There is continuous disagreement between the R’s and the D’s over taxes and expenditures and the next fight looming in Congress looks like it will be over revamping the tax code. The R’s want to reduce income, or at minimum not increase revenue per the amount received from the top 1% of taxpayers. At the same time a large percentage of the Federal budget is spent on Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security for baby boomers like me. Because of the continuous disagreement over tax and budget issues, departments within the Federal government including over 50 Federal Law Enforcement agencies have a difficult time determining their own budgets and therefore what services they can provide to meet constituent needs.
The ATF for instance has not only a general budget problem caused by congressional inaction, but also has a major lobbying force working against it in the form of the NRA which is opposed to any funding related to gun control, one of the ATF’s main functions.
As best I can tell, the TSA has it’s own set of problems caused by growth in air travel, continuous regulatory revisions brought about by changing threats and training issues. They also may have misjudged the affect TSA Pre- Check would have on numbers of travelers. TSA funding was recently increased because of public outrage at the long lines in airports, but the time lag between funding, hiring, bringing on new staff and then training is usually an issue.
The larger problems we currently have with tax and spending priorities has another problem and that is called sequester.
Although a bit more complicated then we can deal with here, Sequester basically puts caps on much of government spending. The problem is that although the military is absolved from certain cuts much of Federal Law Enforcement is not. The Secret Service is a prime example. With a total work force of a little over 6700, the last I knew the Agency was short about 300 special agents. In addition agent compensation is capped so that after 10/12-hour shifts they may still be required to work without additional pay. This has created a situation where many agents are taking early retirement and then in some cases returning on a contracting basis.
I would hope Congress would get back to some semblance of what is called “regular order” so that many of these problems could be addressed and resolved. If you want to help resolve this issue, write your Congressman and tell him to get back to “regular order” and try working across the isle to get a few things done.