestration-mandated budget cuts will be felt sooner rather than later is U.S. support for foreign militaries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Training and security partnership engagements with allies will likely decline as well as the Defense Department must now operate with a $46 billion cut in its budget for fiscal 2013.

  • Scientists: sequestration will damage U.S. science

    The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has once again called on Congress and the president to work together to prevent sequestration, the automatic across-the-board budget cuts that are scheduled to go into effect on 1 March.

  • With budget cuts looming, ICE releases undocumented immigrants from detention

    With budget cuts hanging over federal agencies, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has started to prepare for the cuts by releasing detainees from its detention facilities across the country on Monday.

  • Tennessee considers ways to raise money for homeland security

    A 2011 bill gave the Tennessee government the ability to revoke the license of anyone in the state who did not pay criminal fines and court costs. Lawmakers originally hoped the law would bring millions of dollars in reinstatement fees, money which would be directed to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Only nine counties are complying with the law by notifying the state of violators, and so far the state had collected just $22,425.

  • Scientists warn of sequestration’s impact on basic research

    With less than a week left before sequestration is to take effect, America’s research community has repeated its call for an end to the across-the-board cuts to discretionary spending which will restrict the U.S. ability to invest in the basic scientific research. A coalition of American research and education institutions says that it is this basic research which drives innovation and produces economic growth.

  • Harvard president issues a clarion call for science

    Harvard President Drew Faust, addressingthe annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), called for members of the scientific community to “raise our voices” in an effort to prevent the U.S. Congress from becoming “an American Association for the Retreat of Science.” Urging widespread efforts to prevent U.S. cuts in funds for sustained research, Faust said: “We must secure the federal research support critical to the future of our nation and of the world.”

  • DHS to buy 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition

    DHS is looking to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition in the next four or five years — this comes to about five bullets for every person in the United States. The news was met in some conspiratorial quarters as an indication that the government is in an “arms race against the American people,” but the truth is more mundane: the rounds will be used for basic and advanced law enforcement training for federal law enforcement agencies supervised by DHS. The training will be conducted Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia and other facilities, which also offer firearms training to tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officers.

  • Infrastructure renewal in regional Australia

    New research in Australia calls for the establishment of a new national organization to tackle the shortfall in infrastructure investment and boost the regions’ capacity to contribute to national economic growth. Expert say the new organization, to be called Local Infrastructure Australia, would be the most effective way of overcoming the backlog in local government infrastructure investment now estimated at between $12 and $15.5 billion.