Senate Democrats

Protecting America From Terrorism

More Must Be Done Here at Home

Once again, the Bush administration has failed to make protecting America from terrorism here at home a top priority. The Bush budget falls far below the needed resources to defend Americans from terrorist attacks. It fails to provide the needed resources to hire, train, and equip our first responders, increase rail and transit security, protect chemical and nuclear plants and strengthen port security. More must be done and Democrats will fight to ensure that the needed investments will be made.


Bush Cuts Support for Firefighters. Though reports have raised concern about severe staffing and equipment shortages at fire departments nationwide, the Bush budget cuts funding critical to hiring, training, and equipping firefighters. His budget falls $450 million below the authorized funding level and $215 million below this year’s appropriation. [Bush FY 2006 Budget]

Bush Cuts Funding for Police. Once again, President Bush has attempted to severely limit funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, one of the most successful federal law enforcement programs ever created. This year, Bush requested only $2.8 million compared to the nearly $1 billion spent just two years ago. Less funding will mean fewer police officers available to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks. [Bush FY 2006 Budget]

Bush Cuts National First Responder Programs. The Bush budget also cuts funding to national first responder programs that provide needed training, technical assistance, rural preparedness and other programs. Bush proposed cutting funding to this program by nearly $180 million. [Bush FY 2006 Budget]

Bush Offers No Support for Rail Security, Port Security or Protecting Chemical and Nuclear Plants. President Bush has failed to make rail security, port security or protecting chemical and nuclear plants a priority. Year after year, these items have not made it into the Bush budget, instead given inadequate support through general, unallocated funding. [Bush FY 2006 Budget]


Republicans Voted Against Effort to Restore $1.6 Billion in Support to First Responders. Senate Republicans rejected $1.6 billion meant to restore Bush’s cuts to first responder grants. The funding included $298 million for the State Homeland Security Grant program, $79 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative, $226 million for Firefighter Assistance Grants, $485 million for the COPS program, and $537 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants. The amendment failed 46-54. [RC 50, S. Amdt. 147 to S. Con. Res. 18, 3/15/05]

Republicans Blocked Increased Funding for COPS Program. Senate Republicans rejected an effort to restore $1 billion in cuts to the COPS program. The funding would have allowed the Justice Department to provide funding to the nearly 3,800 pending applications by law enforcement agencies nationwide who have applied for COPS grants to help them hire additional police officers in their communities. The amendment was rejected 45-55. [RC 70, S. Amdt. 239 to S. Con. Res. 18, 3/17/05]