ICYMI: New Hampshire Fire Fighters Highlight Dangers of Playing Politics with Homeland Security Funding
“Kelly Ayotte is putting New Hampshire communities at risk with her decision to hold funding for homeland security hostage in order to appease her Tea Party base,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Press Secretary Aaron Jacobs. “Homeland Security secretaries of both parties, a nonpartisan coalition of mayors, and New Hampshire first responders have all warned against the dangers of playing politics with homeland security funding, and it’s time for Ayotte to heed their calls and stop risking a shutdown of the agency responsible for protecting our nation.”
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Union Leader: Sen. Shaheen says Homeland Security showdown could impact first responders
The showdown over Homeland Security funding could affect first responders, right down to local firefighters, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said Thursday.
Shaheen held a conference call with David Lang, president of the Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire, and Laconia Fire Chief Kenneth Erickson, to highlight what she says is at stake.
Funding for the federal Department of Homeland Security runs out by month’s end. The debate in Congress is complicated as Republicans consider amendments to nullify President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration reform.
Democrats accused Republicans of putting politics above security. Republicans accused Democrats of blocking funding by not allowing a bill to be brought to the floor for debate.
Lang said he hopes common sense will prevail, and politics takes a back seat to good government. The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, showed the importance of first responders being prepared to handle a wide range of emergencies, he said.
“This is something that’s very personal for firefighters,” Lang said. “If we’re truly going to be our nation’s fire line of defense, then the federal government needs to continue to step up and assist us.”
Shaheen said shutting down the Homeland Security funding spigot would also affect local, state and federal emergency managers in response to storms and natural disasters.
“We should put ideological differences aside,” Shaheen said.
Passage of a “clean bill,” one that focuses just on funding, has support from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and former DHS Secretaries Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano.
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