WASHINGTON – Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, approved by Congress late Wednesday, denies the department and its state and local partners the resources they need to fulfill their responsibilities to protect the American public from future terrorist attack.
“You can’t win a war without troops, technology and supplies,” Lieberman said. “Yet the Department of Homeland Security is being asked to win the war on terrorism at home with troops that are stretched too thin. This package falls far short because this Administration is unwilling to fight for what it really takes to secure our homeland.” Lieberman noted in particular that the Administration is failing its most vital allies on homeland security – state and local first responders. The conference report provides roughly $4 billion to help police, fire fighters, and emergency medical personnel. Compare that to the recommendation of an Independent Task Force of the Council on Foreign Relations, led by former Senator Warren Rudman and former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke, which said first responders need an additional $98 billion over five years for training and equipment necessary to meet the nation’s security needs. Among other areas of neglect: