Groups cite insufficient funding for first responders

| Friday, January 24, 2003

The National 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.

The National League of Cities also has criticized the administration for not providing increased funding to first responders.

"It has 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.

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