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DHS backup border funding plan would take millions from TSA, other agencies

The funding from TSA includes $50 million planned for advanced screening equipment and $3 million collected from loose change left in trays at airports.

The Department of Homeland Security is requesting $232 million from the Transportation Security Administration to fund border operations in the event that Congress does not agree to fund $1.1 billion of its funding request, according to documents of a contingency plan obtained by NBC News.

Other components of DHS, which includes the Federal Emergency Management Administration, have also been asked to provide a portion of their overall budget to contribute to the $1.1 billion goal, according to the documents.

Internal emails and a PowerPoint presentation at the Transportation Security Administration last week outlined a plan on how the agency would fund a “tax” its parent agency may levy upon it. TSA programs identified as funding sources include $50 million set aside to buy advanced airport screening equipment and $64 million from a worker’s compensation fund set aside for injured TSA employees in 2010. The funding also includes $3 million collected from lose change left in trays at airports.

Funding for Transportation Security Officers, who run security screening lines in airports, are also “in play,” the email said. Cutting funding for those officers could have a significant impact on wait times for travelers as the summer season begins.

A spokesman for DHS said the Department in “considering all options” to address the influx of migrants on the Southwest border.

“We will continue to work with our workforce to find dynamic solutions and funding to address this very serious problem. As part of this effort, it is our responsibility to explore fiscal mechanisms that will ensure the safety and welfare of both our workforce and the migrant population, which is also reflected in the supplemental request submitted to Congress,” said DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton. Read more

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