Homeland Security Task Force Chair Questions Specific Cuts in Bush’s Homeland Budget Proposal

Feb 8, 2005
Press Release
 WASHINGTON, DC - Several key programs for first responders are facing deep cuts in President Bush’s FY06 budget proposal, despite an overall increase in homeland security spending. Included are the COPS program to fund police officers, which is facing a $480 million cut (80 percent), and the Assistance to Firefighters program are facing a $215 million cut (30 percent).  

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), Chair of the House Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security, today wondered why if many areas of homeland security are due for budget increases in the coming year, America’s first line of defense is facing deep cuts.

“Increasing the homeland security budget is the correct thing to do, absolutely, but why is even one cent taken away from our first responders?” asked Maloney. “The men and women who will answer the first call in the event of another attack should not see their federal assistance disappear. The threat of terrorism hasn’t gone away, so our commitment to preparing first responders shouldn’t either.”

In addition to the cuts to police officer and firefighter programs, the Bush budget proposal included a cut of more than $243 million for first responder grants to states. Overall state and local program funds are facing a proposed cut of $235 million.