Mikulski, Clinton Promise to Fight for Needed Homeland Security Funding - Southern Maryland Headline News

Mikulski, Clinton Promise to Fight for Needed Homeland Security Funding


Mikulski: "This is not the time to abandon our high threat states and cities that are working so hard to protect our citizens."

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) today pledged to introduce an amendment during floor consideration of the 2007 Department of Homeland Security spending bill to restore funding for critical high risk areas. In a letter to Homeland Security Appropriations Chair Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Ranking Member Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), the Senators note that the dramatic cuts implemented by the department on May 31, 2006, are both dangerous and shortsighted. States and cities across the country that are facing high terrorist threats, including New York City, Baltimore and the National Capital Region, recently suffered considerable funding reductions.

"While I don't know the threat in Omaha, I do know the threat in Baltimore and the National Capital Region""While I don't know the threat in Omaha, I do know the threat in Baltimore and the National Capital Region. Who are we home to? The National Capital Region is home to the President, Congress and federal assets - both classified and unclassified," said Senator Mikulski. "I look forward to fighting with Senator Clinton to offer this crucial amendment to provide adequate resources to our high risk areas."

"We must ensure that our limited homeland security funds get to where they are needed most""We must ensure that our limited homeland security funds get to where they are needed most and that our American cities and states living under the greatest threat receive the funding they need to protect themselves from harm," said Senator Clinton. "It is unconscionable that the Department of Homeland Security cut funding for the areas most at risk of attack. The Bush Administration has failed to reverse this shortsighted and ill-considered decision and we are taking action to right this egregious wrong."

The text of the letter is published below in it's entirety:

Dear Chairman Gregg and Ranking Member Byrd:

On May 31, 2006, the Department of Homeland Security announced the totals that were to be allocated to states and cities pursuant to the Fiscal Year 2006 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). With this announcement came word of significant funding cuts that are both dangerous and shortsighted. States and cities across the country facing high terrorist threats suffered considerable funding reductions. While we recognize that HSGP funds were cut across the board nationwide, DHS slashed several states and cities' funds by disproportionately higher amounts than others.

This is not the time to abandon our high threat states and cities that are working so hard to protect our citizens. As we approach the solemn fifth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, we must remember how critically important it is to provide our state and local governments facing the greatest terrorist threat with the resources they need to defend our country.

As Senator Mikulski indicated during yesterday's Appropriations Committee markup, because this threat is no less imposing today than it was before these ill-advised cuts, we will be introducing an amendment during floor consideration of the Fiscal Year 2007 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill that restores HSGP funding to its fiscal year 2005 level. We must enable our high risk states and cities to expend what they need to make sure ample personnel, equipment, and resources are deployed to protect our citizens. Our nation's high threat states and cities deserve our continuing support as they play their essential part in the protection of our homeland.

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