David Price, Ciro Rodriguez question Michael Chertoff on fence waiver; "contingency miles"; hilarious posturing
Posted Thu, Apr 4, 2008 at 1:39 pm
Earlier today, Department of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff spoke to Congress about the waivers he's using to apparently build part of the border fence.
"This is a major exercise of the waiver authority which goes beyond, I think, what many of us anticipated," House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Price, D-N.C., said to Chertoff Thursday.They didn't, however, discuss withholding funds. And, there's apparently a little creativity involved:
Price said Congress also instructed the department to conduct consultations with local officials and residents before constructing fencing and gave the department flexibility to not build fencing. Price said that the department needs to complete only about 360 miles of fencing to meet its goal for the year, and questioned why laws were being waived to build 470 miles.
Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-Texas, said he was not against fencing but does not believe the department has held adequate consultations with residents in his district.
"Because you have the right that doesn't mean you ought to have taken that right," he said. "I think in all honesty in some cases you've been misinformed by your own people."
He acknowledged that 470 miles of fencing is more than the department plans to construct, saying the additional fencing represents "contingency miles" or might be used to turn existing vehicle barriers into pedestrian fencing.Now for some hilarious posturing from Chertoff, he also said:
"If it's the last thing I do in this job, I'm going to . . . live up to the commitments we've made to the American people."