The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS), with 22 agencies and 170,000 federal employees, will have significant impact on the trucking industry. The Cabinet agency, the largest federal government reorganization since the Dept. of Defense was created in 1947, was approved yesterday by a 90-9 U.S. Senate vote.
The Transportation Security Agency (TSA), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the border security arm of the U.S. Customs Service will be transferred to the DHS from their respective homes in the Dept. of Transportation and the Treasury Dept. Security for the nation's 301 ports, including port access for trucks, will also fall under DHS's jurisdiction.
While the new department has one year in which to get organized, funding has already become an issue. President George W. Bush has requested $38 billion in funding for the DHS next year, but has only received approval for $640 million so far.
Port security initiatives alone will require $700 million in new funding, according to the American Assoc. of Port Authorities, but only $250 million has been earmarked to date.
The TSA is also in the midst of a funding crisis, working with $466 million less than it expected to cover the needs of aviation, rail, and trucking security. According to The Washington Post, the TSA has put $20 million in truck security grants on hold due to a lack of funding.