Federal Employees Union Supports 9/11 Commission Findings

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) says it is imperative that the administration and Congress immediately implement the 9/11 Public Discourse Project's suggestions on improving national security.

The union represents 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia, including the largest constituency of Department of Homeland Security employees, including border patrol, customs and border protection, immigration and customs enforcement officers; Transportation Security Administration screeners; Federal Emergency Management Agency workers; and civilian Coast Guard employees.

"The final report on 9/11 commission recommendations is extremely worrisome and only reinforces AFGE's assertions that the administration is not doing enough to protect the American public," said AFGE National Homeland Security Council President Charles Showalter. "The administration received twice as many Cs, Ds and Fs as it did As or Bs. More than just disconcerting, that simply is unacceptable. How can we trust this administration on any issues when it's proven unable to meet our security needs?"

"Among our chief concerns is the failing grade given to rrisk-based allocation of Homeland Security funding. It's incomprehensible that the administration continues to distribute Homeland Security funds without regard to risk. In order to protect this nation, our defenses must be the strongest where we are most vulnerable. It is essential that Congress get its priorities straight and reallocate the funds in this area."

Showalter noted that as a union representing some of the country's homeland security employees, AFGE was worried about the poor marks given under the Border Security section.

Showalter called the One Face at the Border program "a total disaster," adding, "You have highly skilled, dedicated officers working outside of their areas of expertise and working outside of the areas they've been trained."

"The three components of One Face Agriculture, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are highly specialized and require focused training," Showalter said. "Throwing the employees of these agencies together and expecting them to do a job they aren't trained for is a disaster waiting to happen."

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