(Host) Democratic U.S. House candidate Peter Welch says the Bush Administration is short changing funding levels for many of the nation’s first response emergency teams.
Welch says the federal government supported special grants for local law enforcement and fire safety officials in the months following the terrorist attacks of September 11th in 2001. He says that now the Bush Administration is proposing sizeable cuts to a number of these programs.
Welch pledged to support efforts to fully fund these programs:
(Welch) “It’s a matter of priorities I believe that terrorism, being prepared for disasters is not going to go away and the federal government did a bait and switch and what they’ve done is allocated all of their resources, all of their attention basically to the war in Iraq. We spent $400 billion over there. So it’s a question of priorities.”
(Host) Welch says it’s also critical to maintain small-state “minimum funding levels” for these programs to guarantee that all states have capable emergency response teams.
Representatives of some of the country’s larger states are trying to eliminate these minimum funding requirements so that more resources can be allocated to their programs.