Lieberman Says Listen to the Mayors: Insufficient Funds are Reaching the Front Lines

WASHINGTON – Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., released the following statement Wednesday in response to the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 50-state survey on the delivery of federal first responder funding to cities:

“This survey exposes once again the striking disconnect between the Bush Administration’s rhetoric and the facts. The Secretary of Homeland Security says local communities have failed to tap available funds. But the people on the frontlines, in a position to know, say they aren’t getting enough money fast enough to protect their communities.

“We should listen to what the mayors, police chiefs, and fire chiefs of our major localities are telling us. The overwhelming majority of cities in America still have not received the funding they need and more funding should be delivered directly to localities that have primary responsibility for securing their citizens. “Many of us in Congress have gone hoarse telling the Bush Administration it is under-funding first responders, and that what money is provided isn’t reaching the front lines with sufficient dispatch. This Administration’s priorities clearly do not include providing sufficient homeland security funds directly to those who need it most: the local fire fighters, police officers, emergency technicians, and public health workers who protect our communities day after day.