Association of Counties criticized Congress Jan. 22 for failing
to act on the $3.5 billion recommended by the Bush administration
for police and firefighters, also known as the "first responders"
in case of a terrorist attack.
League of Cities also has criticized the administration for not
providing increased funding to first responders.
been 16 months and not one nickel of the $3.5 billion promised first
responders has been appropriated by Congress," NACo President
Ken Mayfield told a news conference, as reported by CongressDaily. "There seems to be an understanding that the threat of
future attacks is real, but help from Congress to combat those attacks
is just a fantasy."
The money is
tied up in the $390 billion fiscal 2003 omnibus spending bill being
debated in the Senate. Funding for local police, firefighters and
others has already been cut in the draft of the spending bill the
Senate is considering, and attempts to restore it have been unsuccessful.