FIVE-ALARM FIRE: The House Freedom Caucus’ Extreme Budget Proposal Endangers Public Safety
The extreme MAGA Republican House Freedom Caucus has made their priorities clear: imposing devastating cuts to public safety and increasing costs for working- and middle-class families, all to protect and extend tax breaks skewed to the wealthy and big corporations. In fact, their tax cuts would be so expensive that their deep and harmful cuts would not reduce the deficit.
That’s in sharp contrast with the President’s Budget, which invests in America, lowers costs for families, protects and strengthens Medicare and Social Security, and reduces the deficit by $3 trillion over 10 years, while ensuring no one making less than $400,000 per year pays a penny more in new taxes.
Combined with other commitments extreme MAGA House Republicans have already made, the extreme Freedom Caucus proposal will be a disaster for families in at least five key ways: endangering public safety, raising costs for families, shipping manufacturing jobs overseas and undermining American workers, weakening national security, and hurting seniors.
Last week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed that Congressional Republicans’ budget math doesn’t add up. CBO found that—in order to meet Congressional Republicans’ stated commitment to balancing the budget in 10 years without raising taxes on the wealthy or corporations, and without cutting Social Security, Medicare, defense, and some veterans’ benefits—Congressional Republicans would need to eliminate everything in the rest of the Federal budget.
The extreme MAGA Republican House Freedom Caucus proposal will be a five-alarm fire for families—including by endangering public safety. While the President’s Budget proposes smart investments to improve public safety, strengthen border security, and improve the safety of our transportation networks, extreme MAGA Republicans are pushing draconian cuts to these critical national priorities that would endanger Americans’ safety.
Their proposals will:
- Make Our Border Less Secure The extreme MAGA Republican House Freedom Caucus proposal would eliminate funding for more than 2,000 Customs and Border Protection agents and officers and severely undermine our ability to secure the border and combat drug trafficking—allowing an additional 150,000 pounds of cocaine, nearly 900 pounds of fentanyl, nearly 2,000 pounds of heroin, and more than 17,000 pounds of methamphetamine into our country.
- Defund the Police and Make Communities Less Safe. The extreme MAGA Republican House Freedom Caucus proposal would eliminate funding for 11,000 FBI personnel, including agents who investigate crimes and keep guns out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers. Their plan would cut Federal support to 60 local law enforcement agencies, eliminating 400 local law enforcement positions, slash law enforcement, crime prevention and justice grants to local and state governments by an average of $30,000 per locality and $1 million per state. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) would have to implement a hiring freeze that would mean 190 agents, 130 Industry Operations Investigators, and 180 technical and support staff would be lost to attrition—and ATF’s entire workforce of over 5,000 personnel would have to take 36 furlough days, further undermining their operations. ATF agents are often some of the first federal law enforcement on the scene of a mass shooting to help local law enforcement identify at-large shooters.
- Scale Back Rail Safety Inspections. At a time when train derailments are wreaking havoc on community safety, the extreme MAGA Republican House Freedom Caucus proposal would lead to 11,000 fewer rail safety inspection days next year alone, and 30,000 fewer miles of track inspected annually—enough track to cross the United States nearly 10 times. Since the Norfolk Southern train derailment, bipartisan Senators have called for more rail inspections, not fewer.
- Jeopardize Air Safety and Increase Airport Security Wait Times. The extreme MAGA Republican House Freedom Caucus proposal would shut down services at 125 Air Traffic Control Towers across the country—undermining safety at one third of all U.S. airports—and increase wait times at TSA security check points by an average of 30 minutes.