Lieberman Dumfounded By Dramatic First Responder Cuts

WASHINGTON – Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., issued the following statement Monday in reaction to President Bush’s proposed Fiscal Year 2005 Homeland Security budget.

“This Administration still refuses to learn – despite all independent evidence – what it will take to protect the American people from terrorist attack on our own soil.

“President Bush has been seriously under-funding homeland security for the past two years, even as several expert commissions have said there is an urgent need for significant new investments in almost every area of our domestic defenses – including $100 billion in critical needs for first responders and preventers. “I am dumbstruck by the president’s proposed, government-wide cut of more than 30 percent for first responders. It is ill-considered, and the brave men and women working under intolerable circumstances, risking their lives everyday to protect the rest of us, will be hamstrung by it. “At most, this request moves baby steps towards securing the homeland in some areas, when we must take bold strides to close the dangerous security gaps revealed by the September 11th attacks.”