Swalwell Leads 88 House Members in Urging Strong Funding for Transit Security

March 19, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) today led 88 House Members in urging rejection of President Donald Trump’s proposal to slash funding for transit security that is crucial to protecting American lives.

The Trump Administration proposes cutting funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) by almost two thirds, from $100 million to only $36.4 million in the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bill.

“President Trump’s plan to cut corners on transit security puts American lives at unnecessary risk,” said Swalwell, Ranking Member of the CIA Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “Terrorists have murdered people on mass transit in Madrid, London, Brussels, and we need to ensure that Oakland, New York, and Washington, D.C., aren’t next. Americans should never need fear riding our rails, buses, and ferries.”

Americans made almost 10.4 billion passenger trips on mass transit in 2016, according to the American Public Transportation Association. The sheer number of people taking these trips, the ease with which anyone can enter and exit them, and their location mostly in urban areas make them prime targets.

TSGP is a competitive grant program administrated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through which eligible public transit agencies operating bus, rail, and ferry systems can get money for measures including operational activities like surveillance or asset protection like tunnel hardening.

Swalwell led lawmakers in sending a letter to the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee’s bipartisan leaders, urging them to reject the President’s proposed cuts.

“While we recognize that the current budget climate makes funding choices difficult, we urge you to keep in mind the consequences of failing to commit sufficient resources to protect mass transit systems used daily by millions of Americans,” they wrote. “The small amount of money spent now could be dwarfed by the savings in lives and damage by preventing a horrific attack."

Click here to read the full text of the letter.