Statement in Response to the 9/11 Commission Report from John Gage, National President Of The American Federation of Government Employees
WASHINGTON, DC - We applaud the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission) for its work to carefully and realistically analyze America's homeland security failings and needs. Unfortunately, one critical lesson that should have been learned in the wake of 9/11 has yet to be acknowledged: America's homeland cannot be secured without a professional, well-trained, adequately funded, and fully staffed federal workforce dedicated full-time to the task of securing our nation.
The Department of Homeland Security currently faces critical staff shortages as a result of an agency-wide hiring freeze. There will be no new border patrol agents or customs and immigration officers.
In the meantime, the debate continues on whether to re-privatize federal airport screeners of the Transportation Security Administration, America's frontline defense for air transportation.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.