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article imageBush Administration Proposes Budget Cuts to Domestic Security

By Samantha A. Torrence     Dec 1, 2007 in Politics
Misappropriated funds and a lack of progress in domestic security has prompted the Bush Administration to propose a budget cut to emergency responders in large cities across the nation.
The Associated Press obtained documents citing concerns that Homeland Security grants and funding given to cities around the U.S. have not been used appropriately to meet the security needs. In the wake of this information the Bush Administration may be issuing budget cuts to emergency responders across the nation.
The proposed cut will take the "$3.2 billion to help states and cities protect against terrorist attacks in 2009" to $1.4 billion. The funding cuts will be made to firemen, police, and other first responders in the event of a terrorist attack as well as to port security and transit security.
Republicans and Democrats alike are astonished at this proposal and have united against the seeming misstep taken by the Bush Administration.
"This budget proposal is dead on arrival," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. "This administration runs around the country scaring people and then when it comes to putting their money where their mouth is, they say 'sorry, the bank is closed.'"
The proposal "goes totally in the wrong direction," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. "This would be a very grave mistake, and I will do all I can to stop it."
The white house provides examples of misuse of funds such as
$345,000 for crashproof barriers and 60 closed-circuit cameras to monitor the University of Arkansas Razorback stadium, which local officials think could be a terrorist target.
$5 million for the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology to buy a nearly deserted town to use for counterterrorism training.
$70,000 for Huntsville, Ala. to create a fallout shelter in an abandoned mine where 20,000 people could take cover underground.
Several South Florida fire departments have used Homeland Security grants to beef up their gyms. Pompano Beach, Fla., spent $220,000 on fitness equipment for a wellness program, training and physical exams.
However the budget also proposes two new grants with more specific language to counteract what the administration sees as mishandling of the budget.
Targeted investment grants, which would fund administration priorities such as the requirement that states create more secure driver's licenses, secure credentials for transportation employees and state and local planning for catastrophic disasters. The White House would provide $450 million for that.
A $300 million discretionary grant program for terrorism preparedness, prevention and response, which would fund specific projects instead of sending a set amount to each state.
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