Boy, we really didn’t waste any time going political on this one.
Republicans have wasted no time in attacking Democrats on intelligence and screening failures leading up to the failed Christmas Day bombing of Flight 253 — a significant departure from the calibrated, less partisan responses that have followed other recent terrorist activity.
But other Democrats say the GOP’s yuletide political offensive could backfire on Republicans, putting the spotlight on the party’s own less-than-spotless record on homeland security.
Exhibit A: DeMint’s controversial “hold” on Obama’s choice to lead the Transportation Safety Administration, Erroll Southers, which has left the agency leaderless during a critical period of reappraisal and potential reorganization.
Over the summer, 108 House Republicans voted against the final conference report of the 2010 appropriation bill for the Department of Homeland Security, which included funding for explosives detection systems and other aviation security measures.
The no voters cited a procedural dispute over the appropriations process. They included Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Hoekstra and a who’s who of big-name House Republicans: Reps. Mike Pence, Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Joe Wilson (R-SC).
The conference bill included more than $4 billion for “screening operations,” including $1.1 billion in funding for explosives detection systems, with $778 million intended for buying and installing the systems.