Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Budget Cut for Fence on U.S.-Mexico Border

It is nice to see some fiscal review of the financial promises made along the border in the last several years. Hopefully this money can be used for more proactive, socially-beneficial programs. --Lauren

Citing a plague of “cost overruns and missed deadlines,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday that she would cut millions of dollars intended for a high-tech “virtual fence” along the Mexican border that has produced little more than headaches for the federal government.

Ms. Napolitano said her department would divert about $50 million in federal stimulus money intended for the project to other technological needs on the border, including laptops, radios, thermal-imaging devices and cameras requested by border guards.

In addition, she said, no money will be spent on expanding the project beyond two areas in Arizona where it is being tested until the department completes a reassessment she ordered in January.

Ms. Napolitano’s announcement came two days before a scheduled Congressional hearing on the program. The House Homeland Security Committee is expected to receive the latest in a string of Government Accountability Office reports calling the program into question. That new report says tests designed to evaluate the system are flawed and mismanaged.

Link to NY Times for remaining article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/us/17fence.html?th&emc=th

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