December 19, 2007

Reed, Whitehouse Oppose Bush Attempts to Eliminate $4.7 Million for Rhode Island Homeland Security Initiatives

Washington, D.C. – In an effort to prevent the Bush Administration from cutting funds for homeland security programs vital to safeguarding Rhode Island’s cities and ports, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) along with several colleagues last night sent a bipartisan letter to President Bush opposing the reported budget cuts.  A November 26 document released from the Office of Budget Management indicated that the budget for fiscal year 2009 would cut funding in half for critical domestic homeland security initiatives and eliminate grant programs that benefit Rhode Island’s port security, transit security, and emergency management.
“At a time when this Administration asks for hundreds of billions of dollars to conduct its war in Iraq, it should also provide adequate support to protect Americans here at home and reject these misguided cuts to vital homeland security programs,” wrote the senators.
The reported funding cuts would directly impact three critical programs the Administration recently signed into law, including the Port Security Grant Program, which funds security improvements to America’s ports; the Transit Security Grant Program, which helps secure high-risk mass transit; and the Emergency Performance Management Grant Program, which allows communities across the country to develop emergency management plans to respond to a disaster. 
Rhode Island received funding from all three grant programs in fiscal year 2007, including $1,201,570 from the Port Security Grant Program; $1,219,833 (Providence) from the Transit Security Grant Program; and $2,360,209 from the Emergency Management Performance Grants.
“These homeland security programs were all authorized by legislation this Administration supported and signed into law,” the senators concluded. “Unfortunately, real security does not come cheap and cannot be achieved with mere words of support.”  

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