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Dem Rep Spars with Acting Homeland Security Chief at Hearing

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Posted: Mar 04, 2020 12:30 PM
Dem Rep Spars with Acting Homeland Security Chief at Hearing

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

"Now Mr. Wolf, I know that the president doesn't care about our military enough to actually protect them and their families," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) charged at her witness, Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, at a recent homeland security hearing. Wolf, who was testifying on Capitol Hill about President Trump's fiscal year 2021 budget request, didn't appreciate Schultz's narrative. He explained in his opening statement that the president's budget request is intended to protect the homeland. Some money will be used for cybersecurity, other funds will be funneled toward infrastructure. A large portion of the request, which appears to be the big sticking point, is the amount the administration is asking for border security.

As Wolf explained, they have asked for $2 billion for the construction of approximately 82 miles of new border wall systems and additional funding for technology and staffing. Trump wants an additional $3 billion to ensure that law enforcement has the resources it needs to execute the law, detain and remove illegal immigrants.

But Schultz couldn't equate those requests with homeland security.

"This is a tiny sample of the sacrificed projects from the money you stole for this boondoggle of a border wall," Schultz said.

"Don't you agree that canceling projects for our military is detrimental to their quality of life?" she asked pointedly.

Wolf calmly explained that he's spoken with law enforcement all across the border, and he knows firsthand that the funding is being used first and foremost to protect Americans. As for Schultz's remarks, he said, "some of those comments trivialize the violence that they see, that they have to deal with."

They simply have competing priorities, he explained.

Schultz "reclaimed" her time to charge Trump with a "fake professed love of the military."

"This is what happens when you elect someone and allow someone who is so inept as he is to run the government that is the most powerful nation on earth, is supposed to be protecting our men and women in uniform," she added.

She encouraged Wolf to look up the word "kakistocracy." A kakistocracy is a government in which "the worst persons are in power," according to Dictionary.com.

Schultz didn't let Wolf respond because, she explained, she had "yielded" her time.