Wolf Can’t Defend Trump’s Disastrous Budget & Incompetent Coronavirus Response

Chad Wolf testified this week before Congress, where he had to answer for Trump’s dangerously incompetent coronavirus response and defend Trump’s budget, which prioritizes his unnecessary border wall over essential health care, education and social safety net programs.

Wolf’s first budget hearing yesterday was rough. Senators from both parties called him out for his lack of expertise on key issues, including Trump’s coronavirus response.

Washington Post: “Trump’s DHS head has a brutal exchange on coronavirus — courtesy of a GOP senator.”

Politico: “At the homeland security budget hearing, Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) criticized Wolf for not providing enough information about risks from the outbreak. ‘You’re supposed to keep us safe, and the American people deserve some straight answers on the coronavirus, and I’m not getting them from you,’ Kennedy said.”

Washington Post’s Nick Miroff: “Wolf told senators he doesn’t know how many times smugglers have tried to saw through new sections of border wall. We asked DHS and CBP for that info when we wrote this story back in Nov. We’re still waiting”

As Trump’s budget called for cuts to essential health care, education and social safety net programs, it boosted funds for his cruel immigration agenda.

New York Times: “President Trump is expected to propose on Monday a $4.8 trillion budget that will include billions of additional dollars for his wall along the southern border and steep cuts to safety net programs like Medicaid, disability insurance and housing assistance, according to senior administration officials and documents reviewed by The New York Times.”

Axios: “The White House is asking for a boost to this year’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) budget, a proposal that includes 60,000 detention beds … ICE held record numbers of migrants in detention during and shortly after the border crisis last summer — reaching an average of 55,000 detained migrants per day. But the detained population never reached close to 60,000.”

Vox: “He would also allocate a total of $126 million to support his Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “remain in Mexico” policy, under which more than 60,000 migrants have been sent back to Mexico to wait on a decision on their asylum applications in the US. The vast majority of that money would go to the operation of temporary tent court facilities in US border towns, where Democrats say migrants affected by MPP aren’t getting fair hearings.”

Trump is seeking $2 billion in taxpayer dollars for his unnecessary border wall while planning to steal billions more from military projects.

Wall Street Journal: “The Trump administration plans to request $2 billion in new funding for border-wall construction, significantly less than the amount it sought last year … The smaller proposal, the officials said, reflects the fact that the administration needs fewer resources to build a wall along the U.S. southern border, as it has essentially met its funding goals by shifting money from the military toward construction.”

Politico: “The surprise reprogramming of another $3.8 billion, transmitted to Congress and provided to POLITICO, means the Pentagon will have forked over nearly $10 billion since last year to help pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall.”

Trump’s budget aims to cut FEMA’s flood mapping program and funding for repairs of “high-hazard” dams that could cause catastrophic harm if they fail.

E&E News: “The administration also is trying again to cut FEMA’s flood-mapping budget to $100 million from $263 million, saying that mapping the nation’s floodplains ‘is not solely a federal responsibility.’ Congress has blocked each attempted budget cut.”

E&E News: “The administration is renewing its effort to eliminate a $10 million FEMA program, enacted in the final month of the Obama administration, that helps communities pay for repairs to ‘high-hazard’ dams whose failure could result in loss of life.”