Homeland Insecurity:

Do We Feel Safe With George W. Bush?


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"The American people can be certain that the mission of homeland security will be carried out with focus and resolve, with the resources the task requires." 

—President George W. Bush

Swearing in ceremony of Secretary of the

Department of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge,

January 24, 2003. 

White House Website

 

That’s what Bush said.  It’s NOT what Bush does.

 

     “Twenty one times…Bush and congressional Republicans  restricted or rejected the resources necessary to make us safer.”  Democratic political strategist James Carville, Had Enough? A Handbook for Fighting Back 

  

Some examples

November 2001:  Senate Democrats pressed ahead … with … a fiscal 2002 spending bill for the Defense Department that includes $15 billion in extra funding for homeland security and recovery efforts following the attacks of September 11$15 billion the White House refuse[d] to endorse.”  [“Senate gets to slow start on contentious defense bill” CNN’s Inside Politics, 12/7/01]

 

 

December 2001:  A day after the Senate Appropriations Committee votes 29-0 for a bill that includes $13.2  billion for homeland security programs, Bush threatens to veto it.  [“Had Enough?” by James Carville]

 

“Senate Republicans reduce homeland security funding in the Defense Appropriations bill by $4.6 billion. Under further pressure from the White House, conferees reduce funds by an additional $200 million.  This reduction comes from the areas of airport security, port security, nuclear facility security, and postal security.” [Had Enough? James Carville]

 

June 2002:           “The Senate, by a bipartisan vote of 71-22, passé[d] a spending bill that include[d] $8.3 billion for homeland security.  The next day, the president’s senior advisers recommend a veto of this ‘excessive homeland security spending.’” [Had Enough?  by James Carville]

 

August 2002:        “Bush decides not to spend the $2.5 billion in emergency funding for homeland security.  He casts his decision as one of “fiscal responsibility.” [Had Enough?  by James Carville]

 

April 2003:            Senate Republicans defeated South Carolina Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings’s $1 billion proposal to improve port security. [Port security's needed funding, The Post and Courier 4/7/03]

 

Senate Republicans rejected five Democratic proposals worth $4.8 billion in additional homeland security funding to offset the costs to local and state governments for additional costs for first responders, safeguard nuclear weapons and nuclear material in the U.S. and throughout the world and nuclear detectors at seaports around the world. Republicans rejected the funding. FOX News reported “Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said he only supported assistance to the airline industry….” [“House, Senate Panels Pass Amended War Budget” Fox News 4/1/03; “Democrats Want More Homeland Security Spending” Cybercast News Service 4/2/03]

 

                            Congressional Republicans rejected a Democratic proposal to add $2.5 billion for tightened security at dams, more aid to state and local emergency agencies, and other domestic safety efforts.  On a straight party line vote in committee, the 35 Republicans voted against the homeland security funding while the 28 Democrats voted for the additional funding.  [“House, Senate Panels Pass Amended War Budget” Fox News 4/1/03]

 

June 2003:           “[T]he House Appropriations Committee and later on the House floor, Republicans rejected a Democratic amendment to add $1 billion for homeland defense, paid for by trimming a piece of the recently enacted tax break for 200,000 millionaires from $88,000 each to $83,000.” [“Unprepared For Terrorists” Washington Post 7/6/03]

 

   Bush Failing to Fund Homeland Security Leaves Americans Vulnerable.

 

Ø        The Council on Foreign Relations (2003) … estimates that the U.S. will fall approximately $98.4 billion short of meeting critical emergency responder needs under current Federal, State, and local funding levels. Consequently, it is imperative that the Federal government stretches every dollar for local responders to the greatest extent possible.”                                                                                Forging America’s New Normalcy

[The Fifth Annual Report to the President and the Congress By The Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response

Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction 12/15/03]

 

Ø       “America will fall approximately $98.4 billion short of meeting critical emergency responder needs over the next five years if current funding levels are maintained. …Estimated combined federal, state, and local expenditures therefore would need to be as much as tripled over the next five years to address this unmet need.  Covering this funding shortfall using federal funds alone  would require a fivefold increase from the current level of $5.4 billion per year to an annual federal expenditure of $25.1 billion.”              Emergency Responders: Drastically Underfunded, Dangerously Unprepared

[Report of an Independent Task Force Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations 12/15/03]

 

Ø        "If you talk to mayors, to governors, to police chiefs, they are just not ready, and we had better get ready."

—former New Hampshire Republican Senator Warren Rudman   

 [“Report: Homeland security grossly underfunded” by  CNN.com 6/30/03]

    

Ø      The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure," said (Rand) Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism. "As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out."  [Former Aide Takes Aim at War on Terror Washington Post 6/13/03]

 

George W. Bush … he’s not keeping Americans safe.

 

 

The Democratic Party: Because National Security Matters