In the wake of the deadly bombing in Manchester, England, which killed 22 people and injured dozens more, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) strongly warned against President Trump’s proposed FY2018 budget cuts to critical Transportation Security Administration (TSA) programs that safeguard Americans while traveling.
The senator specifically mentioned non-secure “soft targets,” such as check-in areas and baggage claims as areas that could not afford security cuts.
Included in the proposed FY2018 budget are cuts that would reduce the number of Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams, which protect the nation’s transportation systems, from 31 to just eight nationwide.
In addition to protecting transit hubs, VIPR teams also work to secure National Special Security Events (NSSEs) like the Super Bowl and the State of the Union Address.
“In the face of international terrorism, it’s critical that we make every effort to secure our airports, train stations, and bus depots–the places Americans rely on to go about their daily lives,” Heinrich said in a public release. “As we target terrorists abroad we owe it to our citizens to protect them at home. I am stunned President Trump would eliminate critical security programs in order to provide tax breaks to the wealthy.”
Heinrich serves as the junior U.S. Senator from New Mexico, a position he has held since 2012.