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TSA Budget Could Pay for Border Wall

Airport security agency budget may see reduction under OMB proposal

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) budget may see a hit in order to fulfill a Trump campaign promise to construct a border wall between Mexico and the United States. Politico reports that the TSA budget could be reduced by approximately 11 percent under a proposal from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Under a draft obtained by Politico, the TSA budget would be one of several affected within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to finance the border wall. Among the programs affected by the program, $65 million would be saved by ending the behavioral detection officer (BDO) program. The effectiveness of BDOs in airports was called into question after a leak of the “behavior checklist” in 2014, followed by a 2017 report accusing the BDO program of encouraging racial profiling.

The highly-visible VIPR teams could be reduced as well under the OMB suggestion. According to the Washington Post, removing the uniformed agents tasked with enhanced searches of airports and other transportation stations would save $57 million. Additional programs that could be cut include the $20 million “armed pilot” program, which trains pilots and flight crews to defend themselves in the event of a hijack attempt, as well as $45 million in grants for local law enforcement patrols at airports.

To compensate for the budget cuts, the OMB suggests increasing the TSA security fee by $1 in 2018, to up to $12.20 per ticket. The TSA fees were last increased in 2014, when the administration doubled security costs paid by flyers. Other organizations under DHS that would be reduced include the FEMA and the United States Coast Guard.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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AlwaysFlyStar March 10, 2017

Why do they need to make cuts? I thought Mexico was going to pay for it.

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diver858 March 10, 2017

In other words: rather than getting Mexico to pay for the wall, the Trump admin is going to increase TSA fees by $1 ???