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Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke’s Statement on Homeland Security Appropriations Act

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2017, the FY 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations Act with a vote of 231 to 188.  Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement:

“Our local firefighters, police officers and emergency medical personnel are our first line of defense in an emergency or terrorist attack.  It is unfortunate that House Republicans have decided to limit the monetary resources that our first responders need to keep this nation safe.  Compared to the FY 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Act passed in a Democratic controlled house, the FY 2012 Homeland Security Appropriation Act cuts 59 percent of first responder grants,” stated Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.  “As we come upon the ten year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, it is important that we bolster the anti-terrorism tools we need to remain vigilant.”

Cuts to critical Homeland Security grants include:

• A 51 percent slash in FIRE Act grants;
• A 63 percent  slash in funding for SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grants;
• A 20 percent slash in funding for New York States Homeland security Grant Program (SHSP); and more.

“This legislation falls short in preparing our nation for 21st century security challenges we continue to face,” said Rep. Clarke.  “At a time when our nation is dealing with the emergency management of the natural disasters that ravaged the Midwest and South and is working to prevent potential bio-terrorism attacks, this is not the time to make drastic cuts to our Homeland Security Appropriations,” added Rep. Clarke. 

“I believe that we can address our nation’s deficit without placing our nation’s first responders at a disadvantage.  As a New York City Member on the House Homeland Security Committee, know that I will continue to work to ensure that our country is better prepared to prevent terrorist threats and attacks.  I will fight to ensure that we adequately invest in our response capacities to safeguard our citizens.”