Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security heard from Secretary Michael Chertoff and expressed concerns with several budget priorities outlined in the President's FY 2008 Homeland Security budget proposal.  Although there are some disagreements between the Committee and the Administration over budget shortfalls and funding levels, we appreciated the dialog, which we hope will lead to mutually amicable results.

This budget falls drastically short in several critical areas. It leaves glaring gaps in our Nation's border, port, mass transit, rail, aviation, cyber and critical infrastructure security.  It cuts grant programs and does not ensure that first responders are properly trained and equipped. It fails to illustrate the need for strong privacy and civil liberties protections and does not address the appalling state of morale among the Department's employees. In short, the budget does not aggressively move the Nation forward in a way that promotes the necessity of protection, prevention, and preparation.