Scenes from the Sequestrocalypse: TSA to spend $50 million on new uniforms

posted at 12:41 pm on March 5, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Say, are you getting frustrated by long lines at the airport?  Janet Napolitano wants you to know that the sequester is to blame for your woes.  Following up on a more general warning she gave a week ago about the impact of the sequester, the DHS Secretary said yesterday that wait times had already gone up 150% to 200% at major airports, even if TSA didn’t show any unusual delays at all:

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on Monday cautioned airline passengers to get to the airport extra early because U.S. spending cuts have already led to long lines at some security checkpoints, and said the coming furloughs will only make the situation worse.

Napolitano said mandatory spending cuts ordered on Friday by President Barack Obama have led to the elimination of overtime for Transportation Security Administration officers and customs agents. She said TSA would begin sending out furlough notices to employees on Monday. Hiring freezes have also prevented any open positions from being filled.

“We are already seeing the effects at some of the ports of entry – at the big airports, for example. Some of them had very long lines this weekend,” Napolitano said at a “Politico Playbook” breakfast event.

She pointed to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as examples of those with long lines.

Napolitano said delays were between 150 percent and 200 percent at certain airports, although the TSA website did not show any major delays at any U.S. airport on Monday morning.

While you’re waiting in those longer lines that may or may not exist, you’ll have extra time to admire the new uniforms TSA bought just before the sequester hit.  DHS signed a $50 million deal to buy uniforms just before the sequester hit, some of which will be made in Mexico:

The impending sequester did not prevent the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)  from acting in late February to seal a $50-million deal to purchase new uniforms for its agents–uniforms that will be partly manufactured in Mexico.

Soon after this new investment in TSA uniforms, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned Americans that the lines are already lengthening at airports due to the sequester. …

On Feb. 27, the agency announced that on Feb. 22 it had awarded a one-year contract to VF Imagewear, Inc., which owns the Lee brand and Wrangler Hero, to provide the uniforms. “This contract will address the requirements of the TSA, Office of Security Operations, TSA Uniform Program,” the award states.

The TSA employs 50,000 security officers, inspectors, air marshals and managers. That means that the uniform contract will pay the equivalent of $1,000 per TSA employee over the course of the year.

The most interesting part of this development is the fact that TSA only provides the initial uniforms for new hires.  TSA employees have to pay for their own replacements.  So why spend $50 million on uniforms if TSA has to cut back on employees so significantly that it will interfere with airport operations?  Why not save some money and cut back on the uniform purchases, especially if the cutbacks mean a lack of hiring?  After all, TSA is apparently committing to spending that money whether employees reimburse them or not for replacement uniforms.

Small wonder that credit rating agencies aren’t taking the sequester seriously as deficit reform:

Credit rating agencies are shrugging off sequestration, saying the U.S. government will need to do more to reduce the deficit if it wants to prevent a downgrade of the nation’s credit rating.

While the agencies say the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts represent at least a step towards deficit reduction, they argue much more is needed to prevent the United States from losing its “AAA” rating.

“It’s not the most ideal outcome,” said David Riley, Fitch Rating’s global managing director for sovereign ratings, on CNBC Europe. “You’d rather have intelligent cuts and some revenue measures as well … but we don’t live in an ideal world, and it’s better to have some deficit reduction than none at all.”

The agencies view it as a positive sign that Congress did not simply scrap the unpopular sequester. Erasing the cuts without coming up with an alternative, something pushed by some liberal lawmakers, would have added to the deficit and debt and further pressured agencies to downgrade the nation’s credit rating.

At the same time, the agencies say they are worried that Washington’s inability to replace the sequester with targeted deficit reduction underlines concerns about the U.S. government’s dysfunction, a concern that led Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the U.S. in 2011.

I’m sure that the ridiculous hysteria over a 2.3% reduction in federal spending isn’t exactly a confidence-builder, either.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

So Big Sis’s blathering notwithstanding, the gropings and molestations continue apace.

CurtZHP on March 5, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Here is an idea, in exchange for the steady paycheck and the insurance you buy your own uniform.

Limerick on March 5, 2013 at 12:44 PM

But the Blue Angels are still grounded.

Pretty clear where our control-freak government’s priorities are.

CurtZHP on March 5, 2013 at 12:46 PM

How do you properly clothe incompetence?

LetsBfrank on March 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM

ABOLISH THE TSA

John the Libertarian on March 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM

So why spend $50 million on uniforms LIPSTICK if TSA has to cut back on employees so significantly that it will interfere with airport operations? Why not save some money and cut back on the uniform LIPSTICK purchases, especially if the cutbacks mean a lack of hiring? After all, TSA is apparently committing to spending that money whether employees reimburse them or not for replacement uniforms LIPSTICK.

They’re just trying to put lipstick on this pig, but it’s still a pig, right?

ted c on March 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

How do you properly clothe incompetence?

LetsBfrank on March 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM

You make sure the pants have a really good crease in them.

CurtZHP on March 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Seen on back of new shirts:

Dedicated Junk Toucher

Master Junk Touching Supervisor

No Junk Left Untouched

Don’t Let Your Junk Fly Untouched

Groping TaTas and Toddlers for 5 years running!

ted c on March 5, 2013 at 12:51 PM

As to whether or not sequestration has caused increased flight delays as Ms. Napolitano claims, you can go here;

http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp

And look it up. So far, there seems to be little or no difference.

cheers

eon

eon on March 5, 2013 at 12:51 PM

ABOLISH THE TSA

John the Libertarian on March 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Amen! Talk about an organization that outlived its usefullness about 0.2 seconds after it was created.

CurtZHP on March 5, 2013 at 12:52 PM

How you spell TSA??

G-R-O-P-E

ted c on March 5, 2013 at 12:53 PM

the sign under the TSA, like McDonalds, should read:

Over 50 million groped…..

ted c on March 5, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Place your Junk in the Overhead Compartment….

ted c on March 5, 2013 at 12:54 PM

the gropings and molestations continue apace.

Yup. Parts of the job they enjoy. Real morale boosters.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 12:55 PM

CurtZHP on March 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Excellent.

LetsBfrank on March 5, 2013 at 12:57 PM

But the Blue Angels are still grounded.

Pretty clear where our control-freak government’s priorities are.

Yup. Lurch is now negotiating the sale of the Blue Angels to either Egypt or the Syrian rebels. He just has to decide which of them is most deserving.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Place your Junk in the Overhead Compartment….

ted c on March 5, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Sir, I’m going to have to remove your Junk.

LetsBfrank on March 5, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Never since FDR there was such a low life President and his despicable administration who are so obsessed with political gains on the expense of a whole nation… At the end evil will be defeated…

mnjg on March 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Ramirez on bho’s Sequestrocalypse!

http://www.investors.com/editorial-cartoons/michael-ramirez
L

letget on March 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Am I missing something, or is there a very serious scandal here? Ed, can you follow up? It was stated that there are 50,000 employees and they are paying $1,000 PER EMPLOYEE for one year of uniforms. That is scandalous in and of itself. But here’s the bigger problem. We are told they only provide uniforms for NEW employees and they don’t have any new employees. So who is being clothed by this $50 million(!!)?? How many people is it and why is it so incredibly expensive? As i said, even if the uniforms are for all existing employees, $1,000 per employee is still a scandal. But it looks much worse than that. Almost like someone is getting a kickback or doing a favor for a politicial supporter. Certainly the people in charge don’t care how much they spend of other people’s money.

Incredulous1 on March 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Seen on back of new shirts:

Dedicated Junk Toucher

Master Junk Touching Supervisor

No Junk Left Untouched

Don’t Let Your Junk Fly Untouched

Groping TaTas and Toddlers for 5 years running!

ted c on March 5, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Yup, nothing like a well dressed organization of perverts!

fourdeucer on March 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Amen! Talk about an organization that outlived its usefullness about 0.2 seconds after it was created.

CurtZHP on March 5, 2013 at 12:52 PM

The only ones that still want them are people who never fly. I fly dozens of times a year. They are unnecessary kabuki.

John the Libertarian on March 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Sequestrocalypse

Say that 3x without breathing.

22044 on March 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Ad on the right side of my screen:

Low Cost Postal Uniforms

Weird.

22044 on March 5, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Say that 3x without breathing.

22044 on March 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM

I tried saying it once on my show yesterday, and that was bad enough.

Ed Morrissey on March 5, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Am I missing something, or is there a very serious scandal here?

No scandal here. I’m sure AG Holder would agree. This admin is scandal free.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 1:05 PM

On Sunday I flew out of Ft.Lauderdale, to Chicago/O’Hare and then on to Salt Lake City. Nothing out of the ordinary and I arrived home on time.

Janet Nappy is a liar.

JPeterman on March 5, 2013 at 1:06 PM

The TSA employs 50,000 security officers, inspectors, air marshals and managers. That means that the uniform contract will pay the equivalent of $1,000 per TSA employee over the course of the year.

Boggle.

Is this really true? Because those air marshals aren’t uniformed officers, so the number is actually higher per uniformed employee.

TexasDan on March 5, 2013 at 1:07 PM

The only ones that still want them are people who never fly. I fly dozens of times a year. They are unnecessary kabuki.

John the Libertarian on March 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Indeed, but… Oh, look! There’s something shiny over here. Our blue shirt overlords are suddenly granting us permission to carry on small knives and Wiffle bats.

Drained Brain on March 5, 2013 at 1:07 PM

J-Nap even talks like a mind-numbed robot.

onlineanalyst on March 5, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Here’s hoping the new uniforms are so so awesome that they spin off a line of civilian clothing, a la the Post Office.

TexasDan on March 5, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Now to be fair, this wasn’t a sole source contract. An RFP was sent to USPS but was returned stamped undeliverable.

can_con on March 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM

The only ones that still want them are people who never fly. I fly dozens of times a year. They are unnecessary kabuki.

John the Libertarian on March 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

I never fly and I want them gone.

Just because I don’t have to suffer their pawing doesn’t mean I think it’s okey dokey for you.

CurtZHP on March 5, 2013 at 1:11 PM

If you can’t be competent, then you might as well look good.
Love, Your TSA….

ted c on March 5, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Janet Napolitano wants you to know that the sequester is to blame for your woes.

How do we know that the sequester is totally fictional threat to well, anything??? Well, for one thing, Janet Napolitano, the mother of all “Do Gooders” still has a damned job.

SWalker on March 5, 2013 at 1:16 PM

And we are being told that it is NOT a spending problem ?

Good Grief !!

Jabberwock on March 5, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Utopia is every American wearing a Chairman Mao suit, and riding a bicycle.

All real Americans should be wearing the same uniform.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 1:19 PM

…they should have to work naked!

KOOLAID2 on March 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Bet the shirts are brown or they go full SWAT/military style.

PattyJ on March 5, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Big Sis told them the new suits are Bulletproof.

dirtengineer on March 5, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Great. I’ll be going through O’Hare in a few weeks, as if it’s not always a zoo there.

Bob's Kid on March 5, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Black, maybe with a couple of San Diego Charger-style lightning bolts on the collars?

slickwillie2001 on March 5, 2013 at 1:40 PM

…they should have to work naked!

If the TSA comes to work in the altogether, I quit flying altogether.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Shameful irresponsibility on the part of the Obama Administration.

Congress ought to be outraged at this act of maladministration by DHS and Napolitano. They really ought to call for her resignation.

Dusty on March 5, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Incredulous1 on March 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

I thought along the same lines but just figured it was standard kickback. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some BO contributors somewhere in the pipeline.

Dr. Frank Enstine on March 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Look for the Union Lable!
See what I did there?

D-fusit on March 5, 2013 at 1:44 PM

$50-million deal to purchase new uniforms for its agents–uniforms that will be partly manufactured in Mexico.

I understand the sombreros are really spiffy.

Dexter_Alarius on March 5, 2013 at 1:46 PM

You might think that a respectable outfit like Lee/Wrangler would want to avoid attaching their name to uniforms for such an odious organization. There’s a boycott there just waiting to happen.

slickwillie2001 on March 5, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Why aren’t airlines and their customers paying for security? Why can’t airlines define the level of security they want to offer? If I want to pay $100 less and take my chances I should be allowed to do so.

Port inspections I get. Union TSA agents not so much. Heck, not at all.

DanMan on March 5, 2013 at 1:51 PM

KOOLAID2 on March 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM

None of them is a perfect size 0…

You might want to reconsider that…

Just saying…

Or we may need copious amounts of this!

http://badfic.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/brain_bleach.jpg

Scrumpy on March 5, 2013 at 1:53 PM

D-fusit on March 5, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Uh Um nope.

What did you do there? ;-P

Scrumpy on March 5, 2013 at 1:55 PM

They’re just trying to put lipstick on this pig, but it’s still a pig, right?

ted c on March 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Yes, a pig by any other name is still….well…a pig!

belad on March 5, 2013 at 1:58 PM

This is just up on Drudge. An email tells us what we already know about bho/team to make it as miserable as possible for American’s to make a point and blame r’s!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/5/email-tells-feds-make-sequester-painful-promised/
L

letget on March 5, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Hey, liveenslavedthendie wherever you are, Obama said that the GOP would be responsible for everything that happened after the sequester.

Shouldn’t you be calling Republicans and congratulating them for the record that the stock market broke today?

Resist We Much on March 5, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Troll free thread?

CurtZHP on March 5, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Calling it a part of the Sequester cuts or not, just think of the magnitude of the the spending in relation to the circumstances many Americans are in today.

Fifty million bucks represents:

- $100 in food for 500,000 people out of work for more than a year.

- $50/mo in food for a year for 83,000 people out of work.

- $1000 towards paying for health insurance people lost due to Obamacare

- 1,000 police officers, firefighters, and/or teachers who wouldn’t lose their jobs because Obama wants to make the Sequester cuts as painful as possible.

Dusty on March 5, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Oh, Boo Hoo, Their overtime has been eliminated. Welcome to the club, A-holes.

birdwatcher on March 5, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Shameful irresponsibility on the part of the Obama Administration.

Congress ought to be outraged at this act of maladministration by DHS and Napolitano. They really ought to call for her resignation send a Sternly Worded Letter ™.

Someone might be recorded calling for her resignation in an indignant tone, and suggesting her resignation might be included in the SWL…..but don’t count on it.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Fifty million bucks represents:

- $100 in food for 500,000 people out of work for more than a year.

- $50/mo in food for a year for 83,000 people out of work.

- $1000 towards paying for health insurance people lost due to Obamacare

- 1,000 police officers, firefighters, and/or teachers who wouldn’t lose their jobs because Obama wants to make the Sequester cuts as painful as possible.

or 25-50 more vacays for our Imperial President and Spouse….but for those, others will have to bear the sacrifice. Ain’t no one getting in the way of those stress releasing getaways our First Family really needs.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 2:05 PM

[hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 2:05 PM]

No kidding. Obama is nothing less than a sadist when it comes to getting his way.

Dusty on March 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM

They might be new, but they’re really drab!

Chuck Schick on March 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM

they should have to work naked!

KOOLAID2 on March 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM

That would violate EPA visual pollution rules.

chemman on March 5, 2013 at 2:23 PM

They might be new, but they’re really drab!

Quite so..they should be bright shades pink and green and red shoes. Yes, those colors might seem less intimidating, but would surely meet with the LGBT air travellers with approval and make the airport experience for all a happier one.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 2:24 PM

So Pat Nappy is now responsible for:

Releasing and admitting she will continue to release illegal aliens.
Purchasing 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.
Purchasing 2700 light armored tanks.
Purchasing 50,000 $1000 uniforms
I would say impeachment proceedings need to commence.

Who cares if the Senate wont take it up. She and Barky need to eat this and her resignation will do in lieu of impeachment. Let the media try to sugarcoat this crap to the American Public.

can_con on March 5, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Almost like someone is getting a kickback or doing a favor for a politicial supporter. Certainly the people in charge don’t care how much they spend of other people’s money.

Incredulous1 on March 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Exactly. With $1,000 for clothing I could replace my entire wardrobe – suits, shoes, and all. Heck, I could probably throw in a nice set of Hefner jammies to boot.

(As a point of reference, a dress uniform – with jacket and all insignia, hat, and shoes – for an Air Force officer would run you ~$300. And, you would have to pay for it yourself.)

GWB on March 5, 2013 at 2:40 PM

ABOLISH THE TSA

John the Libertarian on March 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Bing.

Jaibones on March 5, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Do the new uniforms feature brown shirts and jackboots?

Naturally Curly on March 5, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Our blue shirt overlords are suddenly granting us permission to carry on small knives and Wiffle bats.

Drained Brain on March 5, 2013 at 1:07 PM

And the stewardess union is upset because they are now less safe than before. Riiiiiiiight. I think the union rep has spent a little too much time at altitude without supplemental oxygen.

GWB on March 5, 2013 at 2:47 PM

this sh*& gets old.

losarkos on March 5, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Not entirely off topic:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/mar/5/more-sequester-pain-white-house-cancels-tours/

The White House announced Tuesday that it was canceling all public tours of the president’s home because of the sequester spending cuts.

“Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that White House Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013 until further notice. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours,” the White House said in an email.

The notice comes as both the White House and Congress try to find cuts to their own budgets as part of $85 billion in cuts to the entire government.

At the Capitol, staffers who use the building’s West Front entrance that looks out on the National Mall were told Tuesday that door would be closed as of next week in order to save money.

At least this will make hiding White House visitors in plain sight on the logs a little bit more difficult.

Anyone want to wager on whether or not Obama continues the White House visitor logs now that the general public does not have access?

Jay,“I know 3 personally named Hilary Rosen”, Carney hardest hit.

weaselyone on March 5, 2013 at 2:55 PM

We will never reduce the famous “fraud, waste & abuse” until the govt does something about agencies rushing o spend money at the end of the budget year. The mentality is that if we don’t spend it all our budget next year will be cut. . Instead of incentivizing organizations to admit they might have over estimated their requirements they are rewarded for making sure they expend 100% of the budget.

katiejane on March 5, 2013 at 3:05 PM

lines may be longer, but at least the TSA will be dressed for success

priorities…

burserker on March 5, 2013 at 3:35 PM

If there are delays it’s because the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the TSA have been ordered to create them.

agmartin on March 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

If Obama is unhappy, everyone is unhappy.
That’s how the Presidency works, right ?

Jabberwock on March 5, 2013 at 4:21 PM

TSA bought more uniforms for more fatties?!

Again??

Trimming the fat off of those monster TSA butts would save billions of bucks in tents uniforms!

Sherman1864 on March 5, 2013 at 7:47 PM