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Dr. Coburn Releases “Safety at Any Price” Report on Questionable Grant Spending at Department of Homeland Se curity

December 7, 2012

Dr. Coburn Releases “Safety at Any Price” Report on Questionable Grant Spending at Department of Homeland Security

Source: Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released an oversight report, “Safety at Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U.S. Cities.” The report is based on a year-long investigation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant programs and the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI).

More than $35 billion has been spent on DHS grant programs since 2003 with the intent to make Americans safer from terrorist attacks. However, 10 years later, DHS has been unable to establish goals or metrics to ensure that funds were used to make Americans safe, and cannot accurately measure how much safer we are today after spending $35 billion.

“At a time when our $16 trillion national debt is our greatest national security threat, we must make sure that all programs, especially those meant to prevent terrorism, are achieving their mission. This report shows that too often so-called security spending is making our nation less secure by directing scarce dollars to low-priority projects and low-risk areas,” Dr. Coburn said.

“For instance, paying for first responders to attend a HALO Counterterrorism Summit at a California island spa resort featuring a simulated zombie apocalypse does little to discourage potential terrorists. I hope this report encourages DHS to award funds based on calculated risk, not politics. Congress has a duty to ensure that this grant program does not become a parochial, pork-barrel entitlement program. We need to help the program fulfill its original goal of providing funds for projects in areas most at risk,” Dr. Coburn said.

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