The Ed Show | March 08, 2013
>>> thanks for staying with us tonight. well, it's been a week since the cuts went into effect and federal spending cuts just got real for republicans in border states . and tonight, they are rethinking their party's position. was this the right thing to do? a senior official with the department of homeland security confirms all 60,000 customs and border protection employees are getting furlough notices. here are the furlough facts. all 60,000 border and custom control employees might have to take 14 unpaid days off. overtime is getting capped and wages could drop 35%. they got to be excited about this. but what about security? the furloughs go beyond paychecks for the workers and could threaten security. smugglers know the agency's weakness and exploit changes in manpower. of course, arizona governor jan brewer is a longtime advocate of the corporate tax cuts and shrinking government programs. always has been. but all of a sudden, she's kind of changing her tune. brewer lashed out this week when federal spending cuts forced homeland security to release 300 low risk detainees.
>> they are releasing what we believe to be criminal illegal alien .
>> brewer's spokesman calls the news about the furloughs outrageous and, quote, any cut that impacts public safety should be a last resort. then there's maricopa county sheriff joe arpaio who is also questioning this party's spending cuts. he told a reporter, you shouldn't take away resources when you still have a problem. it doesn't make sense. where were all these folks before? it's hard to feel sorry for the radical anti-immigration crack pots whining about federal spending cuts if the republicans had their way, they would drown government in a bathtub, right? maybe this will wake them up to just how dangerous their radical ideas really are. border security , well, with the republicans it used to be kind of a big deal . joining me tonight is killeen kelly, national president of the national treasury employees union . thank you for your time tonight. how serious are these furloughs? what does it mean to security?
>> these are very serious, ed. we are already seeing the beginning of the cuts from the sequester with the decrease in overtime. that has already resulted in the beginning of seeing a longer passenger lines when they are clearing international flights. we've already seen news reports of that. and of cargo containers having to wait for four and five days in the ports of new york and new jersey to be cleared to come into the country. so the furlough notices, as you mentioned, will require 14 unpaid furlough days. and they have not even started yet. so the slowdown of the commercial traffic coming into the country , as well as all of our seaports, airports and land border crossings, that's will all only get worse as the summer season , which of course is a big travel season, increases.
>> so will security be compromised? are we less safe because of these furloughs?
>> well, we will have fewer employees providing that security, and the department and customs and border protection will have to decide where to put the staffing they have available. border security will remain a priority, i believe, for the agency as well as for the employees. but that's why the impact is going to be seen much more so on trade and travel. and that is the other part of the agency's mission is to facilitate legal trade and travel into the country.
>> who can take a 20% pay cut and go do something else because the government doesn't have the money to pay them. will the union lose employees because of this and people make career changes and then you have to go through training people all over again.
>> well, i think the federal government will lose employees. obviously, all of this impacts morale and makes employees wonder why all of this is being done to them. they did nothing to cause this. they want to come to work every day and protect our country. that's what they want to do.
>> is governor brewer having to eat her words, so to speak?
>> well, i think anyone who thinks that sequestration was the answer, and that these cuts would not be felt by the country, they were just wrong. and they are starting to see that. but like i said, they really have not seen the full brunt of their decisions yet. they will see that within 30 days or so.
>> so the situation we can deduct that it will get worse as time goes on. and then the other thing that i wanted to ask you is about how people would exploit the man hours. is that a real thing?
>> the decrease in man hours?
>> people that want to get in and they would notice exactly the shift in manpower and also notice the vulnerabilities.
>> for anyone looking to do anything illegal, of course they're going to see it as an opportunity. what the front line customs and border protection employees need is the staffing and the time to search for illegal weapons for illegal drugs , for contraband coming into our country. they need the time to do their jobs and the staffing. they've been understaffed for the last couple of years. this sequester is just making things worse.
>> okay. colleen kelley, great to have you with us. i appreciate your time. so the world is definitely changing with this sequester.
>>> republican welfare for oil companies is so big, you can see it from space. no kidding. i'll show you that next, okay?
>>> and over 130 house republicans, what did they do? they voted no on the violence against women act . now some of them are trying to take credit for doing what? yeah, they say they supported